Case Study: Project Portfolio Management Solution

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In Brief

The Challenge

Our client, a leading UK car insurance firm, engaged MI-GSO | PCUBED to deploy a cost-effective Project Portfolio Management (PPM) solution. The client wished to manage their portfolio of IT and Strategic projects through a single online tool.

Moreover, the client wanted to establish an overall Project Portfolio Management solution that would enable them to centralise their portfolio data at both the leadership and implementation level. This would provide leadership with visibility on ongoing project work needed to manage projects. Enhancements included detailing why those projects exist, what benefit they bring, and what they cost. This would allow the client to better prioritise their portfolio, focusing on those projects that give the biggest benefit to the business.

Provide clarity over all change delivery work being undertaken to enable us to execute our most important changes more quickly.

The client’s changing environment presented an additional challenge. They had recently started their journey to deliver more change via a Tribe based model. The Tribe model was made famous as a method of scaling agile by Spotify and is based on autonomous teams. As such, it would ultimately alter the mix of delivery methods within the portfolio of projects. The Portfolio Office would need to be able to support a hybrid delivery model.

The Solution

Understanding that the client’s portfolio was in a state of flux, we adopted an adaptive delivery approach. This allowed the team to iteratively deliver value over two accelerated phases of work. The approach also ensured that the overall solution could be refined in line with regular feedback and could incorporate any changing requirements.

In the spirit of enhancing collaboration, we formed an integrated project team with our client. We adopted a sprint process and agile principles to promote engagement and transparency. Finally, implementing regular review retrospectives of our delivery approach supported embedding a culture of continuous improvement within the client organization.

The project was structured around the four dimensions of transformation: Tool, Data, Process, and Change. Operating within these four integrated workstreams, we were able to ensure that each key dimension was adequately considered when developing any new capability.

Admiral Graphic - workstream
Workstreams

Tool

During the first phase, MI-GSO | PCUBED focussed on deploying an MVP configuration with Microsoft Project Online tool. We engaged with a core stakeholder group of users to refine the solution to meet their needs. This enabled us to quickly stand up a PPM platform for the client’s IT and strategic projects, centralising their data, and driving early efficiencies through team collaboration.

During the second phase, we continued to enhance the functionality of the project portfolio management software tool. We focused on enhancing the ability to manage resources and financials across all change delivery – including both Tribe and Project data.

Additionally, we helped the client to establish its digital reporting capability developing Power BI reports based around key leading indicators. This enabled us to provide automated, real-time access to portfolio data across multiple data sources.

Data

Once we had successfully migrated project data into the platform, we used MI-GSO | PCUBED’s lean innovation techniques to run Rapid Improvement Events. These events were focussed around continuously improving data quality and completeness. The team established data KPIs providing the team with the ability to first identify poor performing areas and then to innovate around improvement initiatives. We would then implement and measure their effectiveness on an iterative basis.

Process

In parallel with the development of the digital platform, we defined consistent project and programme management processes in the form of Working Practice Guides. These guides detailed the key process steps across various disciplines and how they could be executed effectively within the tool. 

For the second phase, the core focus of the process workstream was to help define and establish a Portfolio Office (PfO) function. We ran several interactive workshops with the client to ideate the scope, mission, and objectives of the PfO. We then defined the services it would provide in order to drive value across the portfolio and its stakeholders. By establishing a Development Roadmap, we were then able to successfully roll out the first stage (of three) of its capability.

Change

Encapsulating all the other workstreams was our change workstream.  We applied MI-GSO | PCUBED’s Change Management principles, tools, and techniques to ensure that any changes we deployed were successfully adopted. Consequently, we were able to identify key stakeholders and engage with them regularly to generate excitement. We also provided them with the relevant training and development needed to effectively sustain those changes from day one.

Admiral - solution
Portfolio Management Solution

The Benefits

After the two accelerated phases of work, the joint MI-GSO | PCUBED / client team had successfully deployed an effective Project Portfolio Management solution.

Improved Team Collaboration

Improved project team collaboration “in excess of 150 active users” through a digital accessible platform that facilitates remote working.

More Accurate Portfolio Data

“Increased data completeness from 42% to 67%” and improved the quality of data held within the digital platform.  This enabled the PfO to ensure more accurate and reliable data is made available for consumption by the leadership team.

Increased Visibility Through More Efficient Reporting

Established a suite of 7 Power BI reports across project, programme and portfolio data” providing automated, real-time access to portfolio data. This improved visibility and insight whilst reducing manual reporting effort and lead times.

Established a Portfolio Office function

Provisioned a central PfO function that proactively supports portfolio planning and provides oversight and control over portfolio delivery. The PfO “defined and rolled out 27 PfO service elements”It also operates as a centre of excellence to drive continuous improvement and learning.

Improved PPM Maturity

Drove the consistent application of PPM processes through training/development and sharing of working practice guides across the PPM community. This resulted in a “15% increase in PPM Maturity”.

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