The Weather Company

Cloud PPM Gives The Weather Company Visibility & Transparency Across Entire Portfolio

The Weather Company (formerly The Weather Channel) was the first 24-hour network devoted to weather programming and the first national TV network able to automatically customize content based on viewer location. Since then, the company has grown from a TV network to one of the most wellknown corporations in weather news and forecasting. With hundreds of projects across all business divisions,. the Portfolio Management & Strategy group, keeps busy handling oversight of project statuses and resources, and delivering tools to project managers within the divisions. The small team of five program managers and one portfolio analyst are also responsible for generating reports on project statuses and progress to the company’s management team.

Business Opportunity: Broken request management process and no visibility into project status

As the company grew globally, the CEO and his executive team required more visibility into all projects and often didn’t know which projects were active and what their statuses were. Project information was tracked in spreadsheets and was not kept in a centralized place for quick and easy access to everyone. The Weather Company (TWC) also needed a better governance process to select and prioritize the projects that would improve the company’s performance. There were three aspects of the request management process that were broken:

  • Project approval and resource allocation did not follow an unbiased governance and prioritization process, with project resources often going to divisions that “yelled the loudest."
  • Each division had its own request management process for projects, which led to inconsistent project review and approval across the divisions.
  • Division leaders had no information into whether there was appropriate resource allocation to approved projects. Project management, prioritization and tracking relied on a disjointed system of three different solutions – spreadsheets, a project request management tool, and time tracking software – which were always out of sync and therefore delivered inconsistent and inaccurate project information to division leaders and the executive team.

Solution: Robust Cloud PPM that easily integrates with existing infrastructure

Despite attempts to integrate these in-house tools, The Weather Company was not able to create an integrated solution that met the company’s reporting and governance needs. As a result, they began evaluating PPM solution providers such as CA Clarity and Planview but quickly noticed they needed a solution that matched the company’s level of maturity without unnecessary features. Innotas stood out among these providers for its robust PPM functionality, fast implementation cycles, and its ability to integrate with tools such as Atlassian’s JIRA, PeopleSoft, and Rally Software.

  • TWC first used Innotas to manage time tracking for 300+ users, which was completed in a little over two weeks, including migrating users, existing content and historical data to the Innotas system.
  • The company then deployed the project request management and resource management features and uses Innotas as the main reporting tool for all projects statuses.
  • Ultimately established Innotas as the only project tracking tool company-wide and all within a three month time frame.

Results: Faster decision making through accurate, real-time reporting

The Weather Company has been able to meet their objective of creating greater visibility and transparency across all project —they can now report on the statuses of all projects from a centralized place that delivers accurate and real-time information for executives as well as division leaders.

  • Significant reduction in time spent on delivering reports and preparing metrics to the CEO while increasing the granularity of data available for analysis across projects, resources, and budgets.
  • Have a real-time view of process statuses which enable the company to stay abreast of all ongoing projects so they can either resolve or cancel under performing projects
  • Can now rely on a consistent governance process that is completely automated from project request by the division leaders through project approval by the COO.

“The things that really stood out for us about Innotas were that the solution was clearly focused on the PPM fundamentals without a million bells and whistles that would take three months to learn; and we were really keen on being able to implement and see results quickly. Innotas definitely delivered on that.”

“What really differentiated the solution was the integration with other systems such as PeopleSoft and JIRA as well as the available documentation.”

Monisha Longacre
VP of Portfolio Management & Strategy
The Weather Company