Case Study: Improvement IT Management Reporting

Overall Project Mission

A large financial services firm lacked an integrated system to generate reports on its internal information technology (IT) projects. As a result, significant manual effort was expended to collect information on a monthly basis. Frequent fire drills would occur to provide ad-hoc management reports, and real-time information was nearly impossible to access. Even for these manual reports, the company lacked firm-wide standards for project reports, procedures, and reporting taxonomy.

The overall project mission was to create reports to facilitate IT project management and oversight. Reports were created for project execution, project tracking, portfolio management, resource management, resource deployment, financial management, and other key activities. Intellilink facilitated the reporting requirements documentation, development of reporting taxonomy, and created firm-wide standardized reports to satisfy end-user information needs.

The Reporting Challenge

The reporting challenge was multi-faceted. First, the client was implementing an integrated IT management system; however, the canned reports provided by the system did not fully satisfy the end users’ reporting needs. The development team would need to customize many of the canned reports and develop new ones to close the gap. The second challenge was that the existing systems did not share the same data sources, nor did they allow for seamless information sharing across lines of business (LOB). This required users to leverage multiple systems to generate project management reports. In addition, lines of business used group-specific reporting tools that hindered firm-wide knowledge sharing. The third challenge was that the firm has varied reporting requirements, thus making it difficult to standardize reports across the company. The fourth challenge was the decentralization of the firm’s lines of business. Because LOBs’ IT organizations were decentralized, some groups did not buy in to the need for firm-wide oversight and thus were not willing to have common definitions or reports.

In order to surmount these challenges, the reporting effort documented firm-wide user requirements, developed reports that can be used across all lines of business, and established universal reporting language. Reports provided project-level views of IT activities and aggregate level views for CIO level executives and senior IT oversight committees.

The Program

The reporting effort was organized into several phases, each with distinct activities and deliverables.   

Scope Project

The project lead worked closely with client leadership to develop the project scope and establish parameters around the short and long term project objectives, project approach and timeline, the key deliverables for each project phase, and the key stakeholders involved in the effort. The team also developed data collection and communication templates to enable efficient and effective usage of the stakeholders’ time.

Assess Current Report Inventory

The team issued requests to each stakeholder group to submit samples of existing project-related reports. The team developed a preliminary list of standardized reports based on a combination of these submissions and Intellilink’s prior experience. The preliminary list of reports utilized a standardized reporting taxonomy based on system data definitions.

Develop To-Be Report Inventory

The team met with key stakeholders to vet the preliminary list of standardized reports and review drafts of report templates. The team defined critical reporting factors for each including end users, data elements/attributes, business purpose, delivery method, report generation method, and frequency.

Assess Report Delivery Feasibility

The team documented the final reporting requirements and delivered them to the report development technical team. Reports were organized into logical groupings such as project management, financial management, and resources management. The reporting team worked closely with developers to assess the ease of implementation of each report based on data availability, estimated development hours, and user priority. The end result was prioritized list of reports and a rollout plan.

Develop Reports

The team created scripts for developers and end users to test reports, as the technical team developed the custom reports. Reporting guidelines and other user documentation was developed to facilitate report usage post-implementation.

Implement/Rollout Reports

The team released reports to the end user community. A continuous improvement tool was created to capture future change requests and improvement opportunities.