In order to become a successful portfolio management organisation, we at Odysseus strongly believe process, people and technology go hand in hand. But sometimes technology can provide the structure which allows you to speed up improving your processes. If the selected technology also comes with a very engaging and familiar user experience, it’s a win-win-win situation.
edison365 is a solution which can accelerate process improvements and drive user adoption. Whether your organization is going through an business transformation or is aiming to professionalize it’s portfolio management process, edison365 offers the means to create and deliver change across your entire organisation. Being build on the Microsoft365 Platform it leverages standard applications such as Power Bi, Delve, Teams, SharePoint, Yammer, etc. This makes the user experience familiar and your which gives you a head start.
Of course you can go for the end-to-end solution from Strategy to Benefit Realisation. Due to its modular setup, edison365 allows you to pick and choose those parts of the portfolio management process which are most relevant for you. In the end the solution is just the means to an end, and not the end in itself. But in order to get the full picture, we need to focus on the individual modules of edison365.
The project lifecycle always start with the idea or desire (demand) to start a change initiative. edison365ideas gives innovation and idea management a place within your organisation.
Idea and demand generation can take place both top-down and bottom-up. By setting challenges you ask your stakeholders to generate ideas on a specific topic, but it’s also possible for your employees to submit an idea without being asked for it. After submitting ideas, they become visible for the entire organisation. Due to this transparent nature everyone is able to see, like, vote, and more importantly, contribute to the idea. This will start up the discussion and therefor turn good individual ideas into better shared ideas.
edison365ideas also comes with gamification. By enabling this feature, your employees will be rewarded with points when they actively contribute to your innovation process. We have seen many companies where employees can exchange these points for actual gifts which drives user adoption even further.
After generation, ideas can be examined and scored based on the principle of triage. By individually scoring ideas in a uniform way, you are able to compare the ideas with each other so you can select the best ideas. These ideas can then be converted into a business case or directly into a project.
The next step in the project lifecycle is often writing the business case. Setting the right priorities and having insight in when which benefits are being delivered is essential for success. Using edison365businesscase enables the uniform justification of all your project investments.
All relevant information for the business case will be structured and entered via a form-based and user-friendly interface. As no organisation is exactly the same, the information covered in the business case is fully configurable. By using various templates your employees will only be asked those questions which are relevant for them. After all, a business project can be quite different from an IT project. But by having all business cases in the same environment, you are still able to manage them in a similar way and your employees will always use the same user interface and structure when creating one.
When setting up the templates it’s good to think about the questions to fill in, but also provide pointers for the writer of the business case to think about. For example you can provide a template with an empty ‘problem description’ but which already has a pre-populated ‘schedule’ or ‘risk log’. By providing the mandatory milestones and most common risks, you can easily save your employees time. Another great feature of edison365businesscase is the MS Teams integration which allows you to create a centralized location for team collaboration, communication and file sharing.
Once the business case is written and submitted, the approval takes place based via a predefined process. You can select any Office365 user to review the business case and assign them the approval tasks. Based on the approval flow determined, you can also automatically create versions of the business case after each step in the process.
A final, but not unimportant, advantage of edison365businesscase is that the data is stored in the database. This allows you to report on your business cases and create dashboards for all steps in your portfolio process. Something which cannot be done with MS Word without duplicating the data somewhere else.
Once the business case is approved, the project will start in order to realize the perceived benefits. edison365projects comes with all required functionality to easily manage your projects. It covers the project schedule, risk and issue management, but also resource demand and cost. Similar to edison365businesscase edison365projects is fully configurable and build around templates. It also is fully integrated with MS Teams and MS Project Online (including MS Project).
As project team members will have a huge role during the execution of the project, it’s advised to grant them access to edison365projects. By doing so, you will provide them with all project information which is relevant to them. From this central place they have an overview of the tasks they need to work on. They are able to provide status updates and can manage the risks and issues assigned to them.
Now we have seen a glance of the features covered by edison365, it’s time to bring them all together in portfolio reports and dashboards.
Some visualisations are covered within edison365. Think about some basic tables to summarize your ideas, business cases and/or projects. Also there are some Gantt charts available which give an overview of your project roadmap.
Since edison365 is a solution within the Microsoft365 platform, it uses Microsoft Power Bi as a reporting solution leveraging your investments in that area. Power Bi is a powerful solution in which various created and dashboards can be created. Some examples:
- Portfolio Overview with various cross sections on strategic goals, priority, etc.
- Capacity Overview where resource demand and capacity can be compared with each other.
- Financial reports
- Project highlight report providing insight in all aspects of the project.
- Risk Matrix
Microsoft Power Bi contains several out of the box connections with various data sources which allows you to combine data from several sources. This removes the need to build expensive interfaces, or duplicating the same data in various tools.
To end with
Now we’ve seen an overview of the edison365 suite and how it can support your portfolio management processes and increase user adoption. Whether you like to start small with just one of the modules, or do a full blown implementation, it’s all possible. But, I’d like to emphasize once again that we at Odysseus will never just implement a tool. We prefer to start a change within your organization where process, people and technology get an equal amount of attention and support each other and allow you to create real value to your business.