Austrian Airlines wanted to execute several major IT initiatives with minimal risk, but its existing project management environment just couldn’t provide the integration between resource management and project portfolio management required to ensure project success.
Changepoint for Project Management
- Streamlined time-tracking throughout the life cycle
- Improved resource management
- Greater potential for improved decision making
“Changepoint fit our company. It directly met our initial requirements and could get our PMOs into the gate faster.
The IT department at Austrian Airlines faced a growing queue of major IT initiatives. The largest of projects involved upgrading the airline’s systems for booking flights and checking in passengers, a system that affects millions of users. With commercial flights leaving daily to 130 destinations in 66 countries, the last thing the airline wanted was any delays in executing projects that supported the very backbone of its business operations.
Management required a tool that went beyond time tracking to ensure project success. “We had a system, but it had a lot of failures. For example, the new program wasn’t able to be managed internally [by the PMO],” states Ulrich Aigner, director of the airline’s Corporate Project Management. “We also wanted to implement resource management and enhance project portfolio management, so we had to change to a new tool.”
In its search for a better solution, Austrian Airlines had specific criteria in mind. The tool should:
- Encompass the whole life cycle
- Be intuitive enough to be handled by project managers and the PMO
- Require minimal administration
- Provide a modern graphical user interface for convenient access.
Austrian Airlines started its hunt for a new solution with the Gartner Magic Quadrant, which listed 10 to 15 viable options. Six months and several presentations later, the airline made its selection: Changepoint’s integrated solution for IT Portfolio Management. “Changepoint fit our company. It directly met our initial requirements and could get our PMOs into the gate faster,” says Aigner. “Another major point for us was we wanted to look for a partnership, and we found the trust we needed in Changepoint.”
Today the airline is in its initial phases of implementing Changepoint’s Project Portfolio Management. So far, the airline has entered 113 projects. A PMO and 20 controllers are using Changepoint to help them assess the state of next year’s key IT initiatives and manage the supply of IT resources throughout the project life cycle.
Once the Changepoint framework is fully in place, Austrian Airlines can automate core business processes and monitor project schedules and critical metrics such as resource capacity, risk, cost, quality and business value, from planning all the way through work execution and ongoing assessment. Executivelevel dashboards organize key metrics such as portfolio health assessments, project scorecards, risk registers and resource demand capacity to give Austrian Airlines unprecedented views into the status of all IT activities. Capabilities like these make the management of projects go more smoothly.
Although it’s early in Austrian Airlines’ implementation of Changepoint, Aigner is already seeing the benefits. No longer do PMOs, financial controllers and other business personnel need to rely on the IT department for time keeping. “In the IT industry, time keeping is absolutely mandatory. Everybody uses time keeping sheets. However, now you can do your reporting by yourself and generate your own workflow,” explains Aigner. “And budgeting is easier. That was very complicated with the old tool. Changepoint’s interfaces make it rather easy. Our controllers like it because they don’t have to reenter data into SAP.”
Because Changepoint interfaces are so intuitive, Aigner foresees plenty of other areas where the airline stands to benefit. Take, for instance, prioritizing projects. “The old tool was XML-based, so the usability of it was very limited,” he says. “With Changepoint, we plan to compare projects against each other using bubble charts, new parameters and other features. Changepoint can make a big improvement in our decision-making process.”
Austrian Airlines scheduled a larger rollout of Changepoint in a few months, where IT plans to expand its use to colleagues companywide. “Changepoint’s a very good tool, and we expect a very smooth changeover,” says Aigner. “We know the tool itself is necessary and want to get our management to pick it up and use it quickly. The initial stages are going fine, and it looks like Changepoint will fulfill all our wishes. I definitely recommend it.”