Many IT leaders in state & local government are looking to improve service and project delivery while battling limited resources and tight budgets, a one-platform approach to managing services and projects could be the answer. Here’s why – by using a single platform for IT Service Management (ITSM) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) you can better understand your resource capacity and plan accordingly.
Resource capacity planning allows you to get a big-picture view of your entire IT organization, allowing you to balance workloads across projects and support; and to see the different types of work that need to be done at any given time.
For example, if you have three IT technicians that need to cover three functional areas of business – like service, projects and operations – you can engage in resource capacity planning and optimize each technician’s workload based on their skill set and their availability. As a result, the work can be completed more effectively and efficiently as each technician is focused on work that plays to their strengths. And because you have a full view of the work and the time it will take; you can avoid overcommitting or underutilizing your resources.
This approach is especially useful when you have limited resources, but an increase in demand for the support of remote learning and remote workforces.
Working Better Together with ITSM + PPM
There are many benefits to the one platform approach for ITSM and PPM including:
- Improved IT productivity
- Improved quality of service (QoS)
- Improved IT performance measurement and reporting capabilities
Yet despite these benefits, many organizations shy away from resource capacity planning. To build a strong ITSM foundation and move ahead of the pack you should explore the benefits a one-platform solution can have when building out your IT service management roadmap.
The benefits of this approach often outweigh the upfront work it takes to migrate different departments and staff to a single platform.
Combining ITSM and PPM allows you to have all relevant information in one place. Instead of switching between different pages or programs, everything you need can be right in front of you in a comprehensive, custom dashboard. This allows for a great amount of information to be at your fingertips, like:
- Amount of and type of work that needs to be completed.
- Estimated length of project or task.
- Which areas need more resources.
- Who is assigned to do what.
- Who has the availability to help fulfill certain needs.
- When that person can do the work.
Having this list of information readily available to aid in decision-making speeds up a variety of processes. For example, someone would be able to quickly identify where a bottleneck is occurring, or where excess capacity exists within the resource pool.
City of Sunnyvale Gains Single View of Tickets and Projects
Hema Nekkanti, project management office manager for the City of Sunnyvale, touts the benefits of bringing IT Service Management (ITSM) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) together on a single platform, “With one platform now we can actually see the tickets that are being worked on as well as the projects that are in the pipeline,” she said. “This gives us the ability to actually allocate the resources appropriately, and there’s no resource conflict.”
Eddie Soliven, infrastructure services manager, finds great value in the dashboards provided within the TeamDynamix platform. Nekkanti agrees, “The dashboards are the coolest things in TeamDynamix, I enjoy creating them as well as using them,” she said.
Nekkanti said she and her team use the dashboards internally to view projects in the pipeline as well as tickets. At Sunnyvale, each department has its own dashboard specific to their projects and tickets – within these dashboards they can view both the entire portfolio of work across the city, as well as their own projects.
“It’s all there, and when they drill down into each of those projects they can tell how far they are into the project. There’s a Gantt chart that shows the execution time and when the start time of each project is,” Nekkanti said. “This actually helps us (in the project management office) and those in the departments to understand exactly where the projects are and when they can be finished.”
Soliven said the dashboards also give him a good snapshot of the condition of Sunnyvale’s systems and where the service requests lie, as well as where the bottlenecks are, “It gives us an opportunity to address those in the background proactively.”
CIO Boutte said she highly values the resource management visibility she gets from TeamDynamix, “We really needed that visibility, and it’s why this has been such a great tool for us. Having both the service side and the project side means I can see whether my team is working on a ticket or a project and how busy are they? I get visibility into their availability, and I can forecast more accurately to know that I am not overworking staff or that we’re not just sitting on the bench twiddling our thumbs.”
Supercharging ITSM and PPM with Automation
The benefits of a one-platform solution for ITSM and PPM are enhanced even more when you can include an integration component. By combining iPaaS (integration platform as a service) with your ITSM/PPM platform you can automate both complex and simple tasks, as well as connect disparate systems throughout your organization.
Employees no longer need to spend time on the repetitive, mundane tasks they normally have to complete before working on bigger projects – things like system name changes, resetting passwords, or granting certain permissions to software. All of these, and more, can be automated with workflows using iPaaS.
If you chose a codeless iPaaS platform for this, you get the added benefit of anyone being able to use these tools – not just IT. And by allowing lines of business to create their own workflows, you can free up your IT resources to work on larger projects and eliminate the logjam when it comes to integrations within your organization.
At Pima County, they are using iPaaS to reduce toil within their organization – starting with the onboarding and offboarding process for employees.
“You don’t need to waste so much time when it comes to onboarding,” Mark Hayes, information technology leader for the county, said. “It really is such a sour experience for a new hire to come in, in this day and age, and sit around for three days waiting on their computer to show up. We need to get out of that mode and iPaaS is going to help us do that.”
In addition, using iPaaS to automate offboarding will save countless hours for a process that is normally very manual and heavily audited as Pima County is a government entity.
“As a government organization we get audited by the state every year and they want to know what these stale accounts are doing sitting here,” Hayes said. “Offboarding is currently a very manual process – having to review the list from HR of people who are no longer employed with us and manually revoking their privileges from all the different systems and software and disabling their accounts. There’s absolutely no reason for that to not be automated. iPaaS is going to help us a lot with this and save us time.”