Cable & Wireless Communications provides more than four million customers in 15 countries throughout the Caribbean with integrated communications solutions. The company needed more structure in driving IT projects from idea to implementation. Its IT department did not require any structured methodology in managing projects, allowing IT staffers to use Microsoft Project Plan and Excel spreadsheets to initiate new IT projects. This resulted in little or no visibility into enterprise-wide technology needs, activities and spending.
“My team had not been exposed to the Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) or XP methodologies thus they did not really appreciate the importance of structured methodology to managing projects,” said Arthur Phidd, CIO of Cable & Wireless Communications. “Therefore, when projects got underway, business units were not held accountable for delivery as they considered all projects to be the domain of the IT department. This was a recipe for failure and we saw our fair share of failed projects.”
The telecommunications company turned to WorkOtter©, a cloud-based project portfolio management (PPM) solution, to manage its project workflow. The roll-out was part of the company’s strategy to restructure the IT division and to introduce structured “centers of excellence” across the business to enforce best practices for project management.
“We configured WorkOtter’s Workflow component in order to visually reflect the steps of our Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC),” said Phidd. “By implementing WorkOtter and coupling it with our SDLC, the IT department was immediately able to better manage its capital expenses because WorkOtter offers a global view of all IT projects underway.”
A variety of internal and external IT projects were quickly impacted by WorkOtter. Phidd spends much of his time traveling to various customers throughout the Caribbean, and needed a project management system that could be accessed over the web in order to stay current on his department’s latest work and prevent any projects from falling behind. The global visibility of all department projects that was enabled by WorkOtter was responsible for better planning and allocation of staff resource requirements at all 15 offices.
“I could quickly see in WorkOtter which offices needed additional staff to handle current project demands,” he said. Other internal projects that WorkOtter helped manage included the development and roll-out of a PeopleSoft HR payroll platform, and over the past winter holidays, the migration to broadband ADSL with minimal interruptions to any of the company’s offices. By using WorkOtter as the project management platform, C&W was able to tackle more projects at one time.
Customer-facing projects were also impacted by WorkOtter, including the introduction of a non-traditional telco offering: an e-learning service to customers in the academia and corporate markets.
“The change-over of our infrastructure went so smoothly that many people did not even realize a change was made,” Phidd said. “Then after we launched the e-learning service, we rolled out a managed hosting data center to corporate hosting partners. This service will deliver ongoing savings because these partners will no longer have to invest in top tier infrastructure or skilled teams that run these services.”
“Our sales team also appreciated the speed with which we were able to roll out this new service offering, as it allowed them to begin selling weeks earlier than they had originally planned,” said Phidd.
Phidd asserts that the success of these customer-facing projects can be attributed in part to the instant visibility that WorkOtter offered him and his team as they executed the work.