[CUSTOMER SPOTLIGHT] – Universal Health Services, Inc.

Company Overview Universal Health Services, Inc. is one of the largest and most respected hospital management companies in the United States. Founded in 1978 the company operates through its subsidiaries more than 350 acute care hospitals, behavioral health facilities and ambulatory centers in the US, Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands and the United Kingdom. More than 81,000 dedicated and talented employees treat more than 2.5 million people each year in this Fortune 500 Company. In this interview, Michelle Boyes, Project Manager, explains how the PMO team is using BrightWork to deliver and manage multiple projects.   What is your experience of Project Management at Universal Health Services, Inc (UHS)? I have been a Project Manager with UHS for 8 years and I currently sit on the Project Management Office (PMO) team which falls under the corporate Information Services (IS) umbrella.   The PMO Team is a busy one: 9 team members Supporting 3 divisions of IS employees, 330+ employees: 1. Behavioral Health 2. Acute 3. Enterprise teams  Overseeing an average of 150+ active projects at any one time.     We use BrightWork for project portfolio management and have been doing so for 7+ years. The PMO team typically…

Managing the 2017 Epic Upgrade Project for Group Health Cooperative [Guest Post]

As a Project manager, have you ever managed a project where you find yourself a bit out of your comfort zone due to your lack of subject matter knowledge? As most of the projects I manage are focused on the Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin (GHC) business, I find this happening to me more often than not. Managing projects that are specific to Supply Chain Management, Financial Systems or GHC’s electronic medical record software (Epic) are not business areas that I have previously had career experience in. As such, it has been critical for me to use a tool that is both flexible and customizable so that projects can be built out in ways where team members can participate in a meaningful way to ensure that the project documentation is accurate and tells the true story of a project from start to finish.   What is the GHC Epic Upgrade Project? For those of you that may not be aware, 190 million patients have a current electronic health record in Epic. The Epic electronic medical record software is used in; hospitals, retail clinics, skilled nursing centers, rehab centers, hospices and many other types of organizations across the globe.…

5 Women Leading the Way in IT Project Management

International Women’s Day (March 8th) is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day is all about unity, celebration, reflection, advocacy and action. It marks a call to action for gender parity – not only for International Women’s Day, but for every day. This aim for equality infiltrates all industries and roles, including project management. In 2015 The Institute of Project Management Ireland published findings from their annual survey of practitioners that were eye opening: “41% of the respondents and practitioners were women” “When questioned about their role in Project Management, women were more likely than men to consider project management as their primary profession, though they were less likely than their male counterparts to work exclusively on projects, being more likely to spend 25-50% of their time working in Project Management related activities, and the remainder of their time in other roles.” “Looking at the variety of projects and teams, women are slightly more likely to work on a wider variety of projects compared to their male counterparts.” “When questioned about the type and value of projects undertaken, women are more likely to work on projects of a shorter duration and of a lower monetary value than their…

This Thanksgiving, We’re Thankful for our Customers!

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time of year. It is one of those periods when we can take the time to reflect and think about the things in our lives that we are truly grateful for. A time to express this appreciation in a wholesome way and to be happy. At BrightWork, we’re especially thankful for all our families, friends, co-workers, customers, and community members like you! We wish you the happiest of Thanksgivings and hope you enjoy this great holiday season. “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John F. Kennedy. Here is a selection of some of the customers we are grateful to know and work with. If the turkey is taking too long in the oven or the football doesn’t quite keep your attention then take some time to read and watch their stories as well as many others. AmSurg standardizes project management processes with SharePoint templates. APi Group IT Uses BrightWork to Implement Software Across 50+ Subsidiary Companies. Ascend Performance Materials Increases Work Visibility by 40% using BrightWork. Camden National Bank Eliminates More Than 60% of Extra Project Documentation – With…

