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Michael Piccolo, CEO of Elite Value Solutions, shares a customer experience and 5 ways AlignIT helped improve their IT project delivery.

Before signing one of our large customers, one of their project managers shared some challenges he was having managing projects in their IT organization.  Project deliverables are spread across different groups and outsource providers, who are responsible for their own project schedules and tasks.  In the case of their outsource provider (IT vendor), deliverables and service levels are defined in the SOW (statement of work) but internal groups are not governed by service or operational level agreements.

This structure complicates their cost reporting.  The project manager is required to accurately report project costs to their central IT comptroller with standard organizational reporting requirements.  A cost breakdown, by line item, across towers and for plan, forecast and actuals are required.  And again, each IT group and IT vendor is responsible for estimating their deliverables, so the project manager relies on this information and some patchwork from different sources.

Responsibility for deliverables is shared and governance and costs can be difficult to track.  This particular project manager acts more like a “delivery” manager, responsible for IT project delivery and proper reporting while sharing responsibility across the IT organization.

Here are 5 ways we helped our customer get better control over their project deliverables, gain visibility into costs and improve governance.  Our customer can now:

1. Collaborate more effectively across their IT functions and towers

Our customer can now collaborate on delivery, planning, status and health with one central system.  This helps them improve communication and performance between IT functions, such as QA and development, and between towers such as applications, operations and infrastructure.  The project manager uses performance based milestones to manage delivery.  And everyone has complete visibility into status and health.

2. Collaborate with their outsource providers

When negotiating vendor contracts, collaboration is rarely addressed.  There is a lot of focus placed on governance, and rightfully so, but less attention on how the IT organization and vendor will work together to deliver projects.  AlignIT helps by providing our customer with a workspace specifically for their vendors.  Vendors have restricted visibility but can participate in project delivery within the IT organization.  This helps our customer collaborate more effectively with their outsource providers.  And AlignIT gathers intelligence that is used to report metrics on vendor performance, which helps our customer with governance of their contracts.

3. Gain better control and visibility over change

This particular customer manages change requests (CR), which is a step in the right direction, but lacks a reporting trail.  Some organizations handle in flight changes without any governance, causing schedule delays and cost overruns without any visibility.

Change is common.  In most cases, the business requests an additional requirement (function, feature, etc.).  In other cases a requirement was missed by IT, and the vendor may require a CR to implement the requirement that was not considered when they priced the SOW.  In both cases, our customer is now able to track the cost of change against their projects and report how change has impacted their projects and organization as a whole.

4. Produce accurate cost reporting and cost transparency

Tracking project costs across IT functions, towers and outsource providers is a challenge.  I continue to see this handled manually, in Excel spreadsheets, or by collecting information from various sources and systems.  This is how our customer was tracking and reporting costs.  They now have central planning and reporting capabilities out of AlignIT, which not only helps them collaborate during financial planning, but also produces accurate cost reporting that accommodates their organization’s reporting requirements.

5. Create flexible views into IT project portfolios

Every manager at our customer needed to visualize their own set of projects and report project status within their specific business unit or function within the IT organization.  AlignIT provides them with the flexibility to create any number of portfolio views to track any subset of projects.  In their case, they have portfolios that summarize their projects across their IT business units, budget sources and programs.  The portfolio dashboard provides them with real-time health indicators and rolls up costs and performance at organizational, vendor and custom reporting levels, so they can quickly assess project status and view various metrics.

AlignIT was a big win for our customer.  They were able to consolidate several systems that piecemealed information from various sources.  This realized an immediate tangible ROI.  They also simplified project management and delivery of projects in their complex operating environment.  Operational transparency helps with governance which improved performance while planning and cost transparency helped them meet their organizations reporting requirements.

What challenges do you have managing project delivery in your IT organization?

Feel free to reach out to us to learn more and we’d be happy to share more information and references with you.