Microsofts HR Departments Project Server 2010 Case Study

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  1. Microsoft Project Server 2010 Customer Solution Case Study Microsoft Human Resources Reduces Project Portfolio to Improve EffectivenessOverview “We‟re working on…
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  • 1. Microsoft Project Server 2010 Customer Solution Case Study Microsoft Human Resources Reduces Project Portfolio to Improve EffectivenessOverview “We‟re working on fewer projects, but higher-qualityCountry or Region: United StatesIndustry: Professional services— projects, which saves everybody time and improves theSoftware engineering manager and employee experience.”Customer Profile Joan Wissmann, Manager of CBPM Project Management, Microsoft Human ResourcesMicrosoft, based in Redmond,Washington, is number 35 in the 2009Fortune 500. Its staff of 93,000 is Microsoft Human Resources, which supports the 93,000managed by a human resourcesdepartment that has more than 1,500 employees of the global software company, wanted to makeemployees in 100 countries. better strategic decisions about its portfolio of projects. AsBusiness Situation Human Resources developed new portfolio managementMicrosoft Human Resources wanted to processes, it worked with a prerelease version of Microsoftmore effectively manage its portfolio ofprojects. As it developed new portfolio Project Server 2010, tailoring the software to fit the businessmanagement processes, it needed a processes of its five Human Resources Centers of tool to aid in decision making. Human Resources has used Project Server 2010 to improve theSolution ways it collects information on projects and how it reports thatHuman Resources implemented aprerelease version of Microsoft Project information to executives. These improvements have helpedServer 2010, configured for the processes leadership make better decisions and pare the portfolio fromat each of its Centers of Excellence. 200 to 25 projects. The result is higher-quality projects andBenefits smoother scheduling, with improvements in transparency, Better information collection Richer ways to compare projects accountability, and collaboration. Fewer, better-scheduled projects Transparency and accountability Improved collaboration
  • 2. Situation them really well,” says Wissmann. “ForThe Microsoft Human Resources example, we‟d rather do two really gooddepartment seeks to recruit, retain, and projects in performance management, thaneffectively deploy a large, talented, and do 15 little ones. Even if the 15 are allmotivated work force. To support 93,000 useful and well designed, the two reallyMicrosoft employees worldwide, the good ones will bring greater long-termHuman Resources department has more gains to the company.”than 1,500 human resources professionalsacross 100 countries. These employees By cutting down on the number of projects,include HR generalists who support the department could also improve projectindividual businesses on a day-to-day basis timing and coordination. But each Centeras well as five Centers of Excellence (COEs) of Excellence had different processes forthat develop programs for the HR proposing, evaluating, and trackinggeneralists to implement. projects. Business Program Owners presented these projects using a variety ofIn early 2007, the Human Resources files generated with Microsoft Office Exceldepartment decided to improve the way 2007 spreadsheet software. Manipulatingthe COEs delivered projects. “We had more those files to report the appropriatethan 200 projects running,” says Bruno information to executives required a greatLecoq, Director of Business Process in the deal of tedious manual adjustment.Operation Excellence COE at MicrosoftHuman Resources. “To complete all of Furthermore, the process of makingthem—and deliver them at the right time— decisions based on those files varied bywas mathematically impossible.” COE, with little collaboration or coordination among them. Managers hadHR generalists sometimes felt overwhelmed no single repository of all projectby the sheer number of projects, says Joan information across all COEs, which meantWissmann, Manager of they had no easy way to compare projects‟Compensation/Benefits/Performance costs and benefits, or to see how projectManagement (CPBM) COE Project schedules might dovetail, or to enforceManagement at Microsoft Human accountability as the projects movedResources. “One day an HR generalist forward.might get a request for help delivering atraining program. The next day, a request Human Resources needed a holistic set ofto explain a new benefits program. Then portfolio management processes thatthe day after that, a request to work on provided executives with the informationrecruiting.” If HR generalists felt needed to make decisions. Any newoverwhelmed, their participation could lag, solution would have to accommodate thewhich meant that programs did not various ways of doing business in the COEsperform as well as desired. and would have to include a software tool flexible and scalable enough to supportDepartmental leaders needed to manage that effort.their portfolio of projects more effectively.“We decided to articulate a strategy, Solutionidentify the projects with the greatest link The Microsoft Human Resourcesto that strategy, and do those projects— department‟s efforts to improve portfolioand only those projects—in order to do management involved far more than
