Many project and team centric business activities are bogged down because the process of selecting, staffing and managing projects across teams, departments and divisions has been broken. The Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia and Cybernet of Pakistan both had inefficient ways of managing projects and needed a way to streamline their project portfolio management processes. By implementing Daptiv’s collaborative Project Portfolio Management solution, Daptiv PPM, both organizations found that it was flexible enough to meet their needs yet powerful enough to impact the way they manage projects.
Many project and team centric business activities are bogged down because the process of selecting, staffing and managing projects across teams, departments and divisions has been broken. The Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia and Cybernet of Pakistan both had inefficient ways of managing projects and needed a way to streamline their project portfolio management processes. By implementing Daptiv's collaborative Project Portfolio Management solution, Daptiv PPM, both organizations found that it was flexible enough to meet their needs yet powerful enough to impact the way they manage projects.
Western Australia is Australia's largest State in area, covering the western third of the mainland. It is approximately 5 times the size of Texas, and covers over 2,525,500 square kilometres. The Western Australian Department of Agriculture and Food (DAFWA) provides services across the length and breadth of the State through more than 1,400 staff and over 80 locations.
The State's world-class agricultural and food industries provide premium quality food and beverage products to customers throughout the world with the agri-food sector contributing more than AUD5 billion to the Western Australian economy each year. The Department enhances the international competitiveness of the State's agribusiness by working with them to meet the increasingly demanding standards for safety and quality of food and fiber products produced in a sustainable way.
The Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia (DAFWA) had an in-house product in place to assist with project management but there were a few issues - it didn't allow for DAFWA to deliver confidently and consistently across the geographic locations, which created reliability and stability issues. In addition, DAFWA couldn't reproduce the reports they needed.
DAFWA sourced and selected Daptiv through a competitive government tender process and worked with Daptiv's Australian business partner and Daptiv reseller, Bluenova. Charl Morkel, CEO of Bluenova, began working with DAFWA to uncover how Daptiv PPM could adapt to their Logical Framework Analysis, create multi-dimensional reports and accommodate their approach to project management. "We really appreciated being able to purchase one product that handled both our logical framework and project management. Daptiv PPM covers our project management requirements as well as portfolio management to give a holistic view," says Janine Douglas, Manager, Project Management Office. In looking at how Daptiv PPM could accommodate DAFWA's processes, it was clear that Daptiv PPM had the right capabilities for the organization's needs. "Daptiv PPM had to be flexible to meet our range of needs and we wanted to get the logframe planning component up and running quickly so we could then focus on best practices in project management," says Janine.
With the help of Bluenova over the period of a few months, DAFWA created Dynamic Applications within Daptiv PPM to map to their Logical Framework Analysis. "It was a challenging process that really tested Daptiv's flexibility. Bluenova was dedicated to the challenge and very generous in the support they gave us," says Janine. "The logical framework component of the system has now been rolled out across the Department supported by a training program and we have started the planning for the roll out of the project management components of the system relevant to the Department and for the possible integration with aspects of the finance and human resources systems."
In addition to Daptiv PPM, DAFWA leverages Daptiv Advanced Report Builder, part of Daptiv's integrated Work Intelligence offering which provides rich, easy to use tools for reporting and visualising information. "We've used products that didn't deliver what we wanted. Using Daptiv Advanced Report Builder has made a great difference to our reports and it gives us the flexibility to design and develop a range of reporting options," says Janine.
Approximately 130 Project and Program Managers use Daptiv PPM and the feedback from DAFWA's managers once Daptiv PPM was brought on board has been very positive. "Managers like the easy access to Gantt charts and task management and the easy to use document sharing features. They are eager to explore and use the Daptiv PPM project management functionality. There is so much potential in the product. We know it is not the end-- we can just keep progressing and growing with Daptiv PPM. It's the most exciting aspect of being a customer; the prospects for added value," says Janine
An overarching benefit of using Daptiv PPM from a process standpoint is that it has propelled better project management practices. "We wanted to be able to develop and sustain a program to improve our project management practices and Daptiv PPM has been a strong catalyst," explains Janine. "We had high standards and complex requirements and needed a better system in order to meet those standards and requirements. Daptiv PPM is helping us meet them."
While DAFWA continues to explore all the options for how they can manage their projects and other areas of work, Janine says, "There has been a great collaborative effort between Bluenova and Daptiv to push the product to its limits. The flexibility of the product has been demonstrated and we're often presented with options for modifying and improving our current functionality. With Daptiv PPM, it's been a proactive experience instead of a reactive one where we were able to explore how the system could meet our needs rather than trying to make our practice fit the way the system worked. We're getting a more sophisticated result and we're very pleased."