5 Project Management Stories from the Healthcare Sector

Healthcare organizations often need to track many medium-to-large projects at once. In one of the more scrutinized industries, project errors can be costly and can often bring down an organization. Hence there is a need for a project management tool that is reliable and scalable. With BrightWork, these organizations can install standard project management practices and get the visibility and transparency to know what is going on across large programs of projects and make better decisions. Here are 5 project management stories from Healthcare organizations using BrightWork: Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Track Project Milestones with BrightWork Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics manage 100+ projects of differing types (operations, new product development) at any given time. One of the major aspects of Siemens Healthcare project management process is Milestone Trend Analysis. This graphically illustrates time-related discrepancies with project milestones and how their finish date could change throughout the life cycle of a Project. Using a set of filters and workflows in SharePoint, a log is built in the background of the project site using SQL. Once the log is built, BrightWork uses SharePoint’s charting features to display a graphical chart which is fed from the log. The milestone log updates automatically, so the charts are…

Camden National Bank Aims to Eliminate 100% of Extra Project Documentation

Camden National Bank formed their Office of Project Management (OPM) in 2014 after experiencing a period of exponential company-wide growth. The aim was to get a better handle on the strategic portfolio of projects that the company was initiating. Prior to 2014, projects were managed independently along the different business lines; IT, Operations, Retail and Commercial. The level of documentation varied depending on who was managing a project and there were different formats and applications used; Microsoft Project, Microsoft Excel, SharePoint Sites, to name a few. The idea of an enterprise wide Collaborative Project Management (CPM) tool had been suggested multiple times over the years but it was only after the OPM was formed that the company felt it had sufficient resources to successfully roll it out. Camden National Bank had already been using SharePoint Sites but the sites weren’t consistent. After reviewing and researching multiple options, BrightWork was recommended to the executive team as the tool that would best fit this need for the standardisation of project sites, as well as the content and structures around them.   “We Realised Just How Powerful BrightWork & SharePoint Could Be” Deployment of the BrightWork collaborative project management tool began in late…

Manage Performance of Budgets and Forecasts with Aspect and BrightWork

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn Pulse and is published here with permission from John Gootee, Lead Managing Consultant at Aspect Software.   Aspect and BrightWork have been delivering successful project management solutions together for years.   BrightWork continues to be an outstanding platform for the tactical management of portfolios, programs and projects.   The purpose of this article is to explore how the project management principles and solutions provided by Aspect and BrightWork can be utilized to manage a wide range of forecasting and budgeting problems beyond tactical project management and planning. A frequent business challenge faced by organizations is forecasting and planning for resources (people, equipment, dollars, etc.).   Forecasting consists of trying to figure out how much of a resource is going to be needed or used in the future based on known facts and assumptions.   A forecast can be thought of as the plan for execution.   Since organizations have a limited amount of resources (people, equipment and dollars), this plan will need to be balanced against what is available…the budget.  The budget may represent how many dollars we have available for the time period being planned for or it may represent available staff or any number of other finite resources within the organization.  …

Customer Success Story: Professional Healthcare Association

A BrightWork customer recently shared their success story.  The IT department at this healthcare association did not have a way to manage and track resources across all their projects. When new project requests came in, even though the team knew that there was no capacity to complete the work, there was no easy way for them to prove that resources were already over-allocated, and thus unavailable to work on a new project It was also difficult to ensure that the right resources were working on the right projects. This lack of visibility into resource allocation led to constant juggling of projects and priorities, resulting in significant delays across many projects. After deploying BrightWork, the IT department now tracks resources on a project-by-project basis, and can get a better idea of who is working on what, their estimated allocation, and percent complete. The visibility provided by BrightWork, especially into resource allocation, has been an eye opener for everyone. For the first time, the organization is able to see exactly how and when resources are over-allocated.  Having visibility into this kind of data has led to some real positive changes. To learn more about this BrightWork solution and future plans for this…

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics Track Project Milestones with BrightWork

Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics can tell you what your problem is. The subsidiary of Siemens Healthcare offers a comprehensive array of diagnostic products, from in vitro diagnostic testing assays to laboratory analysis instruments. Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics’ lead products include RapidLab blood gas analyzers, ADVIA hematology systems, Dimension Vista chemical laboratory automation systems, VERSANT molecular testing systems, and IMMULITE immunoassay systems. Its products are sold globally through direct sales forces and through distribution agreements. Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics also provides information technology and consulting services.   Challenges   Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics manage 100+ projects of differing types (operations, new product development) at any given time. Prior to implementing BrightWork, they tracked their work and progress with lists in standard SharePoint sites. They wanted to leverage the platform further to create a more robust system for managing each project successfully.   The solution would enable them to track the key objectives within each project as well as to implement a milestone tracking system, which is a fundamental part of Siemens Healthcare Diagnostics project management process. They realized that such a system would require considerable SharePoint development, so they decided to source a SharePoint add-on that would enable these capabilities. BrightWork was selected as their tool…

Project Management Success Story: Garmon Corporation

The mission of Garmon Corporation is to produce products that help animals, while inspiring health conscious individuals to take responsibility for their pets’ health and well being. They aspire to follow and provide the latest natural and scientific research in a practical, clear, easy to understand format that motivates their customers to make safe and healthy choices for their pets. Challenges Garmon Corporation has become one of the largest pet supplement manufacturers in the United States, with over two hundred branded products as well as an extensive private labelling program. They brand some products with their own NaturVet brand, as well as manufacture, package and label custom supplements, treatments and pet training aids for various other major pet store brands, like Petco and PetSmart. While the batch production of these supplements is a relatively standard basic process, they are really working on multiple variations at the same time, requiring different quantities, different packaging, different schedules, etc. for each client.  Prior to using BrightWork, this process was managed primarily through Excel.  Also, Garmon runs many new product development projects simultaneously and began to drop important tasks, as well as encounter the resultant conflicts and delays.  As a result, they wanted to…

Project Management Success Story: Lids

The Lids Sports Group, operating within Hat World, Inc., is comprised of the Lids retail headwear stores, the Lids Locker Room specialty fan retail chain, the Lids Clubhouse retail stores, the Lids Team Sports wholesale team sports business and the Internet businesses, www.lids.com, www.lidslockerroom.com, www.lidsclubhouse.com, www.lidsteamsports.com, and www.lids.ca.  Operating out of Indianapolis, Indiana, the retail businesses make up more than 1,000 mall-based, airport, street level and factory outlet locations nationwide, and in Canada and Puerto Rico. Problem Lids was growing very fast and was setting up a PMO to get to grips with the increasing number of projects they needed to manage. They could have over 100+ projects on the go at any given time, and that number was only set to increase. There were no formal project management processes or tools in place, but Lids had just implemented SharePoint which they wanted to leverage for project management. Their biggest struggle was getting reports to Senior Executives. Prior to BrightWork, Lids used Excel spreadsheets to manage the projects, which made collaboration and reporting quite difficult.  In particular, they were looking for a solution that could handle: Portfolio Management Resource Assignment Tracking Project Prioritization Solution Lids chose to deploy BrightWork on SharePoint…

Enhanced Collaborating on Projects using SharePoint Discussions

Introduction: I was working recently with a Client who needed some advanced Collaboration techniques when managing their Projects on SharePoint 2013. Essentially, they needed Discussion Forums linked to Project Tasks in order to ensure their Projects were executed as effectively as possible. The Discussion App in SharePoint 2013 has been redesigned and improved so it became an ideal component to improve collaborating on Project Tasks. Design: The first step was to Design the Discussion App as a “Work Item” so that the Discussion could be processed as much as a Project Task. This was achieved by adding metadata to the Discussion App  e.g. Status, Due Date etc. Also having a lookup field to the Project Tasks list in Project was also required in order to link the Discussion to the relevant Project Task. The table below summarizes the columns added to the Discussion App: When all columns were added to the Discussion App, the form rendered as below: Reporting: The next step of the Template design focused on reporting. It was important to provide meaningful reports on the both the status of the Project Tasks and any Discussions linked to the Tasks. The additional metadata available to the Discussions enabled…

