Enabling an IT Operational System of Record
As the IT organization of a global media conglomerate undertook a digital transformation, they realized the new tools and technology were being overlaid on top of fractured processes, an already fragmented technology ecosystem, and inconsistent development methodologies. And as a result of other, lengthy initiatives leading to change burnout, efforts were met with resistance and poor adoption from staff.
The client had recently embarked on a transformative effort, bringing in finance and planning tools, PPM systems, BI applications, and more. They had pulled in some of the best SaaS tools available but they remained just that—tools— and the solution they were promised hadn’t materialized.
Underpinning this issue was the core problem of all technology-driven transformations, which is that technology alone won’t provide a “solution”. In this case, the consistency, accuracy, and availability of data from those systems was the linchpin that would tie these tools together to make a solution. For that, you need an experienced team that understands the fundamentals of your processes and your operating model, no question.
But more importantly, you need a team that understands the IT management framework, the role each application should play, and how they would need to be integrated to create a backbone for supporting planning and execution processes.
Absent a more comprehensive data and integration strategy, the client had data inconsistencies and inaccuracies throughout their stack. They were left with disparate technology pieces that resulted in disjointed processes, and poor understanding from users of how to get what they needed from each system.
All of which led to significant manual rework to clean up data and information, making it very hard to enable timely and accurate decisions.
The client needed a team that:
- had the strategic prowess to architect a design around the SaaS applications and the business capabilities they can enable;
- possesses the functional expertise in not only those applications but how to tie them all together through flexible, API-driven integrations; and
- understand how to consolidate the volumes of data passing through each system and display it in a meaningful way to evaluate projects, identify trends, proactively pinpoint issues, and make effective resource decisions.
To add to the complexity, they also needed a partner with deep change management experience to help them overcome the change burnout and executive alignment challenges they now faced, as well as a foolproof strategy for managing training and technology adoption.
The client needed a robust, mature approach to digital transformation. They didn’t just need SaaS applications. They needed a partner with the technical expertise and strategic experience required to activate technology-enabled business capabilities.
LeapPoint assembled a team with deep functional knowledge in IT and IT management as well as certified professionals in Technology Business Management (TBM).
The team’s familiarity with the specific business capabilities the client wanted to enable, along with the challenges those capabilities would be expected to address, offered a unique perspective on what, ultimately, the transformation was intended to achieve and how to approach the complexities before them.
Using a proprietary transformation methodology, LeapPoint guided the client through a future state design and identified where technology could be better used to enable business processes or activate new capabilities. They then supported the client through re-engineering their IT operations and determined a best-fit integration strategy for tying together enterprise work management with their planning and budgeting applications. The goal was to provide real-time data to the right users, without introducing inefficiencies or redundancies in their process.
The undercurrent to this entire effort was LeapPoint’s consistent change management guidance, which was focused on executive and leadership alignment. Part of the challenge, as the team developed a data governance model, would ultimately become aligning teams on what activities needed to happen in each application and which of those applications would serve as systems of record for a given data type.
LeapPoint was able to successfully drive the functional teams to consensus and align leadership around a single vision for the future state, ensuring that collective processes and procedures would support the integration architecture.
The implementation and configuration aspects of this effort focused on three core systems: Adobe Workfront, Adobe Workfront Fusion, and JumpSeat, all of which required significant expertise in configuration, data governance, integrations, and advanced analytics.
In total, LeapPoint deployed:
- Unique interfaces for over 10 different user personas, covering more than 30 job roles
- Over 300 different data fields across 25 forms to support data capture, analysis, and data synchronization across platforms to support daily operations management and executive decision making
- Developed over 90 flexible, API-driven integrations between Workfront, Jira, and Apptio
- Assisted with unanticipated API errors, created additional reports to validate that all data is completely updated between systems
- Developed a custom integration between operational systems and Tableau to enable real-time analysis
- Created eight custom dashboards to measure project cost & schedule health, resource allocations, data exceptions, user management, and other QA items
- Created 30+ unique learning guides, specific to persona/function and available to users based on system and role
In addition to the SaaS applications, LeapPoint deployed a proprietary turnkey solution that allowed the client to export three different Workfront artifacts (project registration, business case, and capital expense report) into PDFs to better facilitate information sharing across distributed stakeholder groups, saving time, effort and, most importantly, keeping the stakeholders happy.
