Starting the Aeritae ITBM Journey

Aeritae has implemented Project Portfolio, Resource, Demand Management and Agile in ServiceNow for many clients, but we also believe in the power of the platform to improve our own service offering to our clients–and make our consultants’ lives easier. Accordingly, we are embarking on our own internal ITBM journey.

ITBM Capability Lead, Josh Sutton, shares the vision behind the initiative and answers some key questions regarding the project.

When Aeritae CEO & Visionary, Michael Finlon, came to me as the ITBM Capability Lead and asked if he could grab his phone and show any of our clients the status of their projects at the touch of a button, my answer was, “Not yet, but I can get us there.”

With this initiative originating from our CEO, and the partnership of our Resource and Client Success Practice team leadership, Aeritae is embarking on an ITBM journey with a focus on leveraging ServiceNow PPM applications. There are many reasons why this just makes sense, but four words truly summarize the initiative:

  • Transparency
  • Consistency
  • Accountability
  • Efficiency

By bringing all of our project data into ServiceNow we’ll be able to achieve much greater transparency for our clients. However, by MANAGING our projects and resourcing in ServiceNow, we’ll be able to achieve all four of our goal metrics (and then some).

We all want a better view of our world. We want to “drink our own champagne”. We want to be elite. ServiceNow is going to help get us there.

Why is Aeritae striving to implement a best-in-class Project Portfolio, Resource and Demand Management practice?

The move is part of a larger vision to intentionally run our business on the ServiceNow platform. Our company mission is to help others continually adapt, grow and transform. But we needed to look internally at how we could drive better metrics around our projects (both current and upcoming) in order to deliver more consistently and efficiently.

We also believe that small businesses and teams can reap the benefits of ServiceNow’s ITBM solutions, in addition to large enterprise. We want to prove that value out by applying PPM, Resource and Demand internally, using it to then serve as a showcase for our ServiceNow clients and those considering these solutions.

What are you measuring? What will success look like?

Our 4 goal metric areas and requirements captured from our Client Success Team, Program and Project Leads:

  • Transparency:
    • A clear, simple view of work done, time spent, etc. before, during and after the project has completed
    • Visibility from one location of all work being completed
    • A single source of project truth (scope/stories, team resources, client information, risks, decisions, plans, budgets, etc.) to provide transparency to everyone
  • Consistency:
    • The ability to stay well-organized and consistent from engagement to engagement
    • Ability to quickly on-board new Project Leads, while also improving upon our repeat process for all team members
  • Accountability:
    • Visibility from a one-stop shop identifying accomplishments and possible improvements
    • See the data, all of the data–and arrive at powerful insights
  • Efficiency:
    • Help PM’s, as well as other team members involved in projects, with their day to day activities (i.e., make life easier!)
    • No more searching for data to put into a single place for “point-in-time” information, the data is now real-time, everytime
    • Roll-up data from Project to Portfolio, forecast and committed utilization, historical data to better prepare for future activities and easier planning

What does the timeline and Roadmap look like?

Our timeline is to have streamlined demand/project/resource processes in ServiceNow by the end of Q1 2019.

We started our journey with PPM in order to not only create the consistency required in an elite firm, but also to show our clients the value of the platform–specifically ITBM. Getting our staff managing their projects in ServiceNow is a quick win.

We have been creating the records for years to have some form of tracking and accountability. But just like many other companies, there are disparate tools being used throughout the organization to track and manage the work. We need to bring it all together!

We plan to follow that up with Resource Management to make the staffing and management of project teams more efficient and in the same system of record, capitalizing on time tracking as well, and moving away from our time management system in place today.

We will also achieve automation by integrating with our Finance and Invoicing system which is currently our time tracking and resourcing tool. By capitalizing on the roles and skills portion of the ServiceNow platform, there is no guessing if the latest spreadsheet or export is up to date. We’ll be managing everything in one place!

Demand Management will be a parallel effort, along with Portfolio Management. These two modules will provide us with the core data necessary to do proper planning, essential to running our business. Included in Demand Management will also be an integration to Salesforce to consolidate another disparate system of record, so that our Sales staff can continue working as they do and the rest of the business can ingest that data using our single system in ServiceNow.

And lastly, we plan to mature our Agile 2.0 usage, which will enable us to continue to drive the efficiency and consistency we already have in place for our project, and make it better.

One very important thing we are keeping at the top of mind while taking this journey is our own clients. When we are designing things, we are making sure that we are staying focused on how we can expose this information easy for our clients to consume. We are currently taking advantage of CSM in our internal instance as well, and looking to leverage that to show this value.

What is the Implementation Approach?

Operating just as we would in an implementation for our clients, we are taking a hybrid approach, driving based on our project plan and set of deliverables according to scope and due date. From there we will deliver using Agile 2.0 in our iterative approach.

We began by establishing a dedicated project team consisting of a Project Lead, Functional Lead, and Technical Lead, just as we do with our clients.

Our Client Success Practice is our key PPM stakeholders as they own the project management process, and we will be working with them on adoption and training after we have completed process design and implementation.

Additional process owners as we work through our ITBM Roadmap will include our Sales and Sales Operations team for input into Demand and our Resource Management function for Resource Management and Time Tracking.

What are some of the anticipated outcomes?

  • Better alignment/visibility across our organization about the work we are doing.
  • Realistic resource management – ability to keep everything in one system and track more accurately.
  • Transparency (for all our work, for who we work with related to that work, client information, visibility of projects cross-department, sharing risks for escalation, sharing project information for team collaboration.
  • Single point of information for all projects — THE source of truth in a land of many systems that don’t talk to each other (OpenAir, Insight, OneDrive, Spreadsheets, etc, partially-utilized ServiceNow instance).

Join us over the course of the next 6 months as we continue to share out our insights and progress implementing ServiceNow’s ITBM suite internally at Aeritae.

Josh Sutton

IT Business Management Capability Lead, AERITAE