Modernizing Enterprise IT Systems

The Client

Government agency responsible for transportation initiatives throughout the state

The Problem

Our client created an agency-wide technology initiative to address the need to update technology and business systems that were put in place to run the agency’s business in 1980 or earlier. As the agency’s need to create, maintain, and support transportation systems grew, it required systems that allowed for prioritization of projects, risk exposure metrics based on portfolio mix, strategic planning and management, consistency in project/program management practices across the agency, workflow automation between stakeholders, and reduction of dependencies on outdated and isolated systems. The agency knew they needed to make changes, and they wanted an outside view to get a clear and accurate assessment of the situation and how to best modernize the systems without losing functionality and data.

The Solution

Project phases were specifically defined to assess the current state of the agency’s processes, systems, and standard operating procedures, and to develop supporting documentation including a strategic road map and business case containing suggested approaches and recommendations for improving/replacing processes and systems to achieve Project Portfolio Management (PPM) best practices.

Loblolly Consulting conducted interviews with users and stakeholders, developed surveys, performed software and data reviews, and reviewed documentation of current business processes and policies in order to analyze the issues contributing to the current state of PPM. The current systems and processes to create, update, track, report, and archive project information are inconsistent and do not easily lead to insight or transparency into the agency’s portfolio. Loblolly focused on the key phases of the project development processes:

  • Planning
  • Programming
  • Design & Engineering
  • Contract Preparation, Advertisement, and Award
  • Construction
  • Maintenance

The Results

The final products of assessment project included: Strategic Road Map, Business Case, and a return on investment (ROI) Analyses. Two phases formed the project initiative; the initial phase served to identify and raise awareness of the technological limitations the agency faced in achieving PPM best practices. The second phase further elaborated on the technical limitations by also considering larger issues surrounding the organizational capabilities, business policies and processes, and workflow elements of the agency. More details about the project phases are included below.

Portfolio Strategic Planning (PSP) – Phase I

The PSP project included an assessment of the current systems and technologies in use for agency’s capital improvement projects, with the goal of recommending new technologies that would move the client toward a state of mature Project Portfolio Management. The agency wanted a mature PPM environment to achieve benefits including accurate Total Project Cost measurement and control, improved schedule adherence, fast and accurate transparent reporting, and increased efficiency and productivity.

The result of the first project was the creation of a Cross Functional Steering Committee whose mission was to foster collaboration and support for the strategic objectives at the executive level.

Modernize Project Portfolio Management – Phase II

Phase I validated the need for modernization, and then the client requested Loblolly Consulting conduct Phase II of the project initiative:

  • Analyze the PSP Phase 1 report recommendations and determine what actionable items need to be addressed prior to the Legislative Appropriation Request (LAR) funding.
  • Produce the Business Case with supporting Cost Benefit Analysis for the LAR to fund Project Portfolio Management at the agency and to support the modernization of existing mainframe systems.
    • Business Case was developed in the formats provided by Texas Project Delivery Framework.
  • Establish enterprise-wide awareness of the value of implementing PPM at the agency and to establish buy-in and support for the modernization efforts of the project. This critical step is often overlooked and can make the difference between whether a project is successful or not.