Business Thread Management – Brussels


We are looking for a Business Thread Management for one of our projects at the European Commission


Belgium – International Organisations


Scope of the services to be provided

To provide services to unit TAXUD B3 in relation to the harmonisation of the CommonReference Data used across all Customs IT systems, be they centralised or distributed, indevelopment and in operation.

Reference data are key parameters for the Customs Systems, they need to be implemented timelyin view of legal and/or operational needs, and in a coherent way across different systems. Thevolume of changes is important (e.g. 120+ tables with 10.000+ codes for each of AES andNCTS-P5 have been set up), also management of both Conformance Testing (CONF) andProduction (PROD) environments is needed.

Any desynchronisation of the reference data between NAs and TAXUD may have a severeimpact on the business continuity of the Customs operations, in particular for the distributed

Trans European Systems such as NCTS, AES and CCI.

The tasks of the expert will be centred on:

• The harmonisation of the Reference Data across all Customs Systems to maximise theirreuse and sharing across the Customs Systems, to avoid redundancies andincompatibilities, guarantee their healthiness;

• The alignment of the Reference Data with the legal bases, Business Process Models,functional and technical specifications;

• The change and release management of the Reference Data and of their subsets/viewsfor the various projects/systems to ensure the business continuity of the Customsoperation while their Reference Data evolve according to plan and the timely andorderly deployment of new systems;

• Documenting and optimizing the architecture, metadata, tools, processes and governanceof the maintenance and the dissemination of the Reference Data and their subsets/viewsfor the various projects/operation systems.

The consultant will work in close collaboration with a B3 official responsible for the CustomsT€S and with a B1 official responsible for the business aspects of Customs Reference Data andits alignment with the EUCDM. The expert will be responsible for the content management of theCS/RD2 application and of any future evolution of it, of its publication services for the CONFand PROD environment, online and/or file extract. S/he must understand the role of codelists both from a business and technical perspective.

In this context it is required the support from a Business Thread Manager (PEX) to:

• Follow and monitor the needs of Reference Data across all Customs projects, witha special attention to the T€S as they are most sensitive to Reference Data qualityand synchronisation;

• Contribute to the Change and Release Management of each project/system as tofoster the reuse and sharing of common code lists and codes across systems andprojects. This includes negotiations across project teams (Legal/Business/ITofficials and experts, NAs representatives, contractors) to reach agreements oftenwith conflicting interests;

• Manage the Change and Release Management of the Reference Data and theirpublishing for the projects and operational systems in time and without undue riskon their business continuity. This includes:

o running a predictable and transparent process with all Customs projectsteams, the business and legal experts and the experts from the NAs;

o producing RfC for the Reference Data, manage their review and the CAB;

• Manage the timely implementation of approved Requests for Change by thecontractor in charge for updating the Reference Data and operating the CS/RD2system, for all dissemination channels (CONF, PROD, file extract,…) andmonitor the activation of the Changes in Conformance Tests and in Production;

• Manage the calls and incidents related to the Reference Data themselves;

• Document the current practices for the change and release management of theReferences data and propose optimisation of the architecture of Reference Dataand their meta data, of their maintenance process, of their supporting tools and oftheir governance with the aim to streamline the Customs Reference Dataecosystems, make it more predictable, transparent, traceable, less risky forbusiness continuity;

• Analyse the feasibility and value of GIT and/or other equivalent technology, toimprove the Change and Release management of the Reference Data.

The consultant´s activities also include:

• To structure, plan, organise and monitor the project(s) he/she is responsible forduring some or all its (their) life cycle phases. To manage and follow up a (set of)project(s) in some or all its (their) life cycle phases (inception, elaboration,construction and transition); during the software development phase of the plan,to manage and follow up, evaluate and contribute with his/her proposals in someor all activities (specifications, development, tests – including tests with MemberStates or other partners, etc.);

• Systematic progress assessment and timely reporting on the project status (tasksprogress, plan, actions, risks, issues, decisions, changes, KPI, etc.) within DGTAXUD and/or with Member States or other partners;

• Accurate and timely support to National Administrations’ (NAs) questions andissues;

• To coordinate within TAXUD, with sub-contractors and with NAs environmentsconfiguration, application deployment; as well as incident, problem, change,configuration and release management;

• To participate and contribute in meetings with DG TAXUD, contractors, MemberStates and/or other partners including preparing material for these meetings; Toparticipate in bilateral meetings with any B3 stakeholder e.g. other units inTAXUD, or EC, MS, traders.

• Escalate risk and issues, in particular the ones with potential impacts on time orresources;

• Propose new initiatives and contribute to the IT system design and strategicplanning work, provide suggestions for service or methodology improvements;

• Contribute to the program planning and delivery of artefacts according to thecontract planning of deliveries; Enforce the delivery of the project(s) according tothe agreed schedule, with the expected quality and with the resources provided;

• Set up and enforce the respect of organisation, procedures and project officetasks, raising warnings in case of non-respect of these; Ensure compliance withinternal standards, raising warnings in case of non-respect of these;

• Structure the information in ways that are appropriate to the target audience;

• Understand , the project, including the risks and the success factors. Work withthe help of solution architects/IT analysts only on complex matters;

• Contribute, review to and provide input to the validation of contractors’proposals; Produce and/or review documents; Asses the quality of deliverable andservices from contractors;

• Support to transversal activities such has conference calls, produce documents,documents review, meetings minutes and quality checks.


In order to deliver the service to the required standards, the consultant should have thefollowing previous experience and skills:

• General knowledge of European Customs legislation, processes and data;

• Extensive experience with Reference Data and enterprise architecture solutions in adistributed operational environment.

• Recent experience with large scale complex IT systems: architecting; data andbusiness process modelling; development; deployment and operation; conformancetesting against agreed standards; preparing and rolling-out of transition and/ormigration from the one operational phase to the subsequent one;

• Experience in project management supported by a well-established projectmanagement certification e.g. PMI, PM2, PM2-Agile, Prince2.

• Recent experience in change and release management and methods/tools hereof (e.g.JIRA, GIT, CASE environments…)

• Experience in negotiating technical solutions e.g. coming to an agreement ondivergent views on data structures;

• Experience in consultation and coordination with business stakeholders for theassigned IT projects;

• Recent experience in international/multicultural environment;

• Recent experience in consulting, coordinating and managing multiple contractors incharge of IT projects, of deployment in operationRecent experience with ProjectManagement tools (such as MS Project, Word, Excel and Visio); willingness to usethe project management tool and methodologies as specified by DG TAXUD;

• Expert XML, XSLT knowledge;

• Technical knowledge of the European Commission standard IT products andtechnologies;

• Strong organisational, project management and coordination skills with manyinternational stakeholders;

• Ability to present and to animate collective intelligence sessions, rapid self-startingcapability and ability to work autonomously;

• Experience in progress monitoring and reporting to all levels within the organisationand involved stakeholders;

• Good communication skills (adapt the information to the target audience);

• Ability to produce minutes, notes, business cases, vision documents, service levelagreements, terms of collaboration, planning schedules, etc.;

• Ability to understand the technological aspects of the project, as well as the risks andthe success factors;

• Knowledge of EU Customs and/or WCO Data model is an asset;

• Knowledge of ITIL Service management framework is an asset;

• Experience with making presentations in front of large audiences;

• A customer oriented approach.


David Buyse


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