Project Assistants’ Case Studies
Auto Insurance Company Improves Enterprise Project and Resource Management Process and Reporting
GEICO was founded in 1936 by Leo Goodwin whose first customers were government employees and Military personnel. In 1996, GEICO became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bershire Hathaway led by Warren Buffett. The company’s mission is to provide affordable auto insurance by selecting prime customer groups and passing the savings to its policyholders. Headquartered in Chevy Chase, Maryland, GEICO has approximately 23,000 associates.
GEICO’s existing Project Server environment and processes were not configured to meet their business objectives and their unique project management needs. In addition to being a large organization with numerous projects across many departments and utilizing resources across the company, GEICO was looking to review and revise their project management processes and Project Server configuration settings which would allow them to accomplish the following:
- 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
- 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
To best meet GEICO’s stated objectives, Project Assistants conducted a project maturity assessment and guided the design, configuration and updating of their Microsoft Project Server environment.
The review and process improvement project began with a complete assessment of the existing GEICO environment, as well as gathering, documenting and reviewing the requirements needed to revise the existing Microsoft Project configuration settings. Through this process, Project Assistants was able to gain a better understanding of GEICO’s key project planning, executing and control functions so that those requirements could be translated into detailed design points for software configuration and implementation.
Based on the results of the assessment, the Project Assistants team provided recommendations on how to improve the “known state” and reach the envisioned enterprise project management environment. Project Assistants implemented the following improvements.
- Develop Detailed Implementation Plan – The plan consisted of the following high level activities:
- Validate and refine functional and configuration requirements
- Identify, define, develop and refine detailed methodology components
- Define the pilot environment
- Develop, integrate and validate the pilot environment
- Conduct training
- Define and Develop GEICO’s Project Management Methodology – Identify, define and document the formal policies and procedures that comprise GEICO’s Project Management methodology, and identify, develop and refine process templates and related artifacts. Resolve any gaps or duplications.
- Configure Project Server Settings – to effectively and centrally manage tasks, resources, tracking and reporting across GEICO’s portfolio of projects.
- Define & Develop Pilot Implementation of EPM Solution – Define, develop and integrate EPM methodologies and technologies preparing for the roll-out of the EPM Environment to a pilot group for evaluation and refinement.
- Training – To effectively promote and support the use of the refined methodology, training was determined to be crucial to ensuring user understanding, ease of use, and the resultant success of implementing this solution.
- Communication Plan – To promote the pilot EPM solution for the project management discipline and GEICO’s executive staff, support periodic communication of Key Performance Indicator’s to evaluate effectiveness, and monitor the proposed solution.
- Pilot EPM – Roll-out EPM Environment to a pilot group.
Based on the effectiveness of the assessment interviews, GEICO was able to meet their originally stated objectives. As a result of the Project Maturity Assessment and Microsoft Project Server re-configuration, the company has achieved the following:
- More objective project status reporting
- Better utilization of resources
- More efficiently run projects