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BBC Online Industry Briefing: New Ways of Working

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Ralph Rivera Ralph Rivera | 14:40 UK time, Monday, 27 June 2011

Jane McCloskey, Chris Russell, Simon Lucy and Ralph Rivera gave these presentations during the June 17 BBC Online Industry Briefing, before taking audience questions.

Doing Business with BBC Online (Ralph and Jane)

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Ralph Rivera introduced Jane by talking about the need for a culture of partnership with the digital media industry. He emphasized that external spend reduced from £19.5m to c £18.5m in 11/12, not on the scale of of overall funding cuts.

We actually took more people out of the business, so that's the process that we're going through, rather than external spend.

Jane McCloskey, the head of supplier management, described how the BBC is building this more meaningful engagement - the Advisory Group, the open external events calendar, and the new external supply process. In the new system, work less than £20K will be done direct, for work between £20K and £50K three suppliers will be asked to tender, and work above £50K will go to a technical roster or an editorial open brief.

Product Management and Lifecycle (Chris Russell)

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Chris Russell laid out BBC Online's methods of product management. For example, a Product Direction Group will make the big decision for each product, and all products will follow a consistent lifecycle.

The Platform: The BBC's New Technology Stack (Simon Lucy)

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Simon Lucy began at the beginning. Andrew Fox tweeted:

AndrewFox Now: history of BBC platform. Was simple HTML with server side includes. Until very recently. 17 Jun 15:39

The system is now a presentation layer (mostly PHP) over a service layer (often Java) over a data layer. Several pan-BBC services (such as logging users in) service the service layer. Simon also described the range of tools used to document (eg Confluence), track issues (eg JIRA), and manage builds.

Simon Lucy joined Ralph Rivera, Chris Russell, and Jane McCloskey to take audience questions. These included:

  • William Makower, Panlogic about feedback on tenders
  • Chris Kempt from Kempt about when three tenders are invited
  • Pari Faramarzi from WTG asking how often the Technical Roster would be refreshed
  • Mike Dicks from Pact about how the £18m spend splits between technical and editorial

 

Jane McCloskey is the Head of Supplier Management, Vision. Chris Russell is the Head of Product Management News and Knowledge, Future Media. Simon Lucy is the Head of Platforms, Future Media. Ralph Rivera is the Director, Future Media.

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