Cognizant Automates Program and Project Management Processes to Drive Internal Transformation
After a major security breach and an increased need to streamline their existing processes, Cognizant embarked on a modernization initiative that included over 40+ programs requiring governance, meetings, and updates along the way. With so many projects to manage, the company’s manual, labor-intensive processes and tools were neither sustainable nor cost efficient.
Cognizant turned to Planview® PPM for a global set of investment and project and portfolio management tools that would allow them to centralize and automate many of the processes that had been so time consuming. With Planview PPM, Cognizant was able to bring consistency to the company’s PPM processes while automating their existing reporting functions. As a result, this automation drove the success of the company’s remediation and transformation initiatives.
“It became apparent very quickly that Planview was the best choice for our needs, not only because of its product features but the company’s ability to execute on our roadmap. Planview was a great partner to work with.”
– ESTELA LAURICELLA-THOTA, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF TECHNOLOGY TRANSFORMATION AT COGNIZANT
Based in Teaneck, NJ, USA, Cognizant is a professional services organization that delivers technology and consultancy services to clients in every industry, with a strong presence in life sciences and financial services. Founded as an in-house technology unit of Dun & Bradstreet in 1994, the company started serving external clients in 1996 and has grown organically with acquisitions since then. Cognizant employs over 340,000+ engineers globally to drive its mission to modernize technology, reimagine processes, and transform experiences for organizations all over the world.
CHALLENGE: LACK OF CONSISTENCY AND SPEED TO PROJECT AND PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT PROCESSES
Nothing drives organizational transformation like a crisis. Such was the case with Cognizant. After a major security breach in 2020, the company successfully transformed its project planning and management processes in just six months, thanks to Plainview PPM.
“Before we adopted Planview PPM, our processes were very manual and labor intensive,” says Estela Lauricella-Thota, Senior Director of Technology Transformation and head of Cognizant’s Enterprise Project Management Office. “We had very little visibility into our investment portfolios.”
Cognizant’s PPM processes were not only manual, but they were also inconsistent and unsustainable. These problems became even more evident as the company embarked on a major remediation and modernization initiative with more than 40 separate programs, each with their own requisite teams, groups, and frequent governance, board meetings, and updates.
Although the company hired consultants early on to help organize and modernize its internal processes, it was clear that Cognizant needed a tool to centralize and automate much of the reporting and time-consuming work. This also included the need for a more cost-effective strategy.
Lauricella-Thota helped organize the company’s Enterprise Project Management practice and worked to modernize the company’s PPM processes and technology. This included selecting the right digital PPM solution for the organization’s needs. She sought advice from Cognizant’s internal customer consulting group to understand how to effectively communicate Cognizant’s best practices to new customers.
“Together we developed a very useful heat map analysis of our needs in terms of core processes, enablers, and support processes. That enabled us to get into alignment on portfolio management and program quality priorities, including the decision to centralize our PPM platform and develop our enterprise roadmap using a value-based approach,” says Lauricella-Thota.
SOLUTION: CENTRALIZE AND AUTOMATE PORTFOLIO AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT AND GOVERNANCE
Lauricella-Thota put together a multidisciplinary steering group with representatives from IT, IT security, and technology transformation to drive the enterprise PMO roadmap and implement new teams, processes, and governance for each project. “We focused on setting up core process templates and standardizing project charters, status reports, change requests, and project closeouts across all domains.” At the same time, the team investigated PPM tools and technologies available in the market starting with a few potential tools and then narrowing their options down to four tools for consideration.
“It became apparent very quickly that Planview PPM was the best choice for our needs, not only because of its features but the company’s ability to execute on our roadmap. Planview was a great partner to work with” says, Lauricella-Thota. Lauricella-Thota stated that she valued Planview’s PPM platform because of its cloud native with a modern user interface and it ease of use for self-services capabilities. “We felt the interface and depth of functionality and capabilities would make it easy to fulfill our biggest commitments and priorities quickly.”
RESULTS: CONSISTENT, AUTOMATED PROCESSES, TOOLS, AND ANALYSES DRIVE TRANSFORMATION SUCCESS
Over six months of releases, Lauricella-Thota’s team implemented consistent processes for demand intake, investment planning, and program and project management. Doing so led to enhanced consistency, delivery success, predictability, and visibility into demand and project management lifecycles. With Planview PSA, Lauricella-Thota was able to implement powerful investment prioritization scoring based on criteria that the teams developed.
“We’re currently well on the way to centralizing resource capacity management and moving towards a complete enterprise integrated PPM platform,” says Lauricella-Thota.
Lauricella-Thota finds the Planview dashboard and other capabilities extremely effective stating that, “Planview PSA makes it easy to do comprehensive what-if analyses and the dashboard and decision-making insights are very valuable, allowing us to see demand and analyze value across portfolio domains.”
At a click of a button project managers can digitize all the project charters, workplans, roadmaps, and Gantt Charts with their milestones, tasks, and dependencies for each project. Projects are organized by domains, business functions, and risks. If anything changes, Planview’s PPM platform updates the charters automatically.
“Planview PPM gives us end-to-end visibility, accelerates our time to market, and readies us for all the investment scrutiny we need going forward,” says Lauricella-Thota. “I can’t over emphasize what a great tool this is for governance reporting.”
Lauricella-Thota is proud of Cognizant’s rapid PPM transformation with Planview PPM and advises others to spend time with discovery, roadmap building, alignment, and executive buy-in first before preparing to implement with whatever tool they choose. “Focus on a few of your biggest problems first. Once you get those implemented you can move on to other functions and optimize what you’ve implemented already.”