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UK Intellectual Property Office Selects EPM Live For Their PPM Solution

The Intellectual Property Office helps you get the right type of protection for your creation or invention. They are the official government body responsible for granting Intellectual Property (IP) rights in the United Kingdom. 

Intellectual Property Office is an Executive Agency of the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) and they promote innovation by providing a clear, accessible and widely understood IP system, which enables the economy and society to benefit from knowledge and ideas.

An Intellectual property (IP) is any form of original creation that can be bought or sold – from music to machinery. The four main types of IP rights are patents, trade marks, designs and copyright but there are many other ways to protect your IP

For more information on  the Intellectual Property Office and how they can protect your creation or invention click here!

Use EPM Live Wikis for Team Communication

Many of you will work in distributed teams where you have project team members located in a number of offices. This can be a real challenge for communication. Even a large team based in one city may not all share the same office space. How do you share knowledge with people who are not based locally, without expensive travel or taking time away from the day job to host knowledge sharing sessions? A wiki is one way to help tackle the communication challenge for distributed teams.  Read on to see how project management software can leverage wikis to improve project collaboration. 

‘Wiki’ comes from the Hawaiian word meaning ‘quick’. It also stands for ‘What I Know Is’. Essentially, it is a collection of linked web pages about a topic or series of topics. In project terms, you could have a wiki for a project, or your Project Management Office could set up an enterprise wiki at the portfolio level. Project team members can access the wiki, create new pages for new information or update existing pages with new information.

If that sounds complicated, it’s really not at all. If you can type a document in a word processing package, you can use a wiki. There is no complicated coding required and you can create, update and search pages straight from your web browser.

Wikis in practice

Let me give you an example of how this works. One project manager we know has created a project wiki. Her project is to implement a new IT system for around 2,000 staff, and the wiki is kind of like a Frequently Asked Questions database. Each time someone asks a question, a wiki entry is created, so that in the future other people with the same question can search the wiki and find the answer themselves – the idea is to take the burden off the project team and share information.

This project manager has also created a number of sections for the project team – technical information, data about server models and IP address ranges and so on. This is updated when the project team has new data, or when things change. As a result, they aren’t looking back through emails to find the latest situation, which is risky as they could pull up something that is out of date. The wiki gives everyone the same version of the project status.

Through their wiki, they have also created a great knowledge repository to hand over the operational team once the new IT system is live. Keywords on the wiki pages link to other pages, so the wiki has become like a little website in its own right. People can navigate around the wiki, clicking on topics to get more information, and this will be a great benefit to the IT help desk team when they have to take customer queries when the project goes live.

Working around the world

Wikis have another advantage for distributed teams. They are not synchronous communication. By that we mean that you don’t have to have people there at the same time, like you would on a conference call. Someone in the Sydney office can update the wiki and when the London team come into work later that day they have instant access to the latest changes.

Your project wiki becomes the first place to look for all the relevant project data, wherever you are in the world. Users can upload images, documents, other project artifacts or even videos so that their colleagues always have the latest information to hand.

Wikis allow you to search knowledge

Wikis typically have great search functionality, so you don’t have to worry too much about setting up a good information architecture to begin with. Pretty much the only rule is not to duplicate pages, so if you are going to give multiple people in the project team access to create new pages, ask them to check to see if something on the topic exists already before setting up a new page.

Of course, if you can add a bit of structure to your wiki, your project team will thank you for it later. Try to group relevant topics together, such as status updates and meeting minutes, and use hyperlinks on the pages to ensure it is easy for people to navigate between wiki entries.

A good way to do this is to add simple links to each relevant entry saying something like ‘back to all videos’, ‘go to main meetings page’ or similar.

Some wikis, like the functionality that comes with EPM Live Project Wiki’s, allow you to subscribe to updates through an RSS feed so that you can keep up with all the new entries, and click through to topics that interest you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

You’ll never miss any project updates again!

EPM Live Welcomes IonPhasE Oy to Our Valued List of Customers!

