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Project Management Office Helps Ensure On-Time Migration at Applera

Company: Applera Corp., a $1.8-billion life sciences company (the parent of Applied Biosystems and Celera Genomics) in Foster City, Calif.

Business: Creating kits and applications for testing of human DNA for forensic and disease identification purposes

CIO: Tama Olver

IT Project: Conversion from IBM Regatta to Linux server for a data center that is used for bioinformatics

Time frame: Six months

Completed: June 2005

Success factor: Oversight by a project management office (PMO) ensured an on-time migration despite initial staff resistance to having a nontechnical person -- a senior project manager -- in charge of the project.

Quote: "There was a fear that as we grew [and instituted mechanisms like a PMO], we would become bureaucratic. But in fact, it was a win-win all the way around. When things get rough and people are working at cross-purposes, the project manager gets people back on track," says Olver.

Lauren Horwitz, former managing editor, production, for CIO Decisions, is now managing editor for TechTarget's Data Center Media Group. Write to her at lhorwitz@techtarget.com.

This was last published in October 2006

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