The Importance of Digital Adoption
Change management is a term that gets thrown around a lot, often as a desperate stopgap for fixing rocky or failed projects. And while it’s a concept that can mean different things depending on who’s using it, digital adoption—a subset of change management—has become, over the years, a more distinguishable capability area in many ways—so much so that it’s often viewed as its own category with its own distinct solutions and outcomes.
And this is all for good reason. As the industry has evolved, digital adoption has finally become digitally enabled, bringing a level of effectiveness that wasn’t previously possible with traditional change management tactics. It also spawned the age of digital adoption platforms (DAP). But there’s a world of difference between a training system or LMS and a true digital adoption platform. And knowing the difference could be what makes or breaks your transformation journey.
If you’re interested in learning more about DAPs, visit jumpseat.io, LeapPoint’s priority solution that’s driving change across the stack for Fortune 500 clients.
The client relaunched each of their core PMO applications with an architecture that, for the first time, truly aligned with their overarching processes. With a flexible integration engine helping to power the stack, users enjoyed vast improvements in efficiency while being able to use the stack in a more robust way than ever before. And thanks to JumpSeat, everyone finally understood how to use the applications.
By focusing on the processes that support planning and budgeting, the client aligned tactics with objectives and learned how to prioritize initiatives in accordance with desired outcomes. Executives and business partners were able to feel like they were genuine stakeholders in the enterprise portfolio and, being able to have input earlier in the process, became more willing participants in strategy and planning. Additionally, by leveraging Apptio, the organization was now able to provide both historical context to support the decision-making process, as well as real-time insight into how funding was being allocated.
Streamlined Processes and Improved Efficiency
LeapPoint brought in two key components that greatly alleviated inefficiencies in the client’s IT processes. The first was Adobe Workfront.
Adobe Workfront now functions as the client’s overarching PPM and enterprise work management tool. It helps manage prioritization across both Waterfall and Agile initiatives and gives governance teams the tools and insights they need to fulfill their objectives.
The second was Adobe Workfront Fusion, an integration platform that provides robust event triggers and data synchronization between critical systems in the client’s stack—most notably, between:
- Workfront and Jira, which helps project managers and senior leaders work more seamlessly with scrum masters and dev teams
- Workfront and SAP, which synchronizes valuable financial information that provided context and real-time budget tracking capabilities on projects
- Workfront and Apptio, which allowed all of the information to be aggregated, analyzed, and distributed in a way that enabled meaningful insights
If Workfront is the heart of their operations, and Apptio the brains, Fusion is, undoubtedly, the nervous system.
To help ensure both adoption and understanding of newly implemented (or freshly re-configured) systems, LeapPoint leveraged its proprietary digital adoption platform, JumpSeat.
JumpSeat achieved three critical objectives for the client:
- it ensured training for each application was available and accessible to all users;
- it allowed for efficient, persona-based training so that the learning experience was customized; and
- 3) it created a ubiquitous experience across the client’s digital tools so that users were receiving the same level of education and support irrespective of what application they happened to be using.
LeapPoint implemented two systems to support executive reporting and insight.
The first was Apptio which, through integrations with SAP, Workfront, and Jira, provides real-time analysis of IT cost and output from across the enterprise. The second was Tableau which allows for discrete analysis of IT operations—patterns in issue resolution, areas where additional efficiencies can be gained, or scenario analysis and forecasting.
Together—with the power of a robust, integrated architecture behind it—the two tools offer a solution set that enables the strategy to be defined and monitored in real-time, and for informed decision analytics to be a capability accessible to all.
- Improved project scoping and estimation
- Balanced workload
- Demand and capacity forecasting
- Refocusing of PM on the strategic
- Standardized cross-functional processes
- Enhanced collaboration
- Provided work transparency
- Equal insight for campaigns, projects, and assets
- Replaced Excel as the system of record
- Established a resource management tool
- Deployed a centralized system to intake projects
- Enabled real-time reporting