Solving Static Electricity Challenges in Plastics

IonPhasE is an innovative solution provider of static dissipative polymers, that helps you to manage ESD and static electricity related issues in plastics materials. Based in Tampere, Finland, IonPhasE® IPE® technology is made with patented polymer structure designed for specific applications in the Electronic and Chemical industry packaging.

Their products have applications in the electronics industry, chemical industry, food packaging industry, automotive industry and many others.

IonPhasE offers a wide range of static dissipative masterbatches that fit to your process and products.

Click here to learn more about IonPhasE 

 

 

 

 

 

EPM Live's Project Management Software Stands Out at the Gartner PPM Summit

This past week EPM Live exhibited at the Gartner PPM and IT Governance Summit 2012. Held at the beautiful Gaylord National Hotel in National Harbor, Maryland, it turned out to be another exciting show for EPM Live. 

The exhibit hall opened Monday morning with a surge of attendees coming through the open doors excited about seeing all the PPM solutions being highlighted on the show floor.  Immediately, the EPM Live  booth became packed with attendees ready for demos of our product and loaded with questions. 

EPM Live’s All Users, All Work, All Processes in one centralized location approach to PPM was an attractive concept to attendees. The EPM Live solution allows users of all maturity levels to collaborate and work at a level that is comfortable to them, increasing user adaptability within the organization. Bringing in all work and not just project tasks allows project managers to accurately understand which projects and types of work are consuming their most valuable resources and allowing them to effectively realign staffing plans based on changing priorities and budgets. EPM Live also supports Agile and Waterfall PPM methodologies as well as leveraging pre-built solution application templates for Application Portfolio Management, Professional Services Automation, New Product Development, and IT Planning and Control.

By far the most popular EPM Live edition at the Gartner PPM Summit was PortfolioEngine, our strategic top-down portfolio planning tool. Although our three editions build on top of each other creating a robust amount of capabilities for the user to leverage, some of the attendees favorite capabilities of PortfolioEngine, our top tier edition, was the Portfolio Management, Financial Management, Demand Management, What-If Modeling and Reporting. 

And of course, it would not be an EPM Live event without an unforgettable grand finale!  EPM Live closed out the event with a VIP after party at the world famous Bobby McKey’s Dueling Piano Bar.  Gartner PPM Summit attendees as well as a little friendly competition all wanted in on the fun as they joined EPM Live for a night of dancing, singing and costuming!  We look forward to seeing everyone again in the near future! 

Click on the thumbnail below to check out the party pics from the EPM Live VIP After Party.

 

 

No Excuses. Use Proper Project Management for Marketing Campaigns Too! EPM Live Makes It Easy.

At EPM Live we like to think outside of the box when it comes to the ability Enterprise Project Management. Who needs multiple systems when you can configure the right software to be an all in one work management solution for your entire organization. Project Management solutions are not only for large-scale technical, construction, and manufacturing projects, they’re also a necessity for marketing campaigns, big and small.  Essentially all projects have the same basic management needs; optimization of time, cost and resource alignment. You may have heard the excuse with regards to the management of a marketing campaign; “It’s only a small project, it’s not worth the time and effort of putting together a project plan. We can just use a spreadsheet”. However, this approach carries great risks.  The ability to complete a marketing campaign on schedule, within budget, and with fair resource allocation, necessitates careful project planning.

Successful marketing campaign execution requires:

  • Estimating team work efforts accurately and recognizing dependencies
  • Managing scope change through analysis, options, opportunity costs/trade-offs, and formal communications with the stakeholders
  • Anticipating risks and devising contingency plans to manage them
  • Meeting project financial targets
  • Reporting project status accurately, transparently, and in a timely manner
  • Creating open channels of communication and ongoing collaboration
  • Administering basic project tasks such as project setup and status reports

EPM Live Enterprise Project Management solutions ensure that work is delivered within the established timeframe and to a high standard. EPM Live Project Software makes it easy to setup and execute effective project management for any project- yes, even the small marketing campaigns. EPM Live provides easy-to-use planning tools, document management, collaboration tools, reporting, and other PPM essentials that are created in minutes and immediately available for sharing amongst team members and stakeholders.