  • 3. “In Project Server 2010, implementing software. As is common in Server 2010, with plans to scale up to 1,600 the discipline of project management, a key users by the end of November and 2,000every project is success factor was developing the proper users by the end of December. (In addition processes. Says Lecoq, “We took the time to Human Resources employees, usersorganized the same way. to plan and define our process, and we include employees of the IT and FinanceEveryone can see the didn‟t touch the software tool until the departments at Microsoft.) Human whole team agreed on the plan.” Resources runs Project Server 2010 on twofinancials, the virtual servers, each with a 64-bit 2.33-GHz In April 2007, the department started using processor and 6 GB of RAM. Project Serverjustification, what Microsoft Office Project Portfolio Server 2010 works in tandem with Microsoft SQLsuccess looks like, and 2007 to help plan, prioritize, and track its Server 2008 Enterprise data management projects. Soon thereafter, the department software, and many of its processes buildhow it links to our was invited to become an early adopter of on those of Microsoft SharePoint Server Microsoft Project Server 2010, the next 2010. For example, many of the Humanoverall strategy. So we‟re generation of project management Resources configurations take advantage ofalways comparing apples software from Microsoft. Project Server SharePoint Web Parts. 2010 incorporates and improves theto apples.” functions of Office Project Portfolio Server Although a full client is available, almost all 2007, and it also features enhanced users in Human Resources access Project Bruno Lecoq, Director of Business Process, Operation Excellence, reporting and project execution. Server 2010 through its Web client, Microsoft Human Resources Microsoft Project Web App. “I am able to Human Resources was the very first do everything I could want to do with customer to get involved in the Technology Project Web App,” says Lecoq. “It‟s a very Adoption Program for Project Server 2010. powerful interface, and much faster than “Before beta, before alpha, we had the client in Office Project Portfolio Server Milestone 1,” says Sam Chung, a Program 2007.” Manager in the Project Server 2010 product group, who served as a liaison. “That‟s Indeed, many users are not even aware that when Human Resources got involved.” they are using Project Web App, because of Through calendar year 2008, Human the ways that Human Resources has Resources ran the alpha version of the adapted Project Server 2010 to the software, and in 2009 a beta version. traditional processes and workflows at each COE. Chung and his colleagues in Human Resources functioned much like an development designed Project Server 2010 external customer in this process. “Within to be highly configurable. “But even we the product group, we consider Human were amazed by the customizations that Resources to be our biggest, best, and Human Resources did,” he says. most important customer,” says Chung. “This department represents a massive As Human Resources executives seek to organization and multimillion-dollar project optimize the department‟s project portfolio, so we could always turn to them portfolio, they take particular advantage of to ask how things worked in the real world. Project Server 2010 reporting tools. “Project We have gained a great deal from working Server 2010 reports directly into Office with them.” Excel 2007 or Office Word 2007,” says Lecoq. The reporting function automates As of November 2009, Human Resources production of an executive summary for had 400 users on a beta version of Project each project that includes “who-what-
  • 4. “Our people work in 100 when-where” information, success criteria, tedious work that formerly went into financials, and other key components. preparing for meetings.countries, and if anybody Benefits Furthermore, executives can takewants to know about a The Microsoft Human Resources advantage of that consistency to makeproject, up-to-date department has used Project Server 2010 to better decisions. “In Project Server 2010, collect information more easily and to every project is organized the same way,”information is always compare and evaluate projects more says Lecoq. “Everyone can see the effectively. The department has pared its financials, the justification, what successavailable in Project project portfolio from 200 to 25, while looks like, and how it links to our overallServer 2010. We‟ve bringing about greater transparency, strategy. So we‟re always comparing apples accountability, and collaboration. to apples.”gained incredible Better Information Collection Fewer, Better-Scheduled Projectstransparency.” Because the Human Resources The department used Project Server 2010 Bruno Lecoq, Director of Business department‟s tailored version of Project to cut its portfolio to about 25 projects, Process, Operation Excellence, Server 2010 is so user-friendly, the compared with the 200 it had previously. Microsoft Human Resources department is better able to collect “We‟re working on fewer projects, but information about proposed projects. higher-quality projects, which saves “We‟ve streamlined the process for our HR everybody time and improves the manager professionals,” says Wissmann. “To collect and employee experience,” Wissmann says. information about their projects, they go to a Web site, fill in some fields, click the Save The projects are more clearly tied to the button, and they‟re done.” organization‟s strategy, and they are delivered on a predictable schedule. “We Lecoq says, “If you tell people they‟re going have practically no surprises now, because to have to use project management everyone knows what‟s coming,” Lecoq software, they resist. They imagine says. “I recently met with an HR generalist something way too complicated. But with who said, „I can feel a change in how we our system—we should almost say it‟s work: now I know what I‟m going to be „powered by Project Server 2010‟—they just working on, which I didn‟t before.‟” go to a Web site.” Indeed, within the department, the software is typically called Transparency and Accountability not Project Server 2010 but “the HR Because all departmental employees can Portfolio tool.” see project information through Project Web App, transparency is greatly improved. Richer Ways to Compare Projects “We call Project Server 2010 „the source of The rich reporting functions of Project truth,‟” Lecoq says. “If you want to get your Server 2010 give executives valuable tools project funded, it has to go through our to evaluate and compare projects. “We Project Server 2010 process. There‟s no practically got a standing ovation when we other way around it. When we do the presented the reports,” says Wissmann. optimization with the entire leadership Users were thrilled to discover that Project team, everybody leaves the meeting in full Server 2010 automated production of the agreement on a single portfolio of one-page executive summary in an Office projects.” Excel 2007 spreadsheet, eliminating the
  • 5. The single repository of information alsoimproves accountability. “Six months later,we can say, „We‟re only talking about theseparticular projects, because these are theones we approved,‟” Wissmann says.“Obviously, we do have changemanagement, but with this „source of truth,‟the change management process involvesgoing back to Project Server 2010 andreevaluating our portfolio.”Such a unified vision is particularly valuablein a large, geographically dispersedorganization. “Our people work in 100countries, and if anybody wants to knowabout a project, up-to-date information isalways available in Project Server 2010,”says Lecoq. “We‟ve gained incredibletransparency.”Improved CollaborationWith greater transparency for projectsacross all COEs, Human Resourcesemployees have more opportunities tocollaborate. Wissmann says, “Now, withProject Server 2010, everybody can seeeverybody else‟s projects. They can say,„Maybe our projects have synergy,‟ or ask,„How is my project dependent on yours?‟”Of course, some projects are confidential.“We can lock down certain projects if wedon‟t want other people to see them,”Wissmann says. “Project Server 2010 givesus that flexibility.”Likewise, collaboration and open discussionhave improved when situations change.Lecoq says, “In our quarterly meetings, ifsomething new comes up—a new mandate,say, or a compliance-related project—we‟renow able realize the implications: Do wehave enough resources? Do we need todelay some projects, or hire new staff? WithProject Server 2010, we can try to addressissues like that. Before, we couldn‟t evenhave that conversation.”
  • 6. For More Information Microsoft Project Server 2010For more information about Microsoft Microsoft Project Server 2010 bringsproducts and services, call the Microsoft together the business collaborationSales Information Center at (800) 426- platform services of Microsoft SharePoint9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft Server 2010 with structured executionCanada Information Centre at (877) 568- capabilities to provide flexible work2495. Customers in the United States and management solutions. Project Server 2010Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing unifies project and portfolio managementcan reach Microsoft text telephone to help organizations align resources and(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. investments with business priorities, gainOutside the 50 United States and control across all types of work, andCanada, please contact your local visualize performance through powerfulMicrosoft subsidiary. To access dashboards.information using the World Wide Web,go For more information about Microsoft Project Server 2010, go to:For more information about Microsoft Resources, call (800) 426-9400 orvisit the Web site Software and Services Microsoft Office Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Microsoft Office Excel 2007 − Microsoft Project Server 2010 − Microsoft Office Word 2007 − Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 Technologies − Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise − Microsoft Project Web AppThis case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published May 2010
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