Project leader Mireille Damink of ANWB talks about the process of implementing Apptio’s Targetprocess tool in the organization that she and her colleague Jack Kleinjan, in collaboration with Synergio, guided.
Why was ANWB looking for a tool for Portfolio management?
Mireille: ‘About two years ago we discussed in the management team that as ANWB we wanted to be able to market our services and products faster. On the one hand, this required the development of new software, but in order for us to be more effective for our customers, an organizational change was also needed. As ANWB, we had already made a start with this change based on the principles of the Self-Directed Strategic Process. One of the starting points here is that we must always be able to seamlessly connect all the work that happens in our organization to execution. This means, among other things, that you can always see what has been most important this quarter based on Quarterly Business Reviews. The spreadsheet in Excel that we were working with up to that point was no longer adequate to encompass all these goals, processes and data in an efficient and secure way.’
What have been your hurdles in implementing portfolio management?
‘Setting up and implementing a tool is always more costly than working with pre-existing software. We therefore had to convince our organization that a tool developed specifically for portfolio management, such as Targetprocess, works more effectively and also offers synergy benefits. Targetprocess allows us to see at a glance what strategic goals are being worked on, when and by whom. An additional benefit is also that we now have much more transparency and insight into who is doing what at what time. For example, we found out that sometimes people work on the same solution in two different places in the organization. So more transparency also makes for more effectiveness. Another barrier was that there are several business lines operating within ANWB, each working with its own tools. It was a challenge to incorporate all the requirements people had from their own tools into the new tool.’
Why did ANWB choose Targetprocess & Synergio?
‘Our choice of Targetprocess followed from a Request For Proposal process. So we considered several tools and Targetprocess had the best solution for our organization and also provided the best value for money. Synergio was recommended as an implementation partner by our supplier.’
What did the implementation project look like?
‘We have taken an Agile approach where we were going to deliver small pieces of product in multiple iterations, as opposed to the waterfall model where you first go through the full thinking phase of a development project. So we started small with the goal of being able to go live quickly for a QBR. In doing so, we deliberately opted for a minimum viable product (MVP) rather than immediately utilizing all the capabilities of the tool. The benefit of this is that now, about two months after the introduction of Targetprocess, we are working with everyone involved in the same tool.
What are success factors to make an implementation successful?
‘For us, the MVP approach worked very well. By always working in small sprints, we were able to get the tool up and running organization-wide within two months. What really helped is that when we introduced Targetprocess, we stated that this is the starting point, not the end station. In addition, we had all users work with the tool in a sandbox environment. On the one hand, to let them experience whether the tool suits their work situation, but also to let people think about adjustments and improvement possibilities. All in all, we found it quite exciting to go live with a tool that we know is not yet optimally set up and tuned to our workflows.’
What do you recommend to others looking to implement a tool?
‘If you’re going to start implementing a tool for portfolio management, it’s fine to start from an Excel File so that you already have some kind of overview or framework for all your work processes. Based on this, you can transfer your processes into the tool of your choice. It is also advisable to have a combination of people with knowledge of portfolio management, software tools and people who know the organization well on your team.’
What are the next steps?
‘We have now only rolled out a small part of the capabilities of Targetprocess. In the coming period, we will support ANWB’s Objectives and Key Results step by step by using the data from Targetprocess to make better choices. And at the same time, we want to ensure that everyone starts to see the added value of the tool, so that the tool is adopted throughout the organization. Once that’s all up and running, we want to expand the tool to include Resource & Dependency Management as well.
Cooperation with Synergio
‘We really enjoyed working with Synergio as an implementation partner. And despite the fact that Synergio is located pretty much on the other side of the country and we therefore chose to do the implementation entirely online, we found the contact with the people at Synergio to be very pleasant, professional and personal.’
If you would like to learn more about the portfolio management implementation at ANWB, please contact us. We are happy to share our knowledge.
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