5 Companies Using BrightWork and SharePoint for Project Management

SharePoint is not just a collaborative environment, but a platform that is meant to be extended to meet our business needs.  Leveraging SharePoint to add templates for managing projects and everyday work can quickly deliver a flexible, highly adaptable, and affordable project management solution. Here are 5 companies using SharePoint and BrightWork to successfully manage projects: Portal Systems Portal Systems now use BrightWork on SharePoint as a central project portal across the Portal Systems companies. BrightWork allows Portal Systems to classify each project and use different project management templates to record lists, libraries, document templates, and milestones. BrightWork reporting functionality gives senior management visibility with a PMO Dashboard across all open projects.   Maranatha Baptist Bible College MBBC installed BrightWork on SharePoint and studied the available templates for “fit” into their existing infrastructure.; Since they already had a good idea of what they needed to track, the college easily selected the appropriate BrightWork templates and customized them to meet the processes already established.; They also built a hierarchy of project offices to reflect the organizational structure of the College.; Maranatha also introduced an innovative approach to project requests/initiation using BrightWork.   AmSurg AmSurg evaluated several project management applications and chose…

Hear How Thermal Dynamics Customized SharePoint and BrightWork to Meet Their Needs

Pre-BrightWork, Thermal Dynamics was very unorganized and often one person did not know what another person was doing. To create simple reports was very time consuming because information was stored in several different places like email and Excel files. Thermal Dynamics started with SharePoint, and then looked for a solution that could extend SharePoint for project management and fit their business processes. BrightWork was able to customize a solution around their APQP system, which is specific to the automotive industry. They now manage all on-going projects with BrightWork and use the system as a one stop shop for reporting and compliance for the very strict APQP process. Hanns Schweis, IT Manager, Thermal Dynamics: Check out more success stories, where Our Customers Do The Talking!

NUIG on Using SharePoint and BrightWork to Provide One Integrated Project Management and Service Request Solution

The Problem The ISS department at National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) needed a PM environment that wasn’t too complex, but provided reporting on projects, a document repository, budget management, and time recording. The system needed to reflect structure, stages, guidance and control that fell in line with culture of the department. The Solution NUI Galway now uses BrightWork on SharePoint for the entire spread of work and project management. The department makes extensive use of Workflows and BrightWork Reports to deliver a very capable application, and recently added a Service Request application based on BrightWork that allows them to manage all of their Helpdesk tickets. Sinéad Ní Fhaoláin, NUIG: For more on this case study, click here.

SharePoint for Project Management: School Districts

The Durham Public School district (DPS) is a K-12 public education district in North Carolina, encompassing 53 schools. There are 29 elementary schools and 24 secondary institutions, comprised of 34,000 students and 4,000 faculty and staff. The mission of DPS is to work together with parents and the community to ensure that every student receives the best possible education that enables them to discover their interests and reach their full potential. Challenge In North Carolina, the state mandated that every school district track School Improvement Plans (SIPs), which before the introduction of BrightWork, was a paper document that principals submitted once a year and was subsequently tucked away in a file. Follow up was cumbersome. As a result, the progress and adherence to plans was not evident, as the status of SIPs were not reported or tracked consistently at every school in the district. When new leadership took over the helm, they expected more consistent, high-level tracking of SIPs, and instituted the full project management discipline to do that. Also, external stakeholders were interested to track the progress of lower schools performing throughout the entire school year. Solution DPS wanted a methodology and not just the tool, so the first…

