Sciforma user testimony: Atos Origin
Contract management: A large service company uses PSNext for its most important customer projects.
Interview with Mr Chauffrein, Atos Consulting.
What can be said about Atos Consulting as an introduction to your field of activity?
For more than 5 years, Atos Consulting has been supporting their clients in managing their major transformation programs. To respond to the challenges faced by our clients, we’ve developed an approach that combines know-how in the areas of project, change and risk management.
This approach is based on using program management tools to enable the implementation of processes defined in the governance reference model as well as the automating report production giving a precise image of the program’s progress.
Our know-how is based on experience gained in managing major transformation projects in the telecommunications and energy sectors.
Atos Consulting, which is part of Atos Origin, is one of the market leaders in providing consulting services in management and information systems. With more than 2,500 staff worldwide, Atos Consulting supports its clients with their organisational and technological transformation projects, delivering pragmatic, innovative solutions to the telecommunications, industrial, financial services and public sectors.
When did you feel the need to acquire a project management solution?
In order to work with one of our clients, a cornerstone among telecommunications operators, we had one simple requirement: to take care of everything using one common tool, including project planning, task progress and resource time spent.
We had to be able to control the number of days worked per week and per month, in order to track our teams’ progress, but also to determine the level of project progress based on this period of elapsed time. PSNext responded to these two requirements perfectly.
In fact, this solution lets each person create their own timesheet, depending on the tasks allocated to them, to enter actuals inaccurate. These tasks are then automatically brought into a centralised schedule to determine the percentage of project completion.
Has it been easy to go from using your traditional office IT tools to this project management solution?
When we asked for project management software to be purchased internally, our request was perceived as being a useless investment because our Microsoft Office tools (especially Excel) seemed to cover our needs.
However based on our past experience, we were able to prove that having staff spend 100% of their time consolidating Excel files, checking their completeness and then correcting errors was a waste of time and a source of a significant number of errors.
As it is, for this new project, we’re working with PSNext with a part-time member of staff, whereas we’d originally planned to employ two additional members of staff: one for managing timesheets in Excel and another for consolidating project progress.
Is it the client you mentioned in particular who recommended that you use PSNext?
In fact, it was our choice. As a project integrator, we have to provide our clients with transparency in terms of reporting the global plan and task progress percentages.
PSNext’s reporting functionality allow us to produce a series of reports indicating project progress. Some are available for use by clients, others internally or by the Atos Consulting group.
You’ve used the PSN 8 solution in the past. What do you think about the new changes in PSNext?
The most important change is clearly the option to work collaboratively using PSNext. With PSN 8, in projects involving several project managers, you could not easily view the schedule, state of progress, the budget or costs without going through a consolidation stage beforehand.
The advantage with PSNext is that it is based on a network, which gives each person a customised access, depending on the permission allocated to them. Each project manager can thus validate the time taken by their staff, manage their budget, progress and the remaining tasks in their project with one simple click. The automation offered by PSNext allows us to gain significant resources and time as well as increasing the reliability of our information. In fact, the only possible error is a human error when entering times.
These days, are all Atos Consulting projects managed using PSNext?
For us, using PSNext can only be justified when the size of the project warrants it. We believe that for projects involving between 60 and 70 people, its use is essential. In the project we’re managing right now, we have phases involving up to 150 people, logging their times in PSNext for 6 project managers. And we’re currently negotiating with clients regarding projects of a similar size. If we reach an agreement with them, we’ll also choose PSNext.
Do you put forward the use of PSNext as part of your sales package?
Yes, we actually specify that we have the ability to industrialise scheduling and progress management using a project management solution such as PSNext.
Has Sciforma accompanied you with the deployment of PSNext?
We are regularly in contact with a project manager from Sciforma, who has helped us to better understand our needs, structure our schedules and create our reports using the tool. We see each other once or twice a month to deal with any special requirements that arise.
We are constantly thinking about how PSNext can help us to improve the management of our projects. We are pleased because the consultant from Sciforma, who specialises in the tool and has a clear idea of our situation, answers our questions and is able to tailor PSNext to our needs.
How did the deployment at the Project Manager level go?
As I said before, it’s a very easy tool to use. First of all, we helped staff to install the tool on their machines. Then, we went to see them individually to show them how it works overall. We preferred to provide each project manager with personalised support over 2-3 weeks, concentrating on their own specific needs, rather than offering a general training course.