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					                                                  Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management
                                                  Customer Solution Case Study




                                                  Mortgage Finance Agency Improves Planning
                                                  Through Centralized Project Management



Overview                                          “The EPM Solution puts project management all in
Country or Region: United States
Industry: Financial services—Mortgage
                                                  one place, and having centralized one-stop shopping
services                                          for projects is huge.”
                                                  Marc McGlade, Project Manager, Virginia Housing Development Authority
Customer Profile
The Virginia Housing Development
Authority (VHDA) is a state mortgage
finance agency based in Richmond,                 The Virginia Housing Development Authority (VHDA), a state
Virginia. It has 286 full-time employees.
                                                  mortgage finance agency, wanted to improve its resource planning
Business Situation                                by centralizing the IT division‟s project management functions.
VHDA was building a project management
office in the IT division to centralize project   VHDA established a Project Management Office (PMO) and
management and improve resource                   implemented the Microsoft® Office Enterprise Project Management
planning.
                                                  (EPM) Solution, based on Microsoft Office Project Server 2007.
Solution                                          Project managers who use the EPM Solution manage resources
VHDA, assisted by integration partner
Projility, implemented the Microsoft® Office      more efficiently because they have better real-time information on
Enterprise Project Management (EPM)               staff commitments. The solution has also decreased the number of
Solution based on Microsoft Office Project
Server 2007.                                      meetings needed to track project status. The organization‟s
                                                  executive leadership uses the EPM Solution to view project
Benefits
 Fewer meetings
                                                  dashboards and Gantt charts. The PMO‟s efforts have been
 Dashboards for executives                       nominated for a national award and have established a base from
 Improved resource planning
 Nomination for innovation award
                                                  which to extend efficient project management throughout the
 Infrastructure for future expansion             organization.
“Because everything is                    Situation                                          For example, as a project manager, McGlade
                                          The Virginia Housing Development Authority         conducted weekly meetings where he would
centralized in the EPM                    (VHDA), a state mortgage finance agency,           present a task list and ask each team
Solution, executives can                  helps low-income and moderate-income               member to provide status updates. He
                                          Virginians attain good-quality, affordable         recalls, “I‟d ask, „How far along are we on
go to Office Project Web                  housing. The agency is self-supporting and         Task A?‟ „Forty percent.‟ „OK, our due date is
Access and see Gantt                      does not use tax dollars to fund its lending       next Friday. Are we on track?‟ „Yes, we are‟ or
                                          programs. Located in Richmond, Virginia, it        „No, we‟re not.‟ We weren‟t having meetings
charts of our portfolio.                  has 286 full-time employees and about 40           for the sake of having them. We had to have
We couldn‟t do that                       contractors and consultants.                       meetings because when I tried to accomplish
                                                                                             the same goals by sending out e-mail
before.”                                  Offering an array of homeownership loan            messages all day long, I was driving people
Marc McGlade, Project Manager, Virginia   programs, educational services, and loans to       nuts.”
Housing Development Authority             developers of low-income multifamily
                                          housing, VHDA has several income streams.          To centralize and improve project
                                          In many ways it is run more like private           management functions, ITS decided in
                                          financial institution than a state agency. IT is   August 2007 to establish a Project
                                          an important component of its overall              Management Office (PMO). It hired an
                                          mission. “You can‟t do anything without            experienced director, Shelia Phillips, and
                                          technology any more. I mean zero,” says            began instituting best practices. For example,
                                          Marc McGlade, Project Manager at VHDA.             many project managers had also been
                                                                                             serving as business analysts; Phillips split
                                          Projects at VHDA were not well integrated.         those dual roles. She also standardized
                                          Several current IT governance initiatives at       templates. “Now for each process we have,”
                                          VHDA are organized as large programs               says McGlade, “whether it is initiation,
                                          including multiple projects. These programs        planning, execution, closure, we have
                                          include records management, Web                    template-driven artifacts. So even if you are
                                          modernization, and information security.           not trained in project management, you can
                                          Other, smaller, projects—including                 connect the dots.”
                                          implementation of a new electronic
                                          purchasing system, an upgrade of the data          The largest focus for the new PMO was
                                          center with new hardware, and regular              improving resource management. McGlade
                                          infrastructure improvements such as                recalls, “We‟d ask what a specific resource
                                          upgrading to Microsoft® SQL Server® 2005           was working on, and the information was
                                          data management software (from the 2000            often outdated or anecdotal.”
                                          edition)—were not related at a program level.
                                                                                             To support these efforts, VHDA sought a
                                          To manage these programs and projects,             software package that could help the PMO
                                          project managers throughout the VHDA               centralize projects, improve resource
                                          Information Technology Services (ITS) division     management, and provide program-level
                                          were using Microsoft Project Server 2002 for       dashboard reporting to upper management.
                                          project plans and document templates. “It
                                          wasn‟t hack project management,” says              Solution
                                          McGlade. “It was good work, though maybe a         “We‟re mainly a Microsoft shop,” says
