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Telecommunications Giant Entrusts Judge Group to Source Highly Skilled PM for 5G Core Rollout

5G Cell Service logo on Cell phone

Executive Summary

An American multinational Fortune 500 telecommunications conglomerate headquartered in Philadelphia, PA needed a highly skilled senior technical project manager to assist with its 5G rollout roadmap.

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The Challenge: Placing a highly qualified Project Manager for a technical project

The company sought a senior technical project manager to assist with developmental strategies and maintenance for its 5G roadmap. The role was for a project manager (PM) of “Integration Core,” the data center that connects the company’s cell towers together. The ultimate success of the project hinged on finding the right candidate, who needed to understand the relationships between DevOps and Agile to support the continuous integration of both, as well as the differences between 5G and 5G Core (5GC), throughout the process. The challenge the company faced was twofold: First, they needed to launch a Phase 1 5G Trial before additional phases could be deployed in subsequent months. Many components had to be ready for the Phase 1 trial to take place. The incoming PM would need to focus first on 5GC as it was the critical path and a dependency for all the other components. Additionally, the PM would be responsible for establishing and managing the critical tasks and milestones required across all components to establish the trial as well as Program Level End-to-End testing.

The Solution: Sourcing a candidate with the requisite skills and necessary knowledge in a highly competitive marketplace

With a long-standing relationship and proven success in fulfilling its hiring needs, the company turned to The Judge Group for help. It was important to the company that the PM they hired had a DevOps and Agile background to help with continuous integration and troubleshooting. Despite a nationwide shortage of skilled professionals proficient in building and maintaining critical 5G infrastructure, Judge provided the company with highly skilled candidates with the requisite experience and filled the position quickly and efficiently. Without access to Judge’s network of loyal, highly skilled contractors, the company would have likely spent months sourcing an appropriate candidate. During their tenure with the company, the PM played many pivotal roles, including managing vendors, driving the vendor implementation to keep it on schedule, and facilitating solutions to schedule and design issues working with vendor and company design teams. The PM also managed the E2E test program, met with test stakeholders to establish a program level test plan, mapping roadmap features to test cases, planned schedules and regression cadences, and set up and ran weekly meetings with the test teams to monitor progress to completion.

The Results: A successful trial ready for production launch

Ultimately, the PM’s work led to the successful and timely completion of 5GC through the daily tracking of schedules, managing delays, and driving issues to closure. It was important for the company to successfully meet this challenge because the trial would be used to validate the user experience, functionality, and performance of the service to ensure it would meet the needs of paying customers which would ultimately satisfy the business case allowing the service to be profitable. The PM managed delays as they arose and assisted with tying up all loose ends. This allowed the dependent components and workstreams to complete their integration with the core and proceed with successful trial readiness by the requested date. Not only did the trial start successfully, it continues to evolve as the company now prepares for production launch with paying customers. The PM generated further value by creating a “lesson learned” analysis to help optimize processes and future core work.

Specifically, the PM:

  • Facilitated the key ceremony working with the Arch and design teams
  • Structured the initial monthly roadmap working with product management
  • Acted as release management, tracking software versions at scheduled E2E test meetings
  • Facilitated and drove the first call on the 5GC from the Device Lab
  • Established triage rules for internal E2E test issues working with the operations team
  • Managed core side OEM/GNOC connectivity
  • Drove the RAN vendor to bring up and integrate the device lab and managed escalation of RAN vendor delays