Project Management for Planning and Implementation
1. Introduction of the client's business
A hi-tech industry leader in collaboration solutions
This organization provides solutions that enable workforces to communicate and collaborate more effectively and productively over distances. Using telepresence, video, and voice solutions and services, people connect and collaborate from their desktops, meeting rooms, class rooms, and mobile settings. Organizations from a wide variety of industries and the private sector work with standards-based solutions to:
- Enable a rapid return on collaboration "face to face" wherever they are
- Cut the time, cost, and carbon emissions associated with gathering the right people to solve problems
- Making business sense by the application of innovative products and servers to save resources, time, and energy in solving organizational challenges
2. An outline of the challenge
The client organization was struggling with a protracted implementation of a financial reporting and business intelligence project. Through multiple scope changes, leadership and project direction, focus and momentum had been lost. ProjectBits Consulting was engaged to provide professional project management to help put this important strategic initiative back on track.
This project had been rescheduled several times due to dependencies on integration and interfaces with other projects that had missed target completion dates. A formal testing plan had not been developed and deployment steps had not been thought through and incorporated into a structured project plan. Training for approximately fifty global finance and supply chain team members had not been defined and scheduled
In this large and complex business intelligence data warehouse project, performance and change control had not been given adequate attention. No base line existed and performance targets were not well defined and consistently understood. With careers and reputations on the line, the project needed some fundamental changes to position it for a positive outcome
3. The action steps we took
ProjectBits Consulting was engaged to provide project management expertise to this at risk project. An analysis of the projected identified several opportunities to make a dramatic impact on improving the project.
Methods utilized to help put the project back on track included the rationalization of all project activities including a review of team composition and staffing levels. This was rapidly followed by the development of a project communication plan that focused on clear task identification, definition and assignment. The project was under performing due to repetitive long drawn out meeting paralysis. By utilizing a more agile approach to project status updates and conducting more focused and efficient meetings, clear performance responsibilities and ownership emerged for important activities.
Project monitoring was initiated with the design and creation of various communication tools including a formal project plan, status reports, development logs, testing plans, and stakeholder presentations. These communication tools allowed the alignment of the implementation team around common business and project objectives
The development of the testing plan brought forward the inconsistent expectations of the scope and delivered capabilities of the solution.
Because of the global footprint of the stakeholders, many of the project activities required a localization to meet the needs of the business, which had been missed in the initial design. The successful completion of these tasks were critical to the completion of the deployment.
Required upgrades to the Infrastructure and servers were discovered after performance benchmarks identified the current state would not adequately meet the project objectives. By proactively getting in front of this issue, the later problems and embarrassment of not having adequate system resources was successfully avoided. Monitoring agents and tools were installed and the results yielded information used to drive more attention to performance
Key tasks in this area were planned and implemented in parallel to the tight timeframe of the core project.
The solution incorporated OBIEE technology from Oracle Corporation including the 11i. database, and Infomatica Power Center
4. Our clients' results
Significant improvements in focus and pace of the project was made. With the team all better understanding what was expected of them and when, performance improved dramatically. The stakeholder communications allowed the business team to focus on the financial reporting objectives. The early identification of performance bottlenecks allowed resolution in the testing environment saving reputation in the later deployment
This rationalization of testing provided orderly execution and status reporting which had a positive impact on quality. The validation of the conversion of historical information took place in a structured fashion.
The deployment of the solution allow the organization to provide improved service and administration of the program. The goal of providing an easier and more flexible environment was met while reducing the operational need for client software installation and special printer configuration. By incorporating user feedback at every step of the plan, Mr. requirements and hurdles to change were kept at a minimum.
This project provided organizational improved organizational maturity by supporting improvements in change control, source code control and testing processes
5. About Us
ProjectBits Consulting is in the business of helping clients analyze, plan and implement technology and processes to improve organizational capabilities and efficiencies. With experience in a broad range of projects including enterprise scale solutions, our team can help provide business-oriented advice on what needs to be done, supported by deep technical knowledge on how to accomplish desired results. With a focus on helping our clients gain dramatic returns on technology investments such as the results achieved in this case study.