The challenge

One of the Federal Government’s largest civilian agencies was relying on mismatched IT (infrastructure, software and data) to support their business operations.  This resulted in a lack of confidence in the IT department and their ability to support their expanding IT needs.

The primary objective of this initiative was to produce a detailed transformation path for executing the client’s IT strategy, outlined in their current state assessment. The client required a detailed plan to get from the current to future state; one that was reflective of their overarching strategy for IT transformation while at the same time aligned with the agency’s core mission and vision. The transformation path included a prioritized list and actionable timeline of activities, with all relevant data points, assumptions, analysis and supporting information. It empowered us to plan, prioritize and marshal the resources necessary to successfully execute those activities.

This new operating model will improve our business alignment, allow us to deliver solutions in an agile, iterative manner...and link our work directly to the Agency's mission and operations.

The approach

LeapPoint provided transformational support to simplify, modernize, and mobilize an overgrown and inefficient IT system. Learn more about how we did it below.

The primary objective of this initiative was to produce a detailed transformation path for executing the client’s IT strategy, outlined in their current state assessment. The transformation followed a standard approach for assessing the current state and defining a vision and strategy for the future but, as so often happens, the translation of current to future state gaps into a meaningful, actionable roadmap became a significant hurdle.

  • 01 CURRENT STATE

    Why are we embarking on this challenging journey? What positive changes will result? What negative consequences will it avoid?

  • 02 VISION

    What does the future state look like? How is it different from today? How do those stakeholders fit into the future state?

  • 03 STRATEGY

    What actionable plans must be executed to get to the future state? Who is responsible for those actions? How do we define success?

  • 04 EXECUTION

    How can I be involved? What is expected of me? How does this change what I do now? How will I know I’m being successful?

The client required a detailed plan to get from the current to future state; one that was reflective of their overarching strategy for IT transformation while at the same time aligned with the agency’s core mission and vision. The transformation path included a prioritized list and actionable timeline of activities, with all relevant data points, assumptions, analysis and supporting information. It empowered us to plan, prioritize and marshal the resources necessary to successfully execute those activities.

Driving consistency in execution

 

A core component of any IT transformation is managing the overarching change initiative. We utilized an IT PMO to execute across eight dimensions of project management, helping to provide consistency, accountability, and transparency for the projects within the transformation portfolio.

 

This approach allowed the OCIO to track and coordinate activities across the transformation effort, ensuring that activities aligned with strategic objectives and that stakeholders could understand and champion the context of those activities by answering a few key questions. Chiefly: ‘Are they doing the right projects?’, ‘Are they doing those projects right?’, ‘Is a project required?’, ‘How will we do this project?’, ‘How do we know what we’re doing is working?’

 

Navigate through the graphic to the right to learn more about the eight dimensions our PMO managed against.

Staffing

Need for PM assignment on business and OCIO side during project initiation; need for skills and capabilities alignment

Structure

Clearly defined roles and responsibilities; OCIO as an enabler and conductor of the business IT needs; enterprise level view baked into governance bodies

Policies & procedures

Well defined IT project selection governance policy and charter; project governance through formal stage gate process

Performance

Need for key performance indicators and metrics to measure project performance; need for identifying specific, quantifiable outputs and outcomes

Coordination

Need to facilitate integration between the business and OCIO; need to coordinate across OCIO divisions

Communication

Need to initiate sharing and promotion of PMO best practices; need to communicate effectively and often, and from the top

Acquisition

Requires upfront planning and communication with the acquisition function; business and OCIO need to be a partner to acquisition providing active involvement in requirements definition, funding requirements, market research, and acquisition planning

Cost

Alignment between OCFO budgeting and project costing; estimating and tracking project costs using project-based budgeting techniques

The outcome

This agency is now on the cusp of moving from an ad hoc IT organization to one that is proactively managed and executed.  It continues to move towards a single and unified IT portfolio that is cost effective and enables business goals and objectives.

There is now top-down commitment to the agency’s future state visiona balanced and joint compromise to optimize IT-enabled business capabilities. They are operating in an environment where there are specifically scoped initiatives, each with the explicit objective of driving the agency toward that vision by 2020. These initiatives are based on three areas, which are all self-reinforcing:

 

IT governance: moving from a project-based operating model to a program-based operating model.

Service management: standardizing all service management processes and enforcing consistency through the new operating model.

Enterprise architecture: rationalizing the IT portfolio with the goal of reducing the number of assets on the network by 90%. With less on the network, there’s less to govern and less to manage, improving efficiency all around.

  • IT governance
    • Centralized all IT investments
    • Enabled policy-driven stakeholder groups
    • Created accountability for all investments
    • Developed a data-driven improvement process

  • Service management
    • Defined a concrete  service catalog
    • Developed process for unsupported requests
    • Delivered tools to manage customer expectations
    • Ongoing monitoring and control of IT environment

  • Enterprise architecture
    • Enabled a holistic view of EA across all domains
    • EA reflects core mission and vision
    • Created a 5 year vision and strategic plan
    • Built mechanisms to proactively drive innovation