Project Assistants’ Case Studies

Healthcare Company Improves Project Management Capability by Implementing Enterprise Project Management Environment

Situation

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) is a leader in delivering innovative health care products, services and information to approximately 2.9 million members, including 492,000 served on behalf of other Blue Plans. For 70 years, the company has served its customers by offering access to quality health care at a competitive price and has served the people of North Carolina through support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. The BCBSNC corporate headquarters is located in Durham, NC. The company has 3,000 employees.

Key challenges in this Project Server implementation included the following:

  • Integrate with the existing Tenrox timesheet management system.
  • Identify milestone changes that impact a given software release.
  • Facilitate the building of cross-functional project plans in a highly matrix environment.
  • Capture master calendar project data when initiating a project.

Solution

Project Assistants helped BCBSNC achieve their desired goals through the design and custom implementation of a Microsoft Project Server environment. This was accomplished through the following tasks:

  • Project Assistants began with a complete assessment of the actions necessary to meet BCBSNC’s goals. This included interviews with key project managers, a review and audit of the Microsoft Project Server installation, a review of organizational charts to ensure the proper design of the resource breakdown structure, a review of compatibility issues between Tenrox and Project Server, and identification of the policies and procedures necessary to facilitate the proper execution of projects in the BCBSNC environment.
  • After presenting the Assessment Findings Report, we interviewed the project sponsor and key stakeholders to define and document the overall scope of the effort. This resulted in a clearly articulated set of business and technical requirements.
  • The next step was to design, test and implement the solution. Key custom features included:
    • A custom project guide was developed to capture master calendar project data and project initiation data. The custom project guide is used to capture values for enterprise fields in a user-friendly “interview” process.
    • To resolve BCBSNC’s key challenge of identifying milestone changes, when a project manager saves a project plan, a routine is triggered to compare the start and finish dates for key milestones in the active project with the start/finish dates previously saved to the database, and a log table on the Project Server SQL database is updated with any changes.
    • Several new Portfolio Analyzer views were created to provide stakeholders with maximum portfolio visibility, including one view which was created specifically to illustrate resource utilization throughout the enterprise.
  • Project Assistants provided several days of Microsoft Project training for each of the following groups: project managers, stakeholders, system administrators and team members. The training materials and associated Job Aids were designed specifically to meet the client’s needs; they incorporated BCBSNC best practices and procedures.

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.