It’s actually pretty simple to get started.  We set up all of our marketing projects including events, campaigns, email and internet marketing, etc. within EPM Live and modified the data points (on our own without the need for a technical guru) to reflect the data we needed to see. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After they were all entered, we created our cost categories and began to enter estimated cost for all projects.  We were able to establish resource plans as well as cost plans for the various costs associated to each campaign.  Although I’ve whited out our cost values, you can get an idea of the various cost categories you can create by looking at the graphic below.  On top of that, we were able to create our own cost types (budget, forecast and actuals) to be able to track against moving forward. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Next step, detailed project schedules!  We created our schedules in Microsoft Project and published them to EPM Live using the EPM Live Project Publisher.  What a cinch!  Now we have our projects, cost plans and schedules on in one centralized location!  For our less complex schedules we used EPM Live’s online planner.  Once we had all of our project data entered we then leveraged EPM Live’s Outlook Publisher to publish our EPM Live tasks to Outlook so that we could work directly from there.  Now we have the choice to go to the “my work” view within EPM Live as seen below…… 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or simply navigate to our Outlook task list and access and status our tasks directly from there. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as you can see, managing marketing campaigns in a Project Management Tool has never been easier! 

EPM Live offers three editions of our Project Management solution to meet the needs of every organization. Easily deployed online or on-premise, EPM Live will give your team the tools they need to create efficiencies and empower resources to work smart and get more work done.

With EPM Live there are no more excuses to not use proper project management techniques for your organization’s marketing campaign. Get started today with a Free Trial!

EPM Live Welcomes FirstSouthwest to it's Valued Customer Profile

 FirstSouthwest is one of the country’s largest diversified investment banks, delivering expertise and insight to clients across varied industry specialties including:

  • Public sector entities in Public Finance
  • Individual and institutional investors in Capital Markets
  • Middle-market businesses in Corporate Finance
  • Broker-Dealers and Investment Advisors in Clearing Services

Known as the Public Finance expert in the United States, FirstSouthwest provides financial advisory, underwriting, asset management and consulting services to diverse public sector entities nationwide. We consistently rank as one of the top financial advisors in the U.S. for tax-exempt issuances of debt, based both on number and par value of bond issues and for the past decade, FirstSouthwest has been the leading registered advisor in terms of par amount and number of issues.

Their unique corporate culture attracts highly experienced talent and encourages long-term commitment to their firm. Twenty-five percent of their 350 employees have worked for FirstSouthwest at least 10 years and some have worked for the firm as long as 40 years.

Known for an expertise in personalized client service, their people build trusting and durable relationships with clients. With 63-years of success, broad range of experience, proven track record and dedicated employees distinguish them from their competitors.

FirstSouthwest is a registered broker/dealer with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), regulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and adhere to the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). The firm is a member of the Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC).

Click here to learn more about FirstSouthwest

 

PPM for the Enterprise Part 2 – The Importance of Understanding Maturity

In order to make a deployment successful you must know and understand your audience: 

  • Who will be using the tool?
  • What challenges are the users facing with their current processes and toolsets?
  • What benefits are expected out of the tool for each of the user roles?
  • What capabilities are needed to ensure this application will meet the user’s needs?
  • Where does each user fall in organizational project management maturity? 

Introducing a new system that is designed to take an organization from level one maturity to level five maturity in the first phase is destined to fail and will only introduce risks.  Organizational readiness is a critical factor in implementing a PPM system that will essentially make or break your deployment success.  Let’s take a look at all the areas where maturity can be measured.

 Users

There is more to PPM design then just defining the various roles in your organization.  You must also understand the functions that each role plays in the business as well as what tools and processes are being leveraged to execute them.  There are many maturity models available to help you determine where your organization and users reside in project management maturity.  I tend to prefer the maturity model published by Gartner for PPM Maturity. 

