PMO

IT Projects – how does the University decide?

Cartoon people holding jigsaw pieces https://www.google.ca/search?hl=en&site=imghp&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1251&bih=687&q=project+managment&oq=project+managment&gs_l=img.3..0i10l10.3444.10120.0.14050.27.16.8.3.4.0.111.863.14j2.16.0....0...1ac.1.35.img..0.27.894.GBMmu68k1k4#facrc=_&imgdii=_&imgrc=PZJoJycWJ2xUzM%253A%3B1r9YRcbd4nyrWM%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.globalnpsolutions.com%252Fwp-content%252Fuploads%252F2012%252F04%252Fcartoon-of-mgmt.jpg%3Bhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.globalnpsolutions.com%252Fservices%252Fnpd-resources%252Fwhite-papers%252Fproduct-vs-project-management%252F%3B1210%3B1104From the University’s three-year-long Enterprise Recruitment and Retention Program, which includes the Student Portal project, the Business Intelligence project, and Strategic Roadmap project, to the three-month-long Canada Wide Science Fair wireless project, Information Technology Services is constantly juggling the number, length, complexity, importance and costs of IT-related projects for the U of L.

In order to determine which projects provide the best value to the University, an IT Projects Committee has been struck to tackle these large and critical decisions. “This is huge – it’s a very big step for IT,” says Chris Roberts, Manager for IT Services’ Project Management Office. “Prior to this, we had to use a ‘best effort’ approach to deciding which projects we had the capacity for, but this is obviously not ideal.”

Purchasing AtTask, a project portfolio management tool, provided a concrete solution to corralling and tracking all IT project requests into one central location. The next logical step was to form a committee to evaluate and prioritize all requests coming to ITS. “Leveraging this tool will help us report and sustain all projects by balancing resources with demand,” Roberts adds.

The IT Projects Committee, which will meet monthly, comprises representatives from across campus: Chris Horbachewski (VP Advancement), Chris Nicol (University Librarian), Charles Jorgenson (Acting Registrar), David Hinger (Director, Teaching Centre), Ken McInnes (Executive Director, HR), Carrie Takeyasu (Executive Director, Financial Services), TJ Hanson (Executive Director, Facilities), Jim Booth (Executive Director, Ancillary Services), along with IT Services reps: Mark Humphries (CIO), Darren Schell (Manager, Transformation), and Chris Roberts.

Roberts says the Committee is hoping to start its intake process later this spring, but further communication and details will follow.

 

 

Project & Portfolio Management tool selected

Over the last year, the IT Services Project Management Office (PMO) has conducted a project to identify the requirements for an enterprise-class Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) tool.  During this time, many meetings were held to communicate the project objectives and collect  requirements from departments and units across the University, with focus placed on those that conduct projects on a regular basis.  An online survey was also used to collect functional requirements of a potential tool.

Using the results from the meetings and survey, the PMO sent out a request to 14 PPM tool vendors, in Dec 2012, for information and pricing for their PPM solution.  After a rigourous selection process, including demonstrations of a number of the candidate tools, the selection committee chose AtTask Inc. (www.attask.com) as the PPM tool vendor.

Over the next two months, IT Services will work with AtTask to implement and configure the system to our needs.  We anticipate launching the new PPM system on April 1, 2013, after which it will serve as the focal point for project management and project governance in IT Services.

During the implementation of AtTask within ITS, we would be happy to discuss our experience with other units on campus who may be interested in utilizing this tool as well.

For further information concerning the PPM Tool project, please contact Chris Roberts.

IT Services Portfolio

In order to increase ownership of its PM processes and to better connect with its business units, IT Services has embedded a staff member as the go-to resource within each of its units. These embedded staff members will ensure project reporting and processes are happening in a consistent and timely fashion. They report to the ITS unit managers, and have a dotted-line relationship with the Manager of the Project Management Office.  The PMO no longer actively manages projects, but is ultimately responsible for all reporting and processes.