Project Assistants’ Case Studies

Microsoft Gains Efficiency for Xbox 360 Launch with Project Management System

Situation

Microsoft undertook an aggressive schedule in order to launch the next generation of the Xbox 360™ video game and entertainment system worldwide in time for the holidays. Because more than 90 func­tional groups needed to work together, the usual method of maintaining independent schedules and relying on personal networking to keep information up-to-date clearly was not going to work.

The company needed a consistent way to:

  • Track project schedules.
  • Establish dependencies between groups.
  • Collaborate to support launch events.

Solution

To help meet its timelines, Microsoft worked with partner Project Assistants to customize a Microsoft® Office Enterprise Project Manage­ment (EPM) Solution to coordinate nearly 100 group schedules.

Components include:

  • Microsoft Office Project Server, which is used by managers to roll up executive summaries and track schedules against the master plan.
  • Microsoft Office Project Professional, which is used by 82 schedule owners to update their project schedules.
  • Microsoft Office Project Web Access, which is used by 1,100 employees to view real-time information across groups.

Benefits

Using the EPM Solution promoted efficiencies and helped Microsoft successfully launch Xbox 360 on time:

  • Cost savings—a slipped production date would have cost more than U.S.$7 million a day
  • Better business intelligence through quick identification of milestones in jeopardy and potential obstacles
  • A reduction in staffing needs equivalent to three full-time employees
  • Fewer and shorter meetings because teams could focus on new issues only