This international oil and gas company is focused on refining, downstream, and trading activities in Europe. The Capital Investment Department is managing all investment projects, both Group projects as well as local projects. On a 5-year budget cycle, all projects go through a review process that includes both budget approval and monitoring during execution. The introduction of Project Server with UMT360 generated efficiencies throughout the process while improving user satisfaction.
Each year, the company delivers an extensive portfolio of capital investment projects, serving a range of goals, which includes:
- Development and maintenance of group operations
- Compliance with legal requirements
- Ensuring health and safety of personnel
- Business process optimization through implementation of IT solutions
The projects entail a significant amount of resources throughout their lifecycle, and changes in the business environment require fast decision-making in the project portfolio. Until recently, all processes were supported by Microsoft Office tools, primarily Excel, but also Project, SAP, Primavera, Maximo, and other tools. The Group needed an online Project Portfolio Management solution that allowed the organization to collaborate on its capital investments while minimizing dependencies on other systems or manual interventions. The objectives were:
- Offer visibility in project prioritization and selection in the context of business strategy and key strategic objectives.
- Improve standardization of project portfolio management processes across all Group entities.
- Increase the level of project portfolio management awareness.
- Offer flexible reporting tools and dashboards for planning and execution.
- Provide a single centralized repository for projects and resources.
Overall, the platform would enable the organization to make decisions faster and more accurately in case of changing business conditions.
Existing budget and status processes have been translated into an online infrastructure that centrally hosts all investment proposals. Each business case can be reviewed, shared, and updated online through SharePoint, Project Server, and UMT360. Integrated project workflow steps provide greater control at each step of the approval process. Where teams previously exchanged Excel workbooks and Word documents to manage financials, teams now collaborate online, allowing the results to be dynamically reviewed at various levels of detail. The ability to collaborate online resulted in major efficiency improvements, making the Capital Investment Department more agile in responding to change.
The approval of investment proposals no longer results in additional Excel workbooks to track progress. While projects are in execution, project teams enter status updates in the same entities that were used to identify, prioritize, and select the investments to begin with. This provides teams with a solid baseline that can be referred to at any time and compared with the running forecast and actuals-to-date. Contractors may still use third-party scheduling tools (e.g., Primavera) to manage the execution in detail, while integrating the summary updates with SharePoint, Project Server, and UMT360. This level of integration and reporting provides greater ease of use in the decision-making processes.