Project Portfolio Management for a Transportation CompanyA Work Management Solution was implemented, allowing for the resolution of a de-centralised project register, manual workflows, disparate processes, in-consistent project templates and lack of reporting. The one stop work management solution enabled leaders by providing the governance and structure required to save costs, improve quality, increase project velocity and in turn improve stakeholder satisfaction

Due to the accelerated evolution of the transport industry, fuelled by the ever-increasing demand for travel and the need to make travel a seamless customer experience, many organisation look to SaaS work management platforms which allow them to manage their current services in addition to providing the required scalability and governance to deliver new services effectively. Such a solution has a positive effect of project velocity (amount of work completed). The flow on (end user) effects of such a tool allows organisations to support their current customer base and provide the organisation with the tools to deliver projects which will support the needs of their future/growing customer base.

Following a staged implementation approach adapted to the organization’s roadmap and internal transformation activities, Acensys drove a programme focused on transforming and digitizing their existing manual project management processes onto the work management platform thus automating many of the manual tasks.

Challenges

The requirement for a work management solution stems from the need to resolve key business problems being faced by the Transport Organisation.

Disparate manual processes and de-centralised data

The organisation was highly dependent on manual processes.  Board meetings involved numerous printed copies of excel and word documents.  Decisions were recorded with ‘wet’ signatures.  Procedures such as submitting multiple excel sheets with numerous different versions, made it increasingly difficult to manage. A result of these manual processes was the fact that data was being transferred and decisions were made over multiple mediums. It was a tedious process to understand progress made, decisions taken and to find the most reliable up-to-date data.

Detailed Multi-Level Budget Approval Processes

The organisation was highly dependent on manual processes.  Board meetings involved numerous printed copies of excel and word documents.  Decisions were recorded with ‘wet’ signatures.  Procedures such as submitting multiple excel sheets with numerous different versions, made it increasingly difficult to manage. A result of these manual processes was the fact that data was being transferred and decisions were made over multiple mediums. It was a tedious process to understand progress made, decisions taken and to find the most reliable up-to-date data.

Lack of portfolio management and reporting

The lack of strategic governance led to inadequate prioritisation of projects, not being able to realise the benefits, increased time to market and higher failure rates. A large contributor to the lack of portfolio management was the inability to provide reliable reporting and tools required by the leadership team to make strategic decisions. Without this data the organisation was not able to accurately ensure an appropriate mix of high and low risk and long term and short-term projects. This had a negative effect on the organisation achieving its operational and financial goals.

Solution

Acensys took a data-based process improvement approach to the challenges. With clear understanding of the organisations business requirement and goals; Acensys steered the organisation in the selection of the most appropriate work management solution. Acensys  then worked with the organisation through implementation, launch and hyper-care to customise/configure the work management solution in order to meet the business requirements.

With the migration of legacy manual processes onto the new work management solution; Acensys was able to remove waste, digitize and automate part of the project processes. A concomitant to processes digitization was the standardising of processes across the organisation. The organisation was now able to improve efficiency by implementing best practice structure processes across the organisation promoting productivity, create relatability among leaders; everyone is using the same templates and processes and thus “speaking the same language” and this sets up the platform to predict and achieve consistent results.

The use of a work management solution gave the organisation a centralised database to hold all communications, documents, and approvals. With all information held a central location which can be accessed remotely, the organisation was able to minimise e-mails, daily stand up’s, calls, video conferences, data duplication, lost approvals, unclarity of progress etc. The work management solution became the one source of truth which all stakeholders had access to.

With the wide adoption of the work management solution and all data centralised, the organisation was able to generate reliable reporting on the health of the projects and the entire portfolio. This information gave leaders an in-depth view of their project progress, on-going costs, resource allocations, risks, issue and decisions needed. This data was accessible in a click of a button and displayed in an easy to digest dashboard. The benefit of extensive reporting in addition to the use of portfolio management functionality, leaders are now able to make educated decisions on which programs/projects to progress forward, allocation of funds, alignment to strategy and the data required to make GO/Kill/Hold/Fix Decisions at the strategic and operational level.

Overall, Acensys were able to target the business challenges faced and implement an effective yet flexible solution. Acensys also placed a large focus to ensure the system was user friendly and easily adopted by working in an agile approach through multiple iterations of gather-test-configure cycles.

Results

  • Many of the routine tasks that used to take project managers many hours to action, track and follow-up on were now initiated with just few clicks. PMs can now focus on managing higher value tasks in the project lifecycle. This resulted in a monthly time saving of 25% per project manager.
  • Data entry was simplified with all necessary information accessible with minimum navigation through the system.
  • The ability to see every update, approval and decision made by whom and when, increased the reliability of information.
  • Through reporting, dashboards and layouts, each actor of the process was displayed only the meaningful data to avoid over-exposure to information.
  • The highly customised persona focused interphase enabled rapid adoption by stakeholders of all levels from project managers to executives and sponsors.
  • Automated approvals process reflecting the company’s scheme of delegation ensuring decisions are directed to the appropriate decision maker.
  • The agreed approval flows also allowed finance releases to happen in a day when it took a week previously.
  • The entire increased velocity due to automation led to an additional CapEx spend per year of £1,507,000.
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