Like the Department of Agriculture and Food of Western Australia, Cybernet of Pakistan also longed for project portfolio management process improvements. Cybernet is the largest Internet and Data Communication Network Service Provider in Pakistan and has made a name for itself as one of the leading ISP's in the country. In addition to providing the Internet to the user, CYBERNET focuses on its corporate clients providing them with end to end solutions including web hosting, email hosting, VPN, IP backhauling, Voice / Video over IP, and security solutions. The company is comprised of over 600 employees.
At Cybernet, every initiative is treated as a project and their portfolio of projects includes both internally and externally facing initiatives. Cybernet's internal projects vary in nature from strategic operational and regulatory compliance. Their external projects involve the provision of WAN Connectivity for various enterprise and SMB customers.
Prior to selecting Daptiv, Cybernet was using a custom workflow application that didn't facilitate project management. Various project managers were using MS Project or MS Excel spreadsheets for their planning needs, but there was a need for a structured, collaborative environment and a standard project management methodology. "Project managers would update project metrics using spreadsheets. This was quite cumbersome as geographically distributed teams found it difficult to update in parallel. As a result, there were a lot of inconsistencies in project reporting," says Faizan Mustafa, General Manager, PMO.
In 2007, Cybernet decided to streamline their project management processes across the company. At that time, various project teams were working in silos and no standard method of project management methodology existed. Management craved the need for visibility into various ongoing initiatives and project teams felt desperate for a collaborative solution to help them plan, execute and, most importantly, communicate with each other.
The company is currently using a range of Daptiv PPM functionality, including Daptiv Work IntelligenceTM. "We are using Daptiv Dynamic Applications to automate various activities. An example is our Capital Expenditure Form (CEF). We used to have a paper-based system where for every project we used to fill out these forms which were routed to various approving authorities. If any one of the approving authorities happens to be out of the office, the whole cycle used to stop - resulting in delays in budget approval. With Daptiv Dynamic Applications, we have automated the whole CEF process and now the application is routed within Daptiv using the preconfigured workflow. The approving authorities can login from anywhere and approve or decline the request which has resulted in reduced cycle time for our projects," says Mustafa.
Cybernet has seen a huge impact overall on their business since introducing Daptiv PPM. "With Daptiv PPM, we have seen a remarkable improvement in how we manage our projects," says Mustafa. "Daptiv has brought about the kind of discipline that we so desperately needed in our project environment by enforcing a standard project management methodology. Now every project follows a prescribed workflow ensuring that all the key touch points are being addressed along the way. Project requests are being initiated and approved with prerequisite documentation and tasks are being planned and notified to various team members in a simple and easy to use collaborative work environment. Project communication has improved drastically with the implementation of Daptiv and status reports to both our internal and external customers are being auto-generated at scheduled intervals. With the introduction of Daptiv, the management team now has the visibility about the health of all ongoing projects with respect to time and cost. Daptiv Dashboards give key decision makers accurate, timely information at their fingertips."
Daptiv Dynamic Applications have given Cybernet a level of process sophistication that they didn't have before. "The fact that you can create custom applications using a wizard-driven process clearly gives Daptiv an edge over other PPM applications in the market. We intend to use this feature in much more intuitive ways to create applications that can automate project as well as operational activities. The idea is to bring every activity within Daptiv PPM and then use work intelligence to build insightful reports required for various strategic decisions," explains Mustafa.
About Daptiv Inc.
Founded in 1997, Daptiv is the on-demand leader in collaborative business software that enables companies of all sizes to transform their mid-office business operations. From new product development to operations and service delivery, Daptiv's on-demand solutions streamline employees' day-to-day interaction and collaboration while dramatically reducing the complexity of managing multiple teams, projects and tasks. Daptiv also gives executives unparalleled visibility into project, program and portfolio execution, as well as the ability to measure progress against key business priorities. Daptiv's flexible environment easily adapts to the work management needs of any department - from IT and finance to marketing and human resources - with an intuitive user interface, point-and-click system configuration and fast creation of forms, reports and alerts. Based in Seattle, Washington, Daptiv has already transformed the mid-office for more than 700 customers and 100,000 individuals at companies such as BASF, BP, Cushman and Wakefield, Chase Paymentech, Honeywell, Merrill Lynch, Sprint/Nextel, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and Virgin Blue.
For more information, visit www.daptiv.com.