Cardinal Innovations

Cardinal Innovations Teams Up with Innotas for Project Management Success

Cardinal Innovations Healthcare is the largest specialty health plan in the United States, covering approximately 2.4 million individuals in North Carolina. Cardinal Innovations manages all Medicaid and state funding for mental health, intellectual and developmental disability and substance use disorder services. Through a comprehensive network of more than 1,100 providers, Cardinal Innovations’ ensures access to high-quality and costeffective services for North Carolinians who rely on the public system for care.

The enterprise Project Management Office (ePMO) at Cardinal Innovations was started in 2013 to introduce formal project management practices and competencies to the organization. The ePMO manages the organization’s highest profile, most complex projects. These projects are directly aligned with executive leadership’s objectives and goals each year. The ePMO’s project portfolio is diverse and projects vary from ICD-9 to ICD-10 code set conversions to migrating legacy applications to the cloud.

Business Opportunity: Executive focus on high priority project pipeline creates opportunity to improve portfolio planning and project governance

In 2013, Cardinal Innovations’ executive team recognized a need to improve project governance within the organization. When seeking resources for high priority, strategically imperative projects, executives realized that business unit resources were consistently committed to current projects. Further investigation revealed that there was no central project inventory or tracking. Based on this insight, the team identified opportunities to make organizational improvements by:

  • Utilizing a system for centrally managing and reporting on organization-wide projects in an accessible and easy to understand manner.
  • Identifying the resources that were critical to multiple projects and ensure they were focused on the highest priority initiatives.
  • Portfolio planning to deliver more accurate project forecasts.

In order to ensure the organization was focused on the highest priority projects, the ePMO first needed a way to accurately identify and report on all projects that were actively being managed across the organization. Cardinal Innovations’ lean project management required a system that could streamline processes and enable them to save time by centralizing all information.

Solution: A cloud based portfolio management platform to standardize project management and reporting

Initially the Cardinal Innovations ePMO used basic spreadsheet software to centralize and communicate information in its project portfolio. The team quickly discovered that collecting and reporting project information on this platform was extremely difficult and time consuming. After evaluating several of the leading project portfolio management software vendors, Cardinal Innovations selected Innotas based on its ability to provide:

  • A cloud-based deployment model to facilitate the implementation process and help the project management group quickly achieve goals.
  • A top-down approach and crawl, walk, run implementation methodology simplified end user adoption and provided a robust platform for Cardinal Innovations to gradually mature its project management processes.
  • Sophisticated reports and dashboards to provide numerous ways to analyze and communicate project information.

Results: A single platform for portfolio management encourages business alignment and promotes transparency

After implementing the Innotas platform, Cardinal Innovations ePMO has been able to promote better project governance and improve alignment of project goals with organizational initiatives and priorities. Cardinal Innovations has also benefitted from:

  • A streamlined process for project status reporting with improved transparency and visibility into the entire project portfolio, facilitating planning and monthly reconciliation.
  • Accurate resource allocation that enables easy tracking of resource utilization.
  • Centralized project information that supports an objective, data-driven project review and prioritization process.

“The key thing that Innotas has provided us with is better reporting and better transparency across the company. This improved transparency has opened a new communication channel between executive management and our departmental staff. This has helped us to ensure that our projects stay aligned with our executive goals and direction.”

James Drescher
Director of Corporate Project Management
Cardinal Innovations

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