                                          bit lacking in consistency. It wasn‟t nearly as    McGlade. “Not all of our applications are
                                          tight and structured and disciplined as it is      Microsoft, but our databases are
                                          now.”                                              predominately in SQL Server 2005, and we
“In the past, we might                    now have Microsoft Office SharePoint Server         VHDA to leverage the agency‟s existing
                                          2007. For project management, we were               investment in Microsoft software to develop
have discussed various                    interested in a Microsoft product for               an integrated EPM system—that is, to help
individuals in a meeting,                 integration and a similar look-and-feel, and        them realize solid return on investment.”
                                          we found one that fit our needs.”
and heard, „Hey, their                                                                        VHDA and Projility installed the EPM Solution
plates are full.‟ But now                 VHDA chose the Microsoft Office Enterprise          on HP ProLiant DL585 G2 Rack server
                                          Project Management (EPM) Solution, which            computers with Dual-Core AMD Opteron
we can go into the EPM                    includes Microsoft Office Project Server            processors in a virtual environment, tested
Solution and see what                     2007, Microsoft Office Project Professional         the proof of concept, and then immediately
                                          2007, and Microsoft Office Project Web              began implementation.
exactly they are                          Access. The solution integrates tightly with
earmarked for.”                           Office SharePoint® Server 2007 and                  Now project managers set up templates in
                                          Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting                 Office Project Professional 2007, and team
Marc McGlade, Project Manager, Virginia   Services. VHDA also uses the Microsoft Office       members use the My Tasks feature in Office
Housing Development Authority             Outlook® 2003 messaging and collaboration           Project Web Access to enter time and status
                                          client and the Windows® XP operating                information. Executives—including members
                                          system.                                             of the IT governance board—will be using the
                                                                                              solution to view status progress updates. In
                                          To implement the project, the PMO did a             the future, VHDA plans to customize the
                                          great deal of planning. “We took our time with      reports it generates using SQL Server
                                          it because we wanted it to be very well             Reporting Services. “These pieces of the
                                          planned and executed,” says McGlade. He             solution—Office Project Web Access, SQL
                                          investigated several integration vendors            Server Reporting Services, and Office
                                          before settling on Projility, a Microsoft           SharePoint Server 2007—are all productively
                                          Premier EPM Partner based in Vienna,                bundled together,” McGlade says.
                                          Virginia. “We decided on Projility because of
                                          their glowing references, thoroughness in           Benefits
                                          helping us configure the system we required,        VHDA has used the EPM Solution to
                                          and answering our concerns,” says McGlade.          centralize project management tasks, which
                                                                                              reduces the number of meetings, gives top
                                          VHDA began a dialogue with Projility in             executives access to real-time data, and
                                          September 2007, but did not sign a contract         improves resource planning. The PMO‟s
                                          until April 2008. McGlade says, “Because the        efforts have garnered VHDA an award
                                          project was unbudgeted internally, I really         nomination and provided a base from which
                                          had to have my ducks in a row. And Projility        to extend project management capabilities.
                                          was outstanding to work with; its staff knows
                                          Office Project Server 2007 implementation           Fewer Meetings
                                          very, very well.”                                   The PMO uses the EPM Solution to centralize
                                                                                              project management functions. “The EPM
                                          At Projility, Corporate Vice President Rob          Solution puts project management all in one
                                          Hirschmann appreciated the homework                 place, and having centralized one-stop
                                          McGlade and Phillips had done. “They‟re             shopping for projects is huge,” says McGlade.
                                          incredibly well organized,” Hirschmann says.
                                          “They had a charter and a mission for this          For example, as a project manager, McGlade
                                          project, a vision behind it all. It was very well   saves time by not calling so many meetings.
                                          put together. Our approach was to team with         He still manages his projects by working
through the status of each task, but now the      result in improved satisfaction for customers
work need not happen in a meeting. Team           of the ITS division across the business.
members enter time and status through             Moving forward, VHDA is as well-prepared as
Office Project Web Access every day, and          most top-tier enterprises to better plan and
every Friday they submit all the information.     forecast project work, providing more
“Then, every Monday, we do a project              meaningful insight across the project
update,” he says. “I can track progress           portfolio.”
without having a meeting.”
                                                  Nomination for Innovation Award
Dashboards for Executives                         The VHDA efforts to establish a top-notch
VHDA plans to use the EPM Solution to             PMO are receiving national recognition. VHDA
provide executive-level reports and               was nominated for a 2008 Housing Finance
dashboards to the IT governance board. This       Agency Management Innovation award. The
board, called Info2010, includes managing         award, in the Technology category, is given by
directors of all the organization‟s lines of      the National Council of State Housing
business—in other words, the executive            Agencies (NCHSA).
leadership of the entire organization.
                                                  The award “recognizes outstanding
“Because everything is centralized in the EPM     innovation in the use of technology to
Solution,” McGlade says, “executives can go       strengthen agency operations and achieve
to Office Project Web Access and see Gantt        strategic objectives,” according to the NCSHA
charts of our portfolio. We couldn‟t do that      Web site. McGlade says, “Our nomination
before. That‟s a big benefit to our leadership    was for establishing the PMO and all the
team—to be able to see when projects are          benefits that brings, many of which we
scheduled to close.”                              brought about by using the EPM Solution.”

