Project Assistants’ Case Studies

Aerospace Company Improves Project Management Processes

Situation

Goodrich Corporation, a Fortune 500 company, is a leading global supplier of systems and services to the aerospace and defense industry. Goodrich technology is involved in making aircraft fly … helping them land … and keeping them safe. With annual revenues of over $4 billion, Goodrich is headquartered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and employs more than 20,000 people worldwide in over 100 facilities across 16 countries.

Goodrich offers an extensive range of products, systems and services for aircraft and engine manufacturers, airlines and defense forces around the world. The company’s transformation into one of the globe’s largest aerospace companies has been driven by strategic acquisitions and internal growth fueled by innovation and quality. From aero structures and actuation systems to landing gear, engine control systems, sensors and safety systems, Goodrich products are on almost every aircraft in the world.

Goodrich’s vision for the use of Project Management systems and technology is to drive consistent, integrated and effective project management within the Optical and Space Systems Division located in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. In addition to being a large organization with numerous projects across many departments and utilizing resources across the company, Goodrich was looking for a project management tool which would touch other technologies and allow them to accomplish the following:

  • Create a new culture.
  • Improve the decision making process, project communication and collaboration.
  • Increase portfolio visibility and provide early warning visibility.
  • Integrate or tie in with Oracle ERP, Decker’s EVM, Auto-time and stakeholder dashboards.
  • Increase speed to market and drive measurable outcomes.
  • Quickly and accurately determine the status of projects related to a specific corporate-level initiative.
  • Analyze and identify trends and problem areas within projects and among projects
  • Better understand the effects of staffing and scheduling changes, and provide answers to questions relating to resource utilization and skill assessment in a strong matrix environment.
  • Perform in-depth reporting and analysis against completed projects, in-progress projects, and resource availability.
  • Repeat best practices in project management.
  • Meet a variety of unique reporting requirements, including reports necessary for legal audits.

Solution

To best meet Goodrich’s stated objectives, Project Assistants guided the design, configuration and implementation of a Microsoft Project environment.

The implementation process began with a complete assessment of the current Goodrich environment, as well as gathering, documenting and reviewing the requirements needed to configure and implement the Microsoft Project environment. Through this process, Project Assistants was able to gain a better understanding of Goodrich’s key project planning, executing and control functions so that those requirements could be translated into detailed design points for software configuration and implementation.

The next step in the implementation process was to install Microsoft Project and Microsoft Project Server. Key to the success of the installation process was teaching the Goodrich Server Administrator how to implement, configure and support Project Server.

The Microsoft Project Pilot Solution was configured based upon the requirements gathered at the beginning of the implementation process. Project Assistants built and configured Goodrich’s solution in its development lab, and later installed the configured solution into Goodrich’s production environment. The configured solution included the following:

  • Configuration of several Project Center views to provide easy delivery of key Project Management data to stakeholders.
  • Configuration of several Web Access project-level views.
  • Configuration of several Project Professional project-level reports.
  • Definition of custom fields and custom outline codes to support graphical indicator metrics and Phase/Gate milestones.
  • Definition of several Risk/Issue reports.
  • Populated the global resource pool with Active Directory Synchronization.
  • Definition of Security Templates.
  • Definition of WBS Microsoft Project templates.
  • SharePoint Portal integration.

Following acceptance of the pilot solution configuration, the pilot was installed at Goodrich’s site. Once the pilot solution was successfully installed, training became the engagement focus. Project Assistants provided in-depth training for Goodrich project managers, resource managers, portfolio managers, team members and stakeholders.

Detailed technical and end-user support was provided over a four-week period to assist those using the Goodrich project management solution. This support, which ensured the most effective use of the Microsoft Project solution, included the following activities:

  • Collection of end user feedback concerning problems, and design improvement suggestions.
  • Fine-tuning the solution.
  • Report Generation.
  • Assisting and mentoring Goodrich staff on the use and operation of the solution.
  • General consulting on Project Management processes, procedures, and tools.

Benefits

Because of the thoroughness of the requirements gathering and pilot implementation processes, Goodrich was able to meet their originally stated objectives. As a result of this Microsoft Project implementation, the company has achieved the following:

  • More objectivity in project status reporting.
  • Better utilization of existing resources.
  • More efficiently run projects based on the development and review of project management best practices.

Project Assistants, Inc.

Project Assistants offers a comprehensive suite of consulting services, custom development, education and products to assist organizations at any point of their project management evolution. Project Assistants clients increase their ability to manage risk, maximize ROI, effectively manage change, and increase confidence in making decisions. Project Assistants is based in Wilmington, Delaware and has offices nationwide. To learn more about Project Assistants, a Microsoft Office Project Premier Partner, visit www.projectassistants.com.