The next rollouts will be the property and fleet modules. Don’t expect everything to arrive at once, says Hogan: this will be a “soft” rollout with bits and pieces going online as they are completed. “There are so many groups and so many different types of equipment,” she says. “I mean, we have the people who do the ladders, the people who look after the pumps … We have decided to concentrate on each part even though they may have some of the same processes and use similar applications. We need to make sure all the category codes are correct and we have got all information people need to do their jobs.” The first rollout, for breathing apparatus, will hopefully happen in mid-August. The reason this segment comes first is because it has the most efficient organisation and conforms to ISO standards. Those involved in this sector have regular meetings and have a lot of documentation the project team can tap into.
Hogan has an underlying reason for handling breathing apparatus — if all goes well, the rollout should create a positive energy that will feed through to other equipment areas. Next will come Fleet, for the 900 fire trucks and other transport. After that comes the property module rollout.
“We want to make sure we don’t do a wham-bam thank you ma’am and leave everyone to it. We want to learn and see if there are elements we didn’t necessarily get right in the first rollout that we could improve for Fleet and other areas.”
Hogan is naturally proud of her team. She is currently handling a lot of the work on the JD Edwards side, while Tracey Reid is handling the document. “Tracey is the documentation queen,” she says. “She does the bits she is really good at and I do the bits I am good at.”
Others who work — or have worked — on the implementation include Brenda Daley, now systems accountant, and fellow project manager Jo Thomson. Business owners include national fleet manager Graeme Bidois, national property manager Dave Povey and national plant equipment manager Bob McMahon.
“It has been an unreal experience,” says Hogan. “I really enjoy getting involved in business processes. A lot of people say I am in the IT industry. I don’t agree with that. I am not a techie.”
Asked about her own background, Hogan says she doesn’t really have one. “I originally joined the Fire Service as a kind of holdover till the new university year started. That’s when I was 19. I started off in the administration area and moved up to a business manager’s role just before I turned 21.” At that stage she re-engineered the business systems “because they were a mess”. That process took about two years.
“Then I applied for a management account position in Wellington. I had no qualifications and I knew I wasn’t going to get the job. But our chief financial officer rang me and said he had heard lots about me but, unfortunately, I was not qualified for the job. But he said he would keep me in mind. Then, when the FMIS project came along, head office rang me and said they wanted me in Wellington. It was only supposed to be for six months. Two years later I am still there.”
Ironically, Denver was facing a major battle against forest and grass fires at the time she was in there. The New Zealand Fire Service had better watch out — this is a young woman going places fast.
Join the CIO New Zealand group on LinkedIn. The group is open to CIOs, IT Directors, COOs, CTOs and senior IT managers.