Project Assistants’ Case Studies

Financial Services Company Improves Project Management Processes

Situation

Freddie Mac is a stockholder-owned corporation chartered by Congress in 1970 to keep money flowing to mortgage lenders in support of homeownership and rental housing. The company’s mission is straight-forward – stabilize the nation’s mortgage markets and expand opportunities for home ownership and affordable rental housing. Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Freddie Mac has approximately 4,400 employees.

Freddie Mac began looking for a product to better meet their unique project management needs. In addition to being a large organization with numerous projects across many departments and utilizing resources across the company, Freddie Mac was looking for a project management tool 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

Solution

To best meet Freddie Mac’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 Freddie Mac 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 Freddie Mac’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 Freddie Mac 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 Freddie Mac’s solution in its development lab, and later installed the configured solution into Freddie Mac’s 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.
  • Initial limited population of the global resource pool
  • Definition of two Microsoft Project templates

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

Detailed technical and end-user support was provided over a three-week period to assist those using the Freddie Mac 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
  • Assisting and mentoring Freddie Mac 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, Freddie Mac 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, visitwww.projectassistants.com.