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Project on Co Operative Society Management

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					                                                          Cps CASE STUDY:
                                           MIDLANDS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY




Midlands Co-operative soCiety:
striving for the CoMpetitive edge by
inCreasing projeCt Maturity levels
Rising energy costs, dominance of the             around other resource commitments such
big four supermarkets, soaring food costs,        as holidays and training.
growth in online travel bookings and a
                                                  The objectives of the implementation for
decline in the death rate are just some of
                                                  Midlands Co-operative Society were to:
the diverse challenges facing Midlands
Co-operative Society on a daily basis.            ◆◆ Produce a project portfolio that would
                                                    enable progress throughout the year to
Employing almost 8,000 people, the                  be tracked.
Midlands Co-operative Society is the
                                                  ◆◆ Maximise the utilisation of resources.
largest regional Co-operative Society
in the UK. Trading mainly in Derbyshire,          ◆◆ Enable  the collective planning and
Leicestershire and the Greater Midlands,            delivery of projects.
the organisation has recorded gross sales in      ◆◆ Improve    visibility to all on project
excess of £749 million. The principal areas of      progress.
activity include Retail (food and non-food),      ◆◆ Toincrease the number and quality of
Travel, Funeral Services (including Florists)       projects being delivered.
and Transport. There is also a substantial
investment property portfolio.                    “CPS were chosen to implement the
                                                  EPM solution due to their response and
Midlands Co-operative Society stands              understanding of the Midlands Co-
apart from other retailers as it is owned         operative Society’s business requirements
by its members who share in trading               and environment. They understood that
profits through the payment of a biannual         the process of project management
dividend. Each member has one vote and            and getting people on board are just
can exercise their democratic rights twice        as important as the technology. They
a year at Members’ meetings and through           also understood that a successful
elections. For Midlands Co-operative              implementation would be the toolset fitting
Society, community involvement is                 the process and not changing the project
fundamental to its principles and drives the      process to fit the tool. The advice Midlands
corporate vision of making a difference.          Co-operative Society received on how to
The company’s Business Support Centre,            get the most out of EPM one step at a time
located in Lichfield, Staffordshire provides      was second to none.” comments Barry
management and support for operational            Hodge, Project Manager at Midlands Co-
activities. Every year Midlands Co-               operative Society
operative Society is audited by external
auditors, with project maturity being one         the iMpleMentation
of the aspects continually re-evaluated.
Having started to develop their project           The implementation of an EPM tool is
processes in 2005, the audit in 2006              completely organisation-dependent. It is
revealed a greatly improved score for             important to understand the requirements
project methodology. However, it was              of the organisation, the processes that
felt that there was a requirement for a           the tool must support, the needs and
project tool to underpin this enhanced            pain points of the people that will interact
methodology.                                      with the system and the organisation’s
                                                  capacity for change. With this in mind, a
After a period of vendor selection it was         phased implementation approach was
decided that the Microsoft Enterprise             taken at Midlands Co-operative Society,
Project Management toolset offered                rolling out functionality over a period of
Midlands Co-operative Society a flexible          time, and only after suitable training and
solution that would grow, adapt and               acceptance from the end user had been
underpin the evolving methodology.                achieved.
Before the implementation, project
planning and resource management                  With this in mind, CPS set about ascertaining
were being conducted in isolation; Project        functionality requirements through a series
Managers planned separately with stand            of requirement gathering (discovery and
alone versions of Microsoft Project and it        envisioning) meetings with representatives
was difficult to schedule projects particularly   from the various internal departments,
when the timings of other projects changed.       including finance, IT, infrastructure and
It was also difficult to schedule projects        service desk. This approach facilitated
MIDLANDS CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY


a better understanding of what level of             ◆◆ high  level resource management (a                    The EPM implementation process took
functionality each area was willing, and               more complete picture of who was                      two months from start to finish. In total the
had the capacity, to accept as part of                 working on what and when).                            final end users totalled six Executives, five
the first phase of the implementation               ◆◆ a  central resource pool with generic                 Project Managers and fifty Team Members.
and enabled CPS to help Midlands Co-                   (primary role-based) resources for                    Support for the rollout of phase one was
operative Society shape how the product                building up a longer term picture of                  provided in the form of consultant time
would fit seamlessly within a culture that is          resource requirement.                                 spent on site working with the business,
over 100 years old.                                                                                          training of all interested parties and access
                                                    ◆◆ reporting through the use of project
                                                                                                             to specialised third-tier knowledge through
After these discovery and envisioning                  metadata displayed in various grouping
                                                                                                             the CPS Support Helpdesk.
workshops, held in February 2007, a                    formats in the project centre, resource
prototype working system was put                       centre and data analysis.                             Reflecting on the change, Barry Hodge
together in order to demonstrate back               ◆◆ project   workspaces – a project-linked               concludes that;
to the project stakeholders that CPS had               SharePoint site for tracking and logging              “Before implementing EPM Midlands Co-
correctly understood the requirements.                 of risks, issues, change requests and                 operative Society delivered 13 projects
This was further refined, with all                     project-specific documentation (Project               per year, now with EPM and the same staff
unnecessary functionality turned off to                Brief, Business Case, etc.).                          numbers, Midlands Co-operative Society
keep the interface as understandable
                                                    ◆◆ reporting task progress and work remaining            deliver 30 projects per year. However,
and unintimidating as possible. Included in
                                                       through the use of the task updates – team            success with the product is a gradual
the functionality for first phase rollout was:
                                                       members updating tasks and approval                   process dependant on the culture of the
◆◆ acentral repository for all plans (both             and acceptance by project managers                    organisation and the willingness of people
  Project and business as usual/absence)               into the project plan.                                at all levels within the organisation to
  to enable project managers to plan                                                                         adopt the toolset. It is equally about the
                                                    ◆◆ SharePoint – To enable websites for each
  together rather than separately.                                                                           people and the product.”
                                                       project making it easier to share and find
◆◆ metadata     tagging of projects and                project documents with no ambiguity
  resources in order to provide grouping,              over use of the correct version.
  sorting and tracking information for each.




   results
THE




                                                                                                                              Request for a
                                                                                                                               new Project
                                                                                                                             submitted using
                                                                                                                              an online form
                                                                                                                             created by CPS
Every year Midlands Co-operative Society is audited on its IT controls. One important aspect of the
audit is project maturity which is scored on a scale of level 1 - level 4. Best Practice is set at level 3.
The implementation of EPM has ensured Midlands Co-operative Society continues to exceed
Best Practice standards and score high on its Project Management.                                                               Requester
                                                                                                                             selects Property
Despite this immense progress, it was felt that one of the aspects that could still be improved                                 Services or
                                                                                                                                 IT Project
upon was the ability to check that all projects were being delivered in accordance with
the Best Practice methodology. To improve and try to reach the highest
possible audit score, Midlands Co-operative Society implemented CPS’
Project Auditor which has enabled self audit and ensures that all projects                   IT Project Plan                                           Property Services
                                                                                                                                                         Project Plan
follow the Midlands Co-operative Society project methodology.                                  Template &                                                 Template &
                                                                                               SharePoint Site                                          SharePoint Site
                                                                                                  created
In 2008, another department within Midlands Co-operative Society noticed                                                                                    created

the success of EPM within the IT department and decided to also implement
the solution. Property Services and IT often work together on a number of                                                 Shared Resource
projects particularly around the build of new stores. Rather than putting in a                                              pool. Project
                                                                                                                         dependices linked
separate EPM solution, both departments will now use the same system allowing                                            between Property
IT and Property Services to work both independently on their project delivery by                                            Services & IT.
having their own templates and methodology, but also have the ability to share
                                                                                                                            EPM Database
resources and link dependencies. (See diagram 1)
By streamlining projects and resources, increasing project maturity and
adhering to best practice methodologies, Midlands Co-operative Society
has more than doubled its project effectiveness and output. In a challenging
                                                                                                                                                       Property Services
market place that requires Companies’ to be efficient and cost-effective,                      IT Project Portfolio                                     Project Portfolio
                                                                                                                      Diagram 1. The combined IT &
Midlands Co-operative Society is a leading example of how collaboration                                               Property Services EPM process.
and control can help achieve goals and maintain productivity.




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