Sciforma user testimony: APHM
IT project management: Definition of the IT plan drawn up for several years using PSNext.
Interview with Mrs Maury and Mr Castagnet, APHM.
After the Invitation to Tender lead by Assistance Publique des Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM), Ms Maury and Mr Castagnet, (area managers for the Master Plan, Architecture and Project Office**) implemented the PSNext project management solution in the DIR* (IT and network department). They shared their experience with us.
Rodolphe Bourret (Director the DIR) quotes“This approach enabled us to specify a strategy for managing the DIR’s activity per project and to establish a more efficient governance method based on transparency and trust. It is also a communication support mechanism for our internal clients, enabling them to better understand our activity.”
Under what circumstances did you ask the company Sciforma to manage your projects?
In 2003, we launched an Invitation to Tender in order to equip ourselves with a project management solution. The aim was to establish a precise reporting process on our activity, providing visibility and enabling us to have a sound argument to present to the Managing Director. Furthermore, the solution had to enable us to improve priority management and optimise the allocation of resources.
The aim of the project is completely based on the three key points of our master plan:
- To participate in improving patient admissions.
- To organise management.
- To develop quality.
Since then, the DIR has begun a process of ISO 9001v2000 certification and we are using PSNext to support the area of project management quality.
Why did you choose PSNext?
Before choosing PSNext, we had successively used four different internal and external solutions but were not satisfied. We were looking for a very adaptable product that was easy to use and to configure. Among the ten or so solutions that we examined during the Invitation to Tender, PSNext’s functional features as well as its ergonomics in terms of monitoring user activity and its adaptability caught our attention.
How did the PSNext’s deployment in the DIR evolve?
The start of deployment coincided with the IT master plan 2004-2009. We therefore modelled action plans in the tool lasting several years, created with our project manager. This made it possible to link our activity to the various strategic areas of the master plan.
The deployment strategy and the configuration of the tool were carried out with the help of a Sciforma consultant. This enabled us to use the functional richness of the tool to adapt it to our own specific needs.
We decided to start by calculating the overall time used by all DIR employees in order to quickly obtain a specific result in relation to our activity as a whole and to hence be able to monitor and report it.
Generic activities and standard tasks, project model schedules and the list of activities for maintaining operational applications were defined and created in the tool. It took a total of four weeks to configure the tool, plus another four weeks to define all the projects and applications within this standard model.
In order to validate the feasibility of a big bang and the activity lists proposed, two of our areas were tested, involving approximately twenty people over a period of a few months.
Afterwards, other functionalities were progressively deployed in relation to project management processes. This enabled the DIR to attain ISO 9001v2000 certification in the area of “hospital application software development, deployment and maintenance”.
What measures did you take to introduce PSNext to your employees?
The main areas of training were divided up according to employee profiles. An initial half-day training session on “time recording” aimed at increasing awareness of collecting this information was systematically proposed to all of the personnel. A two-day training course on “planning” was given to project and department managers.
Afterwards, to ensure ongoing training, personalised coaching was offered to managers and a project manager group representing the different departments in the DIR enabled models and processes to evolve whilst taking feedback into consideration.
What are the “pluses” provided by the solution that you didn’t really grasp at the beginning?
We didn’t immediately perceive the extent to which PSNext could serve as a frame of reference for projects. The longer we use it, the more information we input, which is not necessarily related to planning but more to project management in general: for example, data on budget tracking, communication with the project manager – all of this thanks to simply configuring the tool.
What has been the impact of deploying PSNext in your daily business? Have you achieved your initial objectives?
PSNext has now become the source and unique point of reference for us and all our representatives. A project cannot exist unless it is referenced in PSNext. Time recording has become a weekly ritual – “I’ve done my PSNext”.
Project management processes to be deployed are gradually being based on the tool:
- The monthly project review during which each project manager reports on the state of progress, the forecast in different areas and the risks and requests in terms of decisions.
- Budgetary tracking in relation to our accounting system.
- Communication with our project manager on the progress of our project portfolio by means of automatic feedback from a web site.
- The acceptance of different types of project.
- Activity management by directors or through a decision analysis chart.
- The establishment of end-of-phase reviews, etc.
Strategic decisions such as the Application Management action plan are based on analysing our previous activity.
Publishing PSNext reports on the intranet allows us to regularly present our current projects, increasing the visibility of the objective for end-users, represented by acquisition or integration tasks in which they are not involved, thus reducing the tunnel effect. This transparent and immediate method of communication has enabled us to improve our relationship with end-users on a daily basis.
This measure has therefore allowed us to specify an activity management strategy, to improve communication with our internal clients so that they understand us better and to establish a governance system based on trust, which corresponds to the project’s objective.
* The IT and Networks department (DIR) has almost 200 employees working in the areas of IT, networks, telephony and the television service for Assistance Publique Hôpitaux de Marseille (AP-HM consists of four hospitals and more than 14,000 agents and is the leading university hospital centre in the PACA region). The DIR has 7,000 workstations and manages a portfolio of more than 100 projects and 70 applications run by 40 project managers.
** The “Master Plan, System Architecture and Project” Office assures a transversal service for the DIR and is responsible for defining a master plan and action plan lasting several years, monitoring the project portfolio, especially budgetary tracking, providing project methods and tools and AP-HM’s information system's architecture.