Maturity can be measured by the tools and processes currently in place as well as the disciplines supported by them.  Again, the faster you move up in maturity, the more risks you will introduce.  When implementing a new system it is always a good idea to start with a transfer of the current processes.  For example, if a user is managing their resources through a list of projects found in an excel worksheet; transfer that same process into the new toolset.  If the user expresses that the same process is also one of their core challenges, make adjustments to that process where needed but start at the same level of process maturity within the PPM application.  As users become familiar with the toolset, it will be appropriate to mature their processes as well as adopt new functionality within the PPM system.  User readiness is crucial.  Enforcing your users to utilize a tool that leverages disciplines and processes that are unfamiliar will only result in user frustration, low user adaption and overall rejection of a critical investment.  Don’t expect to implement a PPM system that will leverage the same functionality for every user; instead, implement a flexible and scalable system that will accommodate all users and allow them to improve their productivity through gradual maturity progression. 

It is wise to not only determine current organizational readiness and maturity but also define a roadmap to ensure your organization has a plan for improving overall maturity to gain better control and management of all project and operational investments.

Capabilities

Similar to users, there are multiple levels of maturity found in system capabilities.  As you define the processes that are currently in place for your users, the capability maturity will also be revealed.  Let’s take a look at some of the common PPM capabilities that will be defined in your PPM system. 

Portfolio Management

Portfolio management includes both the discipline of identifying and selecting the RIGHT projects for your portfolio as well as the ability to effectively manage your portfolio of projects once they have entered the execution phase. Although portfolio selection is critical, many organizations begin with project execution or the managing of project schedules long before they consider the benefits of portfolio selection.  Identifying the right projects for your business may include processes such as determining business objective alignment, identifying risk probability, resource and cost planning, and project portfolio scenario modeling.  For the execution level user, portfolio management may simply be portfolio visibility across all projects and work.  Visibility into project status, resources and costs generates awareness and will help prevent unforeseen risk to maintain a healthy portfolio.  Questions that will help determine portfolio management maturity may include:

  • Will this tool help you manage potential projects?
  • What kind of information is required to accept or approve a project?
  • What is the process for moving projects from proposal to execution?
  • What project and work data must be seen across your portfolio to ensure a healthy portfolio?

Project Management

Projects and work will be the core of your PPM system.  Project management maturity is a critical factor in determining what tools should be implemented and to what level of functionality.  Don’t be surprised if you end up spending the bulk of your design session answering the following question:  How do you define a project?  Most organizations function at a low maturity level.  Maturity can be measured by the processes already in place within your PMO or across your projects.  For example, are processes clearly defined or are they ad hoc?  Do users use the same tool consistently or is everyone on their own when determining what tool works best for them?  It is important here to understand what type of projects and work will be handled in the PPM system and how that work will be defined.  Will you manage that work at the task level, the milestone level, or will projects be entered and tracked at the project level?  Imagine your filling out a document or project charter regarding your upcoming work.  What questions need to be answered and what data needs to be defined?  Once you have clearly identified the information that must be captured for all your projects, define what processes will take place to execute on them.  How will you manage changes, issues and risks?   The level of project detail and the depth of your processes will help determine maturity and corresponding functionality that should be introduced to the business within the PPM platform. 

Schedule Management

In the last discipline area of project management you determined whether or not your projects will be detailed to the task level or will be managed at the project level only.  If you determined that they will be managed at the task level, schedule management is the next necessary topic for design.  This area is critical because we all work differently.  Many PPM tools give you one scheduling option.  This could be a point of failure for many organizations.  Which user maturity level will the scheduling tool accommodate?   For those that fall above or below that particular maturity level, what tool will they use?  User adoption is the only answer for a successful PPM system.  Every user must have the tools necessary to manage their work at their level of comfort.  If I’m a Marketing Director who needs to maintain a simple list of campaigns, there is no question that I will need a different scheduling tool than a Construction Manager who needs to manage the build of a new hospital to code. 

