Financial Services Project Portfolio Implementation

A $7 billion financial services corporation determined a division of its IT department (operating with 450 resources) was responding too slowly, costing too much, providing the wrong software products and services, and delivering too many defective products. The business group demanded an immediate improvement.

 

The situation was so desperate, the IT department could not actually produce any solid numbers in regard to how long projects took to complete, how much projects cost, how many resources were assigned, or even what projects should really be implemented.  GPMG was selected to participate in a corrective action program. The software product delivery process was analyzed and the following recommendations were made:

  • Realign the IT department to solve business problems, not functional problems

  • Implement a project prioritization/authorization process driven by the business, not by IT

  • Obtain key executive involvement, support and engagement 

  • Eliminate departmental hand-offs

  • Utilize resources in terms of skill and business needs, not functional wants

  • Integrate the new IT delivery process with the business product delivery process

 

A team of GPMG consulting mentors worked with a dedicated IT team to implement the desired organizational changes.  The effort began with the redesign of the project delivery process to create an ideal model for the IT department/business group.  Focus groups containing IT and business personnel were polled for their input into the initial model design.   Subsequently, the model was refined until a consensus agreement was reached.  The dedicated IT team tested and refined the model through prototyping until the process model was deemed ready for implementation.

 

Specific training programs were created to train the 450 IT employees and the business leadership. When personnel completed the training sessions, they were assigned to project teams to utilize the newly implemented delivery process. Concurrently, they were assigned a GPMG mentor who coached them through the various aspects of the delivery process.

 

Feedback loops were created in the form of evaluative lessons after each project to refine the delivery process as necessary.  A project office was set up to create a means for integrating project schedules and managing physical resources.  Accounting methods were reviewed and modified. Periodic performance and status reporting was implemented.

 

Executive commitment was secured through redesign of the managerial processes.  Jobs that provided limited value were eliminated and resources reassigned.  The business group was trained to participate in project meetings to gain needed input.

 

While the quest for organizational improvement is a continuous journey, GPMG’s role in the improvement effort was deemed complete:  the organization had been transformed.

 

Results:
   
  • Integrated centralized project portfolio office capable of providing timely project budget and schedule data

  • Disciplined documented project management methodology

  • An eight-fold reduction in maintenance

  • Project prioritization/authorization process that tightly linked projects to strategic and portfolio initiatives

  • Shortened project life cycle by two-thirds

  • An educated organization of both business and IT personnel regarding the importance of product delivery using a specific disciplined process.

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