Most companies have several projects running at any given time. The challenge for the Project Stakeholder is; 1) to govern which projects get funding, 2) make project related decisions that will not have a negative impact on their organization and 3) obtain key project information to make effective decisions quickly. For the Project Team, the problem is compounded. How do I; 1) determine the status of my project and adjacent or dependency projects and 2) collaborate within my team.
 
The Requirement
In today’s business environment, companies are challenged to provide IT value in environments that are fast paced, where technology change happens weekly and resources are constrained.

  • Stakeholders require a summary view of the projects within their portfolio, an effective means of assessing potential projects based on company objectives and a way of shutting down projects that are not delivering their expected value.
  • The Project Team requires a detailed view of their project and a summary view of adjacent or dependency projects.
  • Facilitating and measuring behavioral change.
  • Providing mechanisms and forums that bring visibility to business process.

The Problem
Timely and context relevant information drives core business decisions on a daily basis. For Executives, these decisions must be substantiated and therefore based on real-time information that is accurate. For the project teams, being able to communicate and collaborate in an efficiently and effectively manner is key to success

The problem sometimes referred to as “trapped information” quickly manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Stakeholders do not have access to a summary status of their project portfolio, they experience information overload and cannot make effective decisions.
  • Project teams must have cross team meetings in order to understand the status of key activities that affect theirs and other projects.

The result is unsubstantiated business decisions and project centric decisions that could place the project and/or program at risk. In this blog, I discuss how HP Services used low-cost off-the-shelf Microsoft portal technology to deliver an innovation solution that provided project stakeholders and project teams with the information they required making project related decisions fast.

The Solution
As we developed the concept of how to use off-the-shelf portal technology to drive the project, we followed this roadmap:

  • Business Process Diagnostic (5 days on average)
  • An Experience Design workshop (4 days on average).
  • Assemble project team and plan.
  • Build, acceptance test and deploy.

Many companies invest serious monies to streamline business process and to create methodologies. Unfortunately, most companies do not take the final step towards facilitating the success of their investment. Specifically, there are communications and behavioral (cultural) changes that must take effect in most cases before the benefits of a new and improved business process or methodology can be realized. We utilized business process change management, extensive communications and a Portal based on ASP.NET to achieve this.

Summary

Taking off-the-shelf portal technology and deploying it as a tool for managing projects helps companies (project teams and project stakeholders) be more effective at making project related decisions. The value to HP Services is that we have a packaged Portal offering specific to Program/Project management that helps differentiate our solutions from that of our competition.

In addition, the technology we deployed accomplished several goals, including:

  • Bring visibility to key business initiatives.
  • Facilitating and measuring behavioral change.
  • Providing mechanisms and forums that bring visibility to business processes.
  • Provide a location to store, search and retrieve knowledge in the form of documents, reports etc.

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