Education Focused Government Agency

Promoting access to higher education resources in one of the largest states in the USA is no easy feat for this government agency, especially since this also includes maintaining critical financial aid functions and dispersing millions of dollars in educational grant funds. Meeting all the request demands of this organization is particularly challenging with a relatively new IT management team and a small IT staff of only thirty-three. With an abundant user community, comprised of daily contacts from students, parents, researchers, institutes of higher education, media, and the general public— this IT department was quickly becoming overwhelmed with the demand.

Business Opportunity: Needed visibility and transparency into project statuses and a way to forecast resource capacity and demand

This government agency’s IT organization was taking on new work that was being requested in an informal, ad hoc fashion. As a result, they had no way of knowing or accurately reporting the status of existing projects, applications and processes. The new IT management team quickly realized that there was not enough resource capacity to meet the growing demand. In particular, their existing process had the following flaws:

  • Lacked a well-documented project request process and system, except for a basic homegrown ticketing system, making it difficult to know the status of existing projects and related details.
  • A multitude of project requests and the absence of project tracking or management meant that there was no true way of allocating resources efficiently, so whoever received the request first was responsible for completing the assignment.
  • Absence of transparency for end users after submitting a request, making it a challenge to prioritize projects and justify the ones that were being worked on versus those that were on hold.

With the above challenges and a new IT management staff, the top priorities for this team included building a strong IT Governance process and creating a formal Project Portfolio Management (PPM) process for a solid IT management structure going forward.

Solution: Adoption of a cloud-based IT Governance and PPM Solution to formalize project portfolio management

With a new CIO and IT director who inherited a disorganized and chaotic IT situation, this IT management team agreed that it was time to move to the cloud. After evaluating a handful of cloud-based IT Governance solutions, they chose Innotas for its affordability and its excellent reputation among peers in other organizations. Ultimately the IT team was excited that they would soon have a tool with robust PPM capabilities such as:

  • Sophisticated request management functionality giving the IT department the ability to set up standardized processes and track all aspects of each project.
  • Easy-to-use scoring system which allows for easier scoping of a project, and providing transparency to customers regarding the priority of the different requests.
  • Solid reporting and dashboard capabilities, combined with strong resource management, for better visibility into resource allocation as well as capacity and demand planning.

Results: Significantly streamlined the request management process for a clear view into resource capacity

The Innotas IT Governance cloud solution has given the IT team in this organization the ability to make better decisions on how to allocate resources and prioritize projects, while being held accountable to all of their different customers.

  • Completely replaced homegrown ticketing system, which had no reporting capacity, with Innotas as a one-stop project management solution, while ultimately eliminating the use of spreadsheets as a tracking tool.
  • Reduced number of hours spent on information gathering for management reporting needs from 15-20 hours per month to just 1-2 hours, and sometimes less than that, as there is no preparation needed for pre-built reports.
  • Improved resource planning as a result of new-found visibility into resource capacity and demand for a clear view into current and future resource allocation.

Innotas has given this government agency’s IT department a reliable and consistent process for managing projects, as well as increasing transparency for the organization into IT schedules, priorities, and workloads. The IT staff is now seeing the benefits of having a one-stop cloud solution for all project details-- allowing for the proper allocation of resources to the highest priority projects and giving all stakeholders the ability to quickly and easily view reports. As a next step, the agency will dive deeper into the resource management capabilities, including the powerful what-if scenario planning tool, as well as the robust application portfolio management functionality.

"A lot of the things that I was tracking manually such as projected schedules, status, and resources, I was doing in spreadsheets that literally took hours and hours to update…but now I can go to a particular view in Innotas and basically get that snapshot with a few clicks."

Director, Application Development Services
Education Focused Government Agency