Resource Management

Resource management can mean many things.  Let’s take a look at the various ways resource management can be applied to your PPM tool.  There is much more to this discipline than simply assigning work to a resource.  We’ll take it from the bottom up.  A task or work is put into the system and a resource is assigned.  The resource goes into the system, views his/her work, executes on the work and marks it as 100% complete.  Some organizations stop here in the practice of resource management, but there are many more levels to reveal.  How do you know which resource is available to work on the task?  How do you know if they have the right skill set?  Let’s now work from the top town.  A project has been defined and you need to build a resource plan against it.  You don’t know who is available or who has the proper expertise but you do know what role you need.  You schedule 5 developers over the next 3 months to work on this project.  Now you want to see which developers meet the requirements of your project. 

Cost Management

Let’s move on to cost management.  The following questions should be considered when determining cost management needs for your PPM system.  At what level do you plan your project budget: project or task?  This again will help you determine where the budget data will be entered into the tool.  What types of costs must be tracked?  For example do you only want to track the costs associated with resources, or also other project costs such as purchases, expenses, materials, subcontractors, overhead, etc.?  If the answer to this question is expenses, you may want to design an expense form used to track expenses and apply against your project’s financials.  If your organization isn’t prepared to exercise cost management at the task or work level, don’t.  Start where you are now and then mature your processes as you adapt to the tool.  A system that houses partial data can lead to poor decision making.  How will you know what decisions are necessary when you don’t have the visibility to see where you currently are with your costs? 

Tracking and Controlling

Tracking and controlling is important because it not only defines the data to be tracked but the process for how it will be tracked within the system.  For example, do you want team members to supply detailed progress information about their assignments?  If so, you may want to allow team members the ability to go into their tasks and enter percent complete so that the updates can automate back into your schedule to save time and improve efficiency. 

Are you looking to include timesheets in your PPM system or are you looking to integrate your current timesheet system?  If you do want to include timesheets in the system you will want to make sure that it has been configured to include the proper categories needed to reflect your business needs.  If you were reporting actual hours worked on a weekly basis against projects, would you complete your time entry daily or do it at the end of the week?  This response is also needed to help define your timesheet configuration. 

What work do you want to track?  Is there a requirement to identify and track changes in scope or other issues when project status changes?  If the answer is yes, you may want to define attributes needed for a change request list/log so project owners can easily adapt to those changes and adjust their costs, schedules and resources accordingly.  Do you have a requirement to track project issues and risks? Is there a requirement to track other work items that need to be considered when managing your projects and resources such as service requests, action items, etc.?  Again, data capture must take place for ALL work if it affects your costs, resources and/or schedule. 

Reporting and Business Intelligence

Now that we have addressed the main content needed for project and work definition and management, let’s take a look at some of the outputs that may be considered in your PPM system design.  Some questions to consider are:

  • Do you have reports that you use today that are used for analysis or decision making?
  • Do you currently have a requirement to generate weekly/monthly status report? 
  • Do you have any standard reports required for your projects?
  • What type of information would be useful when viewing project status? 

All of these questions will help you determine what reports and dashboards are necessary to ensure you are getting the outputs required to maximize ROI and optimize value of your PPM and work management system. 

As you can imagine, there are many more questions that can be asked to help you define a detailed business-specific design that is right for your organization.  Other areas that must be considered in design include integration, demand management, workflow and governance and general collaboration needs.  As questions are answered and more questions are generated, make sure you are considering every user and every maturity level.  The level in which you capture data can vary, but ensuring that the system is built to make it easy to capture data COMPLETELY, across all projects and work, is critical for visibility and accuracy.

Keep an eye open next week for PPM for the Enterprise Part 3, “PPM Deployment Tips”.

PPM for the Enterprise Part 1 – Common PPM Deployment Challenges

There are many factors to consider when assessing your PPM (Enterprise Project Portfolio Management) needs across your organization.  It occurs more often than not that financial constraints or time to market requirements outweigh the critical need to truly understand and evaluate the original need for this organizational change.   Of course that’s not to say that those seeking PPM disciplines and applications don’t have objectives in mind; but, whose objectives are they and how can you meet those objectives by enforcing a tool or discipline that only benefits those at the top?  Well, in my mind the answer is simple…you can’t.  The most common mistake made in PPM deployments is the inability to define all stakeholders, their challenges, their tools and processes, and most importantly their current state of organizational project management maturity.  An effective strategy for PPM implementation addresses all of the following areas: 

–       Who will be using the system?

