- Single version of the truth | Project managers now have total visibility over their portfolio, can log project progress and create reports simply and easily. IT leaders have access to simplified dashboard views that are helping streamline risk and issue management so problems can be resolved with efficiency and agility, focusing their time on making strategic decisions instead of managing routine admin tasks.
- Next-generation collaboration | Go-Ahead has been able to mature its project management office rapidly, blending core skills across the team and standardising working practices. Thanks to the familiar suite of tools, the new solution has seen an amazing rate of user adoption.
- Strategic portfolio management | With a single repository of information in place to provide a complete, instant view of the project portfolio, the Go-Ahead leadership team is empowered to make more informed strategic decisions based on choosing the right projects to deliver corporate strategy.
- Improved ways of working | The Go-Ahead team has been able to add greater maturity and rigour to its project management office. Project managers are now able to share best practice and lessons learned, which has been critical in growing and blending the team’s skills.
- Streamlined costs | As the team starts to build a complete view of project time and costs, they will be able to accurately cross charge Group IT time to individual project budgets, moving towards a model where ROI can be accurately measured.
Wellingtone helps The Go-Ahead Group to create a mature, next-generation PMO
To support its vision of a world where every journey is taken care of, The Go-Ahead Group needed next-generation project management capabilities to help power its project work with customers, employees, governments, local communities and strategic partners. Working with Wellingtone, it was able to harness the capabilities of Microsoft Project Online to create a corporate solution that has helped to streamline project management, improve portfolio visibility and enhance project and budgetary reporting.
The Go-Ahead Group is the UK’s leading transport provider for rail and bus services. Founded in the early 1980s, Go-Ahead has grown from a small bus operator in the Newcastle area to a FTSE 250 firm that supports over a billion journeys each year, including around a quarter of London’s buses, 30% of the UK’s train passenger journeys and four rail contracts in Germany as well as bus services in Singapore and Ireland.
Developing a strategy for next-gen working practice
Go-Ahead’s vision is to create a world where every journey is taken care of; for Group IT that means optimising technology, maturing service delivery and introducing new IT Services with cost efficiency. To increase the value it delivers, Go-Ahead wanted to develop greater maturity within its Group IT project management office and decided to take a closer look at how people were working and how projects were managed, with a view to developing tools and processes that supported the business’s overall vision. Governance and discipline were particular areas of concern. With many project managers dependent on Excel Spreadsheets and standalone apps, information quality was variable, plans were cumbersome to maintain and reporting was time-intensive.
“One of my big objectives was to capitalise our cost in IT – and with this solution we will be able do that by accurately tracking project time and capitalising that against the CAPEXs we raise. We will be able to show the real value we’re adding through each individual project.”Enrique Fernandez-Pino, CIO, Go-Ahead Group
After implementing Office 365, The Go-Ahead IT team was keen to make the most of the Microsoft Cloud ecosystem and decided to look at solutions based on Project Online to bring together the additional capabilities needed to gain control and visibility of all its projects and standardise ways of working.
A mature solution for project management success
Go-Ahead chose to work with Wellingtone, who gathered requirements from the Group IT team, including details of initiatives that hadn’t worked in the past. This vital listening stage helped to define a solution capable of rapidly delivering everything the business required to succeed with strong foundations to support a growing scale of capability in the future. Wellingtone developed a three-phase implementation plan. The phase-one solution provided standardised project management capabilities with defined project types, detailed reporting, dashboard views and integration with the existing SharePoint PMO portal. This first and most important phase instantly provided project managers with the ability to manage their projects end-to-end with a single repository for all project documentation, including schedules, RAID logs, change requests and – crucially – lessons learned to share with the team.
“With Wellingtone you feel that they want you to succeed and they want the solution to work for you -they engage with us very much as a partnership. They have been instrumental to the success of the project.”Melanie Wood, Head of Programme Management, Go-Ahead Group
One of the biggest impacts has been in reporting. Instead of cumbersome, manually maintained spreadsheets, the leadership team can now access real-time PowerBI dashboards supported by project status reports. The dashboards allow them to clearly see the entire portfolio status – how many projects are in flight and what the risks and issues are – and to view highlight or deeper dive reporting for any project. Phase-two development has added time-sheeting and resource management capabilities which will be further enhanced with the creation of an agile project type and project cost logging in phase-three. Go-Ahead’s IT PMO is now perfectly positioned to increase its project portfolio, scaling out the types and volume of projects to meet corporate goals. The solution has been so successful that other areas of the business are now looking to adopt it.
“The real value is having one version of the truth with accurate data and a consistent approach to project delivery. We can trust the data which gives me confidence to deliver our vision and goals.”Melanie Wood, Head of Programme Management, Go-Ahead Group