R&D support transition

Unilever R&D is a truly global organisation of over 6,000 professionals in specialist facilities that spread from Argentina to Japan. To support the global research R&D uses special R&D applications: configured standard software or special build for R&D. 

Project case


The objectives that were realised:

  • Transfer of seven in-flight & already operational R&D applications to an application support group;
  • Implemented IT application support model & process for these IT applications, to improve service levels and quality of support;
  • Free up project management resources that were involved in support activities of these applications;
  • Defined specific support & contracting requirements and contracts for the support by the various application suppliers;
  • Accepted application by service delivery management based on service acceptance criteria;
  • Defined & verified SLA’s and verified support readiness for these applications;
  • Optimized the technical and functional support framework for R&D applications based on the agreed governance principles;

Knowledge in the line organisation of transition processes.


A lot of R&D applications, like laboratory information systems, packaging systems, electronic patents systems, safety datasheets systems to comply with the European Union legislation and product analyses systems, are live but still in project mode and not in support mode. Goal is to support these key applications on an efficient, uniform manner structured for incident, problem and change management and gets out of the current in some cases, semi-permanent project mode. The expected benefits are process quality-, organisational-, process control related and free-up projects with support activities.

KWD Resultaatmanagement, specialist in senior project- and program management, asked to transit a number of key applications from project to support mode and make this a model for other applications. Approach Investigate with key stakeholders the project approach to adapt and adopt the project plan. Installed a project team with delivery, support and process experts. Installed  a steering group with senior management to discuss the detailed overview of all key applications in scope and the support processes. Made with the service delivery and support organisation the formal service acceptance- and operational acceptance criteria before the transition of a application. Also made a Pre transition checklist, a workbreakdown structure for transition an application,  to track a trace a transition.  The did a phase transition of worldwide global R&D applications with a dedicated transition team per transition: first candidate, evaluate, second and third application and then the rest.

“ A very well managed programme that now provides a professionalized support service for key R&D applications. The program Manager of KWD was particularly strong in the way he used the Steering Group to make timely and effective decisions. He has a very refreshing style of Project Management. Hope to work with him again. ”
Sponsor Vineet Bhalla, Global IT Business Partner Director, Unilever Research & Development

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