–       What are their current PPM challenges?

–       What tools and processes are they using today?

Very similar to branding, which I’ll touch on a bit later, knowing and understanding your target audience will undoubtedly result in higher user adaption, leading to overall acceptance and maximized ROI. 

In this 5 part blog series, I will be covering the following topics: 

  1. Common PPM Deployment Challenges
  2. PPM Maturity – Users and Capabilities
  3. PPM Deployment Tips
  4. PPM Branding
  5. PPM Tools that Address Today’s
    Challenges

Before we get into the various areas where maturity can be measured, let’s first discuss three common challenges that can potentially cause a negative impact on PPM deployments. 

#1 – One solution rarely fits the needs of all users

An enterprise system typically isn’t tailored to meet all team’s/user’s needs.  An enterprise system is just that, a tool to be shared and used by the entire organization.  The problem is that most teams in an organization work differently.  They have different processes, they follow different leaders, and they have different areas of focus which results in different work.  A PPM system must allow you to define your enterprise needs and then customize the tool to meet the needs of individual teams or departments.  If each user understands that the tool will meet their needs and resolve their pain points, everyone wins.  Executives get to see what they need across the enterprise and individual teams can work the way they work to make the tool effective.  Usability equals success in an enterprise system, the data outputs are only as good as the information going into the tool. 

# 2 – A PPM system rarely accommodates all other work that affects your project resources

For example, where in my PPM system can I find my service request ticket that is affecting my ability to complete my project tasks on time? There are several components of PPM that are essential and the most important one is resource management.  If you can’t effectively manage your resources how will you end up with a quality product within budget and delivered on time?  Once again, the answer is, you can’t.  In order to perform the resource management functions needed to obtain project success you must capture all work, not just project tasks.  Let’s say that Jim and Bill are working on my project and I can’t figure out why they are so far behind on their tasks.  I go into the PPM system and I see that they are only 50% allocated to three projects combined. As a PM that doesn’t give me the insight needed to effectively manage my resources.  It also doesn’t help Jim and Bill with productivity because most likely they have a different system for every type of work they are managing.  The solution?  Your PPM system must have the ability to manage all work associated with all resources so that you can properly manage your organization’s most valuable assets… your resources.  If you can remove the silos of information spread across your organization and accommodate all work in one solution, not only will you increase productivity but you could potentially reduce significant costs by eliminating unnecessary infrastructure, reducing the need for dedicated system expertise and removing the ongoing expense of maintaining redundant systems.

# 3 – PPM systems seldom represent a complete portfolio making visibility into all investments
impossible

Have you ever looked at your project portfolio in your PPM system and wondered why you are only seeing $265,000 worth of projects when you know you have allocated three times that amount for execution? Projects are everywhere, not just in your PMO or IT departments. You buy into project management because it proves to be valuable.  It is worth investing dollars to hire project managers to manage the large projects; it’s almost like buying insurance.  You need to protect your original investment of saying “yes” let’s execute on it!  But an organization’s portfolio will never be complete without including all the small projects that keep the business running.  Projects are everywhere and so are the resources running those initiatives.  Isn’t visibility into all your investments critical in understanding your true portfolio health?  A true PPM system must be able to accommodate all projects large and small which means project management maturity will vary.  A PPM system, in order to accomplish a complete portfolio, must provide tools for both complex schedule management as well as lightweight schedule management…no project management scheduling expertise needed.   It is not realistic to believe that every project in your organization will be run by a true seasoned and experienced project manager.  It is essential to consider all aspects of your work portfolio, accommodate all projects and offer a tool for every user in your organization.  

Every user within your organization will have different needs.  As you can see from the challenges mentioned above, it is critical to accommodate and meet the needs of all users within your project AND work management tool.  As you begin discussions of building a solution for your organization, don’t forget to consider all users that will eventually play a role in acceptance and usability.

Keep an eye open next week for PPM for the Enterprise Part 2, “Understanding Maturity”.