Improved Resource Planning                        Infrastructure for Future Expansion
VHDA uses the EPM Solution to vastly              “As the PMO reaches maturity,” McGlade
improve its resource management. Now that         says, “it may move out from the ITS division
real-time data is available on each               to stand alone at the enterprise level. At that
individual‟s commitments, managers can be         point, everything would funnel through the
more swift and sure in making decisions           PMO, whether it‟s an IT-driven project or
about who might be available for a project.       something like process improvement that has
                                                  nothing to do with IT.
“Recently I was looking for a resource in a
particular functional role,” McGlade says. “In    The PMO staff knows that the Microsoft
the past, we might have discussed various         Office EPM Solution will scale to cover such
individuals in a meeting and heard, „Hey, their   work. “What we need to do is put into place
plates are full.‟ But now we can go into the      some of the best practices and templates so
EPM Solution and see what exactly they are        that our processes can match the EPM
earmarked for, whether they have bandwidth.       Solution in being prepared to advance in
In this particular recent example, I was          maturity level,” McGlade says.
indeed able to grab the resource I needed.”
                                                  Expansion of the EPM solution will be a well-
Hirschmann of Projility agrees, saying, “The      planned, even methodical process. VHDA
solution is driving increased accountability      hopes to begin by expanding the EPM
and better resource planning, which will          Solution to integrate with the Remedy Magic
For More Information                                  Service Desk help-desk system that currently         Microsoft Office System
For more information about Microsoft                  tracks work order assignments. VHDA also             Microsoft Office is the business world's
products and services, call the Microsoft             hopes to integrate the EPM Solution with a           chosen environment for information work
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                Web-based human resources software                   that provides the software, servers, and
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                   application called iEmployee, which VHDA             services that help you succeed by
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-               uses to track time off. And, eventually, it          transforming information into impact.
2495. Customers who are deaf or hard-of-              hopes to integrate the EPM solution with its
hearing can reach Microsoft text telephone            financial software system.                           For more information about the Microsoft
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in                                                                    Office System, go to:
the United States or (905) 568-9641 in                The prospect excites McGlade. “If we can             www.microsoft.com/office
Canada. Outside the 50 United States and              bring some of these things to the table that
Canada, please contact your local                     will let us step up our use of the EPM
Microsoft subsidiary. To access information           Solution,” he says, “we‟re going to go from an
using the World Wide Web, go to:                      organization without a PMO, where people
www.microsoft.com                                     basically do things on their own, to a model
                                                      PMO. I want to be a part of that.”
For more information about Projility
products and services, call (703) 448-
6777 or visit the Web site at:
www.projility.com

For more information about Virginia
Housing Development Authority products
and services, call (804) 782-1986 or visit
the Web site at:
www.vhda.com




                                                       Software and Services                              Windows XP
                                                        Microsoft Office                                 Technologies
                                                         − Microsoft Office Outlook 2003                   − Microsoft Office Project Web Access
                                                         − Microsoft Office Project Server 2007
                                                         − Microsoft Office Project Professional       Hardware
                                                           2007                                           HP ProLiant DL585 G2 Rack server
                                                         − Microsoft Office SharePoint Server              computers with Dual-Core AMD Opteron
                                                           2007                                            processors
                                                        Microsoft Server Product Portfolio
                                                         − Microsoft SQL Server 2005                   Partners
                                                         − Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting            Projility
                                                           Services



This case study is for informational purposes only.
MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR
IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.

Document published January 2009

				
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