SharePoint for Project Management: University

National University of Ireland, Galway was established in 1845 and is one of Ireland’s foremost centers of academic excellence. The Information Solutions and Services department at the University was formed in 2009 and one of the objectives of this merger was to further formalize development and project work. The group is responsible for providing effective and secure computing to the University, supporting University-wide email and inter/intranet services, developing the technology infrastructure of the University, and coordinating the technology strategy of the University. Challenge The ISS department set up a Project Management Office to work on processes, a projects register, document templates and to provide guidance and support. PRINCE 2 had already been selected as the project management methodology. The purpose of the PMO was to embed a project management culture within the ISS department. Before they could even consider any sort of project management software, ISS wanted to first establish project management processes in the department, using a “just enough” approach. When it became clear that ISS was now mature enough to consider project management software, there were a few major factors that the department considered when looking for a tool: Quality and functionality, cost, and complexity of deployment Project…

SharePoint for Project Management: Oil & Energy

With headquarters in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ensign Energy services is an industry leader in the delivery of oilfield services. Since its inception in 1987, Ensign has employed an extensive fleet of flexible, mobile oilfield equipment to meet the challenging demands of the oil and natural gas industry. Ensign is a leader in drilling and well servicing through the innovative use of technology, with an established reputation for the highest safety standards and environmental stewardship. The company has a division of 40+ experts specializing in Information Technology which services up to 7,500+ company personnel in over 17 countries. Challenge Ensign set the goal to establish their Project Management Office’s presence and to create a results driven “best practices” project management environment. The organization identified three key constraints the were inhibiting productivity that the PMO needed to address: 1. Establish clearly defined project management practices 2. They also required a “central point” for project-related work that was clearly defined 3. Over-allocation of resources was a major concern Solution Ensign deployed BrightWork on SharePoint to set up a PMO and establish one standard project management methodology in the organization. Using SharePoint, the PMO set up a “home page” for all project related work…

Streamline Your Project Management Processes with SharePoint

Aramex is a leading provider of comprehensive logistics and transportation solutions. Established in 1982 as an express operator, the company rapidly evolved into a global brand recognized for its customized services and innovative multi-product offering. The range of services offered by Aramex includes international and domestic express delivery, freight forwarding, logistics and warehousing, records and information management solutions, e-business solutions, and online shopping services. The IT team at Aramex’s head office employs around 60 IT professionals with various specialties in software development, MIS, infrastructure, network and information security. A project office body is responsible for overseeing the various projects running within the IT team from initiation to closure, providing the various business stakeholders a high-level view of the projects progress. There were a few project management challenges the organization faced before implementing BrightWork. Aramex had many different projects going on at one time, all of various sizes, complexity and stages of completion, making it very difficult for the company to use a standard PM process for all projects in the organization. The issues included: • Time wasted when constantly meeting with project managers getting updates on project statuses • Too time consuming for project managers to manually calculate the most…

SharePoint for Project Management in Healthcare

Children’s Hospital Boston is a comprehensive center for pediatric healthcare located in Boston, Massachusetts. As one of the largest pediatric medical centers in the United States, Children’s Boston offers a complete range of health care services for children from birth through 21 years of age. Children’s Boston is the pediatric teaching hospital for Harvard Medical School and serves patients from over 150 countries. It is the world’s largest pediatric centered research enterprise receiving $225 million in annual research funding. For the past 21 years, Children’s Hospital Boston has been ranked #1 or #2 in the US News and World Report: “America’s Best Children’s Hospital”. Challenge The initial goal at Children’s Hospital Boston was to get a “snapshot” of the 20-30 on-going projects in the PMO. It was important that whatever solution they chose met certain requirements that would enable them to easily track work and projects in the PMO. The tool had to be: • Integrated with SharePoint because team sites were already being used in the PMO • Intuitively obvious – both easy to use for project managers and for the rest of the organization without any training • Sustainable – which for Children’s Boston meant that project managers…