The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board

Putting structure around an existing governance process while improving reporting

With over 1,500 employees and 11 district offices across New York, the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is among the many state agencies supporting the citizens of the State of New York, the 3rd most populous and the 7th most densely populated of the 50 United States. In particular, the board protects the rights of employees and employers by ensuring the proper delivery of benefits to those who are injured or ill, and by promoting compliance with the law.

In order to monitor all projects that are requested of the Workers’ Compensation Board, the agency put a Project Management Office (PMO) in place that, as a hybrid PMO, provides project management mentoring and performs quality assurance testing but also executes and manages some projects. However, the most important objective of the PMO is the ongoing support of the agency’s governance process.

Challenge: Monitoring and reporting project requests and statuses through spreadsheets

Although the Workers’ Compensation Board had a well-defined governance process in place, it didn’t have a tool to actually enforce, monitor, and report on its governance process nor was it measured for its success.

  • (Project) Investment request and process tracking were managed through numerous Word and Excel documents leaving room for error and duplicate requests.
  • Reporting to executive management and executive council was cumbersome and time-consuming, sometimes taking weeks to prepare.
  • Lack of understanding what projects were in the board’s project portfolio and which projects should be taken on, postponed, or rejected.

In addition to the aforementioned challenges, the PMO considered replacing an existing project portfolio management solution from Hewlett-Packard that was simply never implemented due to the complex deployment requirements and high IT maintenance costs.

Solution: Moving the board’s governance process to the Cloud

With limited resources available to support a Project Portfolio Management solution, one of the key requirements of a new solution would be low maintenance and support costs, indicating a need for a Software-as-a-Service solution. The Workers’ Compensation Board’s PMO started evaluating 12 SaaS vendors and selected Innotas for its SaaS model and easy deployment as well as for the solution’s functionality and company’s capabilities, including:

  • Project Portfolio Management features enabling quick and easy replicating of the PMO’s governance process in the solution.
  • Extensive reporting and dashboard functionality empowering the board to monitor, measure, and report on (project) investment requests in real-time.
  • Dedicated Engagement Manager delivering ongoing support during all stages of the implementation and usage cycle such as deployment, adoption, and maintenance.

Results: Significantly streamlined the request and portfolio management process

The Innotas solution allowed the Workers’ Compensation Board’s PMO to streamline how it managed project requests as well as created more transparency into current and past requests and their impact on the entire portfolio.

  • Dramatically improved the reporting within the agency as well as reporting provided to the Office for Technology (OFT). For example, reporting preparation time was reduced from several weeks to less than a day.
  • Improved budgeting, and project prioritization through better request and portfolio management.
  • Enabled data-driven decision making for resource management, i.e. used Innotas data on project request and forecast to make resource allocation and hiring decisions.

The processes implemented by the Workers’ Compensation Board’s PMO and supported by Innotas’ solution have served as best practice examples for other state agencies in New York such as the Office of the State Controller who has adopted a similar request and governance process.

"In terms of projects, the thing that Innotas really helped us with is having an understanding of how we executed and are executing towards our annual plan - what project we planned to do, what has been completed, what is suspended, what has been prioritized, and so forth."

Sara Holmberg
Director of the PMO
The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board

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