Project Server - Who can benefit from it and how?


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Strict quantification of value provided by some software solution is very difficult. That’s especially true in the case of software which is supposed to increase value of project management discipline whose benefits are itself difficult to quantify. Difficulty to quantify doesn’t imply that such value doesn’t exist. It only means that we need to add an extra effort to recognize it.

The purpose of this presentation is to make that extra effort and, by examining different attributes like; industry, character and size of projects, maturity of the organization – recognize patterns that lead to value realization. The key Project Server capabilities will be discussed in context of how they provide value in specific usage scenarios.

As always, realized value have to be contrasted with required investment so we will estimate the cost of EPM implementation in on-premise and cloud model.
The target audience for the presentation are all of you who believe that projects could and should be better managed in your organizations, and you have a vote on decision on using software for such an improvement.

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Project Server - Who can benefit from it and how?

  2. 2. sponsors
  3. 3. About The Presentation - Thesis • EPM solution can show positive ROI • The source of value will differ from organization to organization. • Yet there are clear conditions which, if satisfied, ensure EPM system value realization. • We would like to discuss those.
  4. 4. The Scale of ROI Approaches This presentation Calculate but with sanity check EPM Improves employee productivity and projects success rate EPM provides ROI of 275% with payback period of 13 months assuming Level 2 PM maturity of the organization, …
  5. 5. „Excel” ROI approach List all the areas of improvement Estimate current effort, cost and risk Estimate potential improvement • Guess • Survey Calculate benefits • ROI • Payback period • Logic • We don’t need to find exact value of improvement. It’s enough to find credible/believable assumptions • Exact math we do with assumptions serves the purpose of giving the reader necessary confidence
  6. 6. Areas Of Improvements 15 % 10 % 10 % 10 % 25 %
  7. 7. Improvements Quantification Number of Project users 30 Organization size 1000 Average annual cost per employee 40.000 $
  8. 8. Costs PRICE YEARLY COST (3 year horizon) LICENSES 14.000 USD Project Online 33 USD per user per month Project Online With Project Pro 58 USD per user per month SERVICES 12.000 USD Implementation Cost 20k USD (one time) Support 5k USD per year TOTAL Investment in internal change management 26.000 USD ?? Total Number of Project users 30 Number of Project Pro users 5
  9. 9. Challenge • Company with 30 PMs and delivery resources would deliver 23M USD worth of projects a year • Cost for tool and training is 25k USD Would you bet your own 25k USD in exchange for savings that tool might produce?
  10. 10. Source Of Improvements Benefit Synchronizing Projects With Highest Impact Providing Estimation Tools And Best Practice Methodologies Providing Workflow And Visibility Into Project Performance Providing Portfolio Reporting And Analyses Aligning Projects With Resources Capacity Aligning Projects To Strategic Goals Feature Team Planner View Centralized Resources with Role and Skills Portfolio Analyses Resource Plan Assigning The Right Skills To The Right Projects Resource Levelling Demand Management with Templates and Workflow Capturing Planned And Active Projects Providing Automated Report Generation And Analysis Rich Reporting Centralized Projects Simple and Process Driven Status and Time Reporting Project Pro Schedule Development!
  11. 11. WOULD THIS HELP?
  12. 12. Black Swan • The black swan theory or theory of black swan events is a metaphor that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight. • The theory was developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb We don’t want to exhaust ourselves in saving worthless minutes while missing major opportunities or risks! Source:
  13. 13. What Does A Manager Do? • A manager makes decisions and sees them through! • What do you need to make good decisions? • • • • • Experience Intuition Guts Data Luck The main value of EPM system is: • Fresh, accurate and relevant data that can be used to make short term steering • Historical data that shows trends (or lack of those) In other words – give a tool to a few the most expensive resources instead of many with small impact.
  14. 14. Influence Of Company Type
  15. 15. Services Company • Projects are delivered for external customer  project have a clear price, cost and profitability attached. • Demand for resources comes from • External billable projects • External non-billable projects and engagements • Internal projects Want to have a tight control of those by many dimensions • The ultimate goal is to have the supply of projects that exactly matches the full capacity  Resource Management is the most important capability • Typically, you don’t skip the sale because resources are overloaded  portfolio selection is not that important in it’s basic form
  16. 16. You don’t waist time in questioning the value of PM tools for Services company. It’s there! Use it! Level of usage in Microsoft partner companies (with licenses on hand) shows that, considering implementation, maintenance and organizational change perspectives – EPM is worth using Idemo delat!
  17. 17. Non Services Company • Demand for projects and resources comes from business units • Constant change in demand and project priorities is a business fact • Agendas other than company interest might drive the project selection and priorities • Effects of poor project management are not visible in a short term • Project resources worth managing are mostly located in IT (at least in Financial and Telecom sector) • There is no implementation if resource department’s management doesn’t support it • Business units are not interested in resource management! Tracking costs, collaboration and transparency are typically their main drivers.
  18. 18. The Discipline • The same question asked by every customer – “How can we make sure employees will feed the system?” • Organization that doesn’t have a lever to make employees do their job is not likely to have potential of making changes based on EPM system so it cannot benefit from it • Team member’s responsibility is not only to do the job but also to provide necessary data for others to do theirs • What can be done to address the “discipline issue”? • • • • Compliance reporting Data quality role Employee’s individual targets Make the system as usable as possible (“are you telling me that there is an issue with entering 10 numbers per week in your Outlook calendar?”) • Project assistant role • Make EPM system data the source of other system/process dependency (e.g. invoicing)
  19. 19. Scope Of Implementation • Must cover all capabilities with appropriate depth • It’s impossible to manage resources without a level of certainty in demand • For managing the demand there must be a filter with criteria and decision • It’s impossible to manage resource supply without planning and tracking work done • It’s impossible to track status without planning and tracking work done • … The worst possible approach is: “Let’s try it on one project” Standardize planning Standardize Status Reporting Provide Project Status Implementation Requirements Manage Resources Manage Demand Select Based on objective criteria and capacity Manage Supply Dilligent Planning and Tracking
  20. 20. The Planning And Tracking Process • Proficiency in developing and maintaining Project Schedule is essential yet typically very rare • It’s difficult to get “experienced” project manager for a basic MS Project training  It’s the single most important “soft” implementation blocker • If you have PS-skilful project managers  agile implementation possible (finally found opportunity to use that popular word!) • Years of experience in managing individual projects provides very little competence in organizing EPM environment  it will not happen by itself and external help is necessary • Pleas visit 10:15 session tomorrow “It’s Not A Bug. It’s A Feature” for discussion on possible adoption blockers
  21. 21. questions?