1. Assessing the Issues: The agency wanted to improve its ability to assign costs and benefits to different types of work and technology assets, and decisions with the business on what to invest in and when.
The Agency had a significant backlog of work, meaning that demand for
new work and projects exceeded the ability to supply. Additionally, the prioritization process used to align the demand with the agency strategy and objectives was not meeting the advancing needs of the agency workforce.
The aging portfolio of technologies - primarily applications - was
inefficient to maintain and made it challenging to reduce the average cost per transaction.
UMT conducted an assessment of the current and potential future
state of IT capabilities, using a combination of surveys, interviews and by studying artifacts. The assessment covered organization, people, processes, and tools and data.
2. Building a Roadmap:The agency faced challenges in managing resources and projects, and in understanding and rationalizing IT applications, assets and services. The recommended approach was to address the root causes in the long term as well as address challenged processes in the near term. For example, what was initially perceived as a resource and demand management problem was found to also relate to the burden of maintaining the agency’s aging technology and application portfolio.
Understand IT - Bring financial visibility into all applications and services, and organize them into a meaningful relational structure.
Run IT - Make informed investments and shape maintenance and operations activities in full alignment with the asset portfolio strategy.
Transform IT - Plan technological transformation projects based on business strategy and a deeper knowledge of the existing systems - not only their labor and hardware costs, but also the costs of transactions and their return on investment.
3. Designing Processes and Tools in Iterations: The approach was to first address the processes, and then implement the improved processes by using better and more integrated tools. The tools solution - consisting of UMT360 software, Microsoft Project Server and Microsoft Team Foundation Server - has been named by the agency as ‘OneSource’, reflecting the strategy of connecting disparate processes and managing a single source of reliable information.
UMT used an iterative approach that gradually matured different capabilities and ultimately created a solid foundation for managing the business of IT.
Design and implement simple, foundational project portfolio management processes for the following: managing intake or demand for IT from the business; prioritizing
demand; planning and managing projects; resource planning and time sheeting.
Build the complete application repository by collecting applications’ metadata; assessing the applications for risk, business impact etc., creating associations between applications and infrastructure.
Organize the portfolio into services, applications, infrastructure and projects.
Roll-up labor cost from projects and support activities to applications and infrastructure, with a clear breakdown between project work, support work and administration time.
Link the reporting system to the general ledger accounts to assure data integrity, but keep the advantage of maintaining the information bottom-up.
Create comprehensive analyses and reports of the IT portfolio with a view into assets, services, applications, projects, resources and roles.
Improve and integrate the application lifecycle management process into the mix, leveraging Microsoft Team Foundation Server.