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Chapter 10 Information Systems Development and Project Management Case Study: Dutch Railways System The railways system of The Netherlands, the Dutch railways, is one of the most heavily trafficked systems in the world. It manages 1.2 million passengers a day on 4,800 scheduled trains from 371 stations around the country. Headquartered in Utrecht, the system employs 25,000 persons, who manage 28,000 coaches. The Dutch railways needed a new information system that would manage the information displays and all audio broadcasts across all the stations. These systems would be automated, and give updated information to passengers about train arrival and departure times, destinations, and station and track locations. The systems would run independently of manual intervention, basing their displays and announcements on information retrieved from train scheduling systems and track management systems. The information about arrivals and departures had also to be provided to conductors and ticket checkers who could use this information while interacting with passengers. For the railways system to work smoothly, the information system had to be accurate, timely, and highly reliable. The Dutch railways made a first attempt to build this system and outsourced the job to a vendor. The vendor used the standard systems design method known as the waterfall model to identify the requirements for the system and design and build it. After three years, the system was not delivered and the contract with the vendor was cancelled. The Dutch railways then called upon a vendor, Xebia corporation, to build the system using the Scrum technique of systems development. Xebia had considerable experience in Agile methods of system development and had a team that included experienced Scrum masters and programmers. A particular challenge was that Xebia wanted to include programmers from different countries to complete the task – the programmers team included members from The Netherlands and India....
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