Project Description

This post reflects on three back-to-back projects in the media sector, the first of which totally transformed the TV industry and the way consumers enjoy multimedia content.  The effect of this massive project has been profound and formed into a technological revolution across all industry sectors.  At that time, I would have been the only person on a packed commuter and enjoying streamed and downloaded movie content on my mobile devices.    How things have changed!


I was initially recruited by the BBC to prepare and launch the iMP public trial service offering the UKs’ first catch-up TV over broadband and using proprietary DRM and peer to peer distribution. Following the successful launch of the iMP, I was retained to  manage the  BBC’s TV+ programme and then went on to project manage a key work-stream on the iPlayer.

TV+ was an innovative programme that paved the way for the iPlayer, it comprised many work-stream and projects ranging from infrastructure through to front end / visitor experience design.  Headline deliverables included:

  • Establish new online streaming video content services (technology and operational process)  to support the scheduling and delivery of streamed AV content to web and mobile.
  • Deliver a completely new design for the  BBC2  website. A web2.0 initiative, the aim was for the new design to much more engaging and dynamic.
  • Design, build and launch online interactive applications . The first iteration / releases included Dr Who and Spooks online games, and the factual and learning interactive web applications Shakespeare, Egypt and Parenting VOD
  • Establish the technology and completely new technical operating models to deliver streamed and downloadable content covering end to end processes including content creation, acquisition and logistics, through to internal digital asset management including reformat and ingest,  media and metadata management,   encoding and file protections, to the integration with broadcast scheduling and physical digital distribution (OTT).
  • Establish business processes and operating models to cover new media management business processes, the legal mechanisms for content acquisition and managing rights for distribution across all channels. Analysis and creation of detailed processes for content rights management and scheduling systems usage, supported by development and implementation of new tools and applications.

The BBC continues to deliver streamed AV content across multiple platforms using (an evolution of) the core services that we launched for the TV+ programme, now viewable via main website and the iPlayer.  The BBC is also still delivering popular interactive applications (games) to the consumer through these services.

The BBC iPlayer service offers catch-up TV over broadband. In addition to streamed content the iPlayer used proprietary DRM and peer to peer (Kontiki) distribution for down loaded content.

I was responsible for project management, leadership and providing technical expertise in the run-up to launch readiness across the iPlayer programme.

I worked closely with the management team, legal and finance  and provided commercial expertise around procurement, contracts and SLAs in negotiation with key suppliers on the iPlayer programme.

I had direct responsibility for project managing the Integration and Test work streams. Scope included strategy, planning, team recruitment, to selection and acquisition (and deployment) of tools and environments, establishing controls and governance.  I led two teams, System Integration Testing and UAT/Acceptance Testing,  each team comprised six domain experts.

Key accountabilties on the iPlayer were:

  1. Integration and Test: Responsible for integration and non-functional testing and validating infrastructure configuration. The IT team took deliver of regular component release, to test object / component behaviours (properties and methods) and interfaces. Performance and security testing was within the brief. All deliverables were tested against their technical specification and fixes were managed back through the development teams and suppliers. Infrastructure (deployment and configuration) was validated against the designs and specifications.
  2. Acceptance Test: Responsible for the testing and validation of all user journeys and functionality against designs and specifications. Working to SCRUM methods, hundreds of test scripts were written and executed across weekly test cycles synchronized with deliverables from each sprint.
  3. Procurement: Working closely with the management team, legal and finance, commercial expertise around procurement, contracts and SLAs were provided during negotiation with key suppliers on the iPlayer programme and related projects

The management of digital content and digital rights became critical success factors on both of the iPlayer programme, which launched successfully and remains the UK’s most popular way of accessing on-demand content among adults and only slightly less popular than YouTube for teens.

FIVE TV: VOD Project

I was responsible for delivery and launch new VOD services (public internet and BT Vision). Retained by Five’s Digital Media Group as the Project Manager for 5 On Demand, working with the Directors and Heads of Departments. I project managed the build, integration, test and launch the new on-demand-service offering ad-funded free streamed content and PPV downloads.

The service successfully launched on the public internet in June 08 ( and on BT Vision in September 08.

This strategically important commercial venture affected all parts of the business.  Scope included a significant change to new/ target operating model (TOM).  I managed the analysis, re-engineering, documentation and implementation of completely new operational model and set of business processes from Commissioning, Scheduling, Rights and Legal, through to Finance, Marketing, Sales and IT teams. I project managed internal teams and suppliers through website design (IA/UX), build, integration and testing new technology, workflow and services.


I was retained by SOPHOI to provide project management services across a combined team (from BSkyB and Sophoi) to deploy, integrate, configure, test and prove the Sophoi ‘digital rights management’  platform and share expertise and knowledge transfer with BSkyB.

Key features of this project were:

  • Scope was to re-architect back office services and processes with an enterprise-wide Rights Management solution (iPLS) at its heart, fully integrated with their channel management system (Pilat), media asset management, materials and resource planning and finance.
  • Responsible for requirements capture,  business process analysis (As-Is and To-Be),
  • I led  deployment, configuration, integration and further product development for new features and functions.

The project concluded with all interfaces fully specified, business processes documented and the  successful build and configuration of  a proof-of-concept iPLS product, configured with BskyB’s business rules and deployed onto their infrastructure. The overarching programme was put on hold by the client due to wider issues around the application architecture road-map,  so the successful completion of all deliverables by SOPHOI marked the end of this initiative.