Jack in the Box Implements EPM Live to Reduce Cost and Improve PPM Maturity

EPM Live recently sat down with Kourtney Kennedy, PMP, Manager of Jack in the Box IT Portal Development.  Jack in the Box is one of the nation’s largest hamburger chains with more than 2,200 restaurants in 19 states.  Most people don’t know they were even responsible for developing the first major hamburger chain drive-thru.

Now that you know who they are, let’s touch on EPM Live’s relationship with Jack.  Jack in the Box had a common pain point with many IT organizations today; they had a multi-maturity organization that required a Project, Portfolio Management (PPM) solution that would meet the needs of each individual, each team and every department.  EPM Live has completed hundreds of large EPM implementations since its conception in 1999.  It is refreshing to see that many of the common challenges that were faced 5 years ago have been addressed with easy to use, yet comprehensive technology.  It is no longer impossible for organizations to have a one-size-fits-all solution that will indeed meet the needs of every stakeholder.  Jack in the Box is the perfect case study to reflect this evolution.  The system was designed to give executives visibility into all project and work initiatives within the organization, while at the same time, meeting the needs of each individual team.  They type of work didn’t matter, EPM Live could handle iterative planning for the product teams, complex project planning for IT and lightweight planning or simple to do lists for all other functional teams.  Take a look at some of the highlights below; to download the full case study or view the case study video, please click here.

Challenge:

  • Jack in the Box was using multiple segregated systems to run their projects
  • There were multiple project management maturity levels within the organization.  Jack in the Box could only accommodate those who were mature enough to use a complex toolset.   Adoption was low and there was resistance to use the current system in place
  • Project schedules were scattered and were not available for global visibility
  • Project communication was not structured nor centralized
  • Project requests were copied and pasted into toolset and received through multiple methods
  • IT contracts and requests were difficult to submit, making IT services hard to obtain

Solution:

  • Support 687 users and over 600 projects
  • Leverage system already in place (SharePoint) to protect current IT investments
  • Remove disparate and segregated legacy systems and accommodate all users, all work and all processes
  • Map to current processes already in place
  • Meet requirements for multiple teams, users and roles
  • Aid in the portfolio management selection process by scoring project requests via defined KPIs

Results:

  • Global visibility into work and projects across the entire organization for more informed decision making and control
  • Reduction of dollars spent on redundant systems and duplicated effort
  • Organized method of managing work to reduce resource effort and increase productivity
  • Standardized tools and processes to implement best practices and repeatable processes
  • Eliminated the risks and costs associated with implementing the wrong projects or those that would provide minimal value to the organization
  • Roadmap and plan to gradually increase PPM maturity across the organization
  • One tool to support all users and processes
  • Increased value of IT by automating processes and making it easy for business owners to make requests

If you would like more information on how EPM Live can help your multi-maturity organization, please feel free to contact us or join one of our recent webinars, “Implementing Enterprise Project Portfolio Management for a Multi-maturity Organization“.  To sign up for a free trial, please click here.

PPM for Government – How Government Agencies Can Leverage EPM Live to Reduce IT Spending

Last week, Federal Chief Information Officer, Steven VanRoekel released the following statement in his blog, “This week, we released the details of the FY 2013 IT Budget request totaling $78.8 billion. This is a 0.75 percent decrease from the FY 2012 enacted level of  $79.4 billion – and is noteworthy given the historical growth of Government IT spending. In fact, from FY 2001 through FY 2009, IT spending nearly doubled, growing at an annual rate of 7 percent.”  He then went on to say, “We are seizing on the power of 21st century technology to consolidate data centers; move to lightweight, shareable technologies, such as cloud computing, while also directing agencies to consolidate commodity IT services; and shift to shared services. For example, the Department of Defense (DOD) is saving up to $300 million in FY 2013 from the closure of 100 data centers and the President’s Budget proposes close to a $1 billion decrease in their IT budget.”

As with many organizations, the administration is looking to IT to help reduce costs and maximize efficiencies. By consolidating systems, leveraging cloud computing and bettering Project and Portfolio Management processes, government agencies can make these goals a reality.

Achieving operational efficiency while running large-scale programs effectively are mission critical disciplines that many organizations must conquer to receive the true benefits of IT. EPM Live has had the opportunity to work with many government organizations in the last 10 years.  During the current recession many government leaders have been instructed to cut IT budgets. That being said, they are also looking to IT to reduce costs as a result of IT initiatives. So how can government leaders do more with less?  EPM Live’s strategies that have been implemented via government contracts  including Federal civilian, department of defense as well as state and local governments include:

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  • Eliminating Redundant Systems and Segregated Silos of Information – Government agencies have a tendency to build custom solutions that are disconnected from other IT platforms.  The escalating trend and popularity of SaaS (software-as-a-service) and cloud services can help these government organizations bring systems to market quickly, less costly and without the overhead and infrastructure typically required to implement new systems, not to mention the maintenance that follows. Because EPM Live is an “all work” platform, eliminating unnecessary legacy systems is a reality.  Managing all work within an organization including projects, operational work, products, etc. on one system is now possible. Just like any other business in the world today, these government agencies must not lose site of innovation, new technology and new ways of managing work in order to keep a competitive edge. Data center growth can now take a back seat and data consolidation can bring to light the significance of having more resources available to work on the initiatives that will bring more value to the organization.
  • Implementing Project Portfolio Management (PPM) – Resulting in Better Decision Making and Positive Project Outcomes– Over the years many government projects have been evaluated and processes have been modified as a result. Over the years, the budget plans have reflected the need to cancel and cut projects that are severely over budget and behind schedule. They also require detailed business cases for initiatives that will likely bring more value and attract new funding. To support these efforts, PPM technology is essential. EPM Live has helped government organizations evaluate their projects and programs by allowing business case creation, scoring criteria, ROI analysis and what-if modeling. These organizations can ensure the right projects are being implemented. It has been stated that many government projects weren’t realizing value for years. By that time, the fast-paced world we live in today has changed dramatically, the original benefits of the project were no longer valuable and the needs have changed based on technology drivers, environmental factors, or economic conditions. Implementing PPM technology that will show ROI, timeframe, cost estimates and resource plans along with the business drivers is essential to ensure this type of planning doesn’t consume investments. Choosing the right projects and ensuring a short term value realization can help government leaders make the right strategic decisions to align with objectives, and just as importantly, reduce the risk of potential failure.
  • Improving Organizational Maturity– As mentioned above, one of the best ways to cut costs is to improve Project and Portfolio Management processes. EPM Live helps government organizations align their current processes to a toolset which in turn brings a familiarity to the system creating fast adoption rates and usability. Once the current processes are mapped and usage of the system is high, maturity growth is natural and the risks of overcoming change is minimal. Because we design our products to accommodate all users at all maturity levels, there is a sense of accountability that comes with individual ownership of a tool that can only be present if the users feel as if the system was built with their processes in mind. EPM Live provides many tools for collaboration that help users share best practices, create repeatable processes and work towards maturity improvement goals. As processes improve and maturity levels increase, productivity increases and overall efficiencies begin to unfold.  To join a webinar on “Implementing PPM for a Multi-Maturity Organization” register here.
  • Increasing Project Transparency and Awareness – It is becoming more and more evident that providing constituents with data insight into government project spending and status is critical to running projects effectively. The degree in which the government serves its customers is crucial to its success just as it is to all consumer focused businesses operating today. The government has taken many steps to improving project transparency over the years. In 2009, an IT dashboard was launched to give the American people insight into how government funding was being spent and how those initiatives were performing. Later, the government launched a program in which they would conduct program reviews and would allow for termination of programs that were not producing dividends for the American people. EPM Live has implemented these dashboards
    within many government agencies to increase transparency, generate awareness, bring to light potential risks before they become major issues and to create timely solutions to the visible problems that persist. Awareness simply gives businesses the ability to react quickly and respond to the issues that often manifest within projects due to delayed resolution.

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There are many steps that government agencies can take to realize full benefit of IT.  To learn more about EPM Live and its Government solutions, please contact us for more information.