Industry: Not-for-profit banking
Founded: 1947
Location(s): Spokane Valley, WA
Assets: ~$1 Billion
Employees: <500
Members: ~70,000

HZCU PPM Profile
Project teams: IT, Capital Projects, Marketing & Retail Delivery
PPM Methodologies: Waterfall, Agile (Future)
PPM Resources: 2.5 Project Managers, 40 Project Team Members, ~20-35 Active projects (typical)

Since its inception in 1947 the Horizon Credit Union (HZCU) has been serving its members in the U.S. Pacific Northwest with exceptional financial products, including lending, investment, and money management services. In evolving and transforming with the industry, HZCU is dedicated to enhance member experience and drive efforts to transform branches, improve contact centers, and upgrading vital “eServices” like mobile and digital wallet offerings.

Initiative Overview

"There was not a systematic way to track investments, whether direct project cost or labor resource investments. Using a tool will allow us to track and have a measurement of this to show the true ROI of implementing specific projects."

- Lisa Jonas, Head of PMO

Over the past few years the organization has experienced significant growth in membership, assets and product portfolio. It has reached the point where previous manual processes and ways of doing things no longer work. As a result, digital transformation of key operational and IT processes is viewed as a necessity to improve efficiency and position the organization for continued business growth and industry change.

The enterprise PMO is well positioned to advance the enterprise digitalization agenda as it facilitates projects that touch most teams and individuals throughout the organization. Wise use of project management processes and tools, including the effective use of an Enterprise PPM tool, is viewed as a key to bringing about the digital transformation.

As a result, in August 2018 HZCU launched an enterprise PPM initiative to better drive and support strategic business initiatives.

Sciforma was selected as the enterprise-wide PPM platform to replace departmental systems and to address key enabling requirements such as improved resource management, more consistent project planning and delivery, and more effective information sharing and knowledge transfer across operations and IT teams.

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Business Drivers and Requirements

Need for Centralized Hub
- There was an opportunity to improve the consistency of project and portfolio planning and implementation practices which was a challenge since each department used their own tools.
- Information was not available to organization team members outside their department, so there was no standard way to capture project information, collaborate, and transfer knowledge where needed

Resource Management
- HZCU is a matrix organization and did not have a systematic approach to project resource allocation. This created bottlenecks both in operations and projects and caused major project delays with potential revenue impact
- There was no easy way to forecast resource requirements for projects and gain adequate visibility to over- allocated resources

Productivity and Reporting 
- Better project team productivity was needed, including approval workflow and work-in process status and time reporting
- Better executive reporting and dashboards were desired, including the ability to view pipeline and in-flight project status at a glance; drill down on resource allocations, issues and risks; and tie planned benefits and actual outcome metrics to ROI

Platform Growth Path
- HZCU needed a tool it can grow into as it increases its PPM maturity level
- Initially core project management functionality was required, but as the organization gains experience, more advanced capabilities will be utilized


Sciforma Solution

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Software Critical Capabilities: Resource management, Project Scheduling/planning, PPM reporting/dashboard, Collaboration/work management, Program/Portfolio management, Agile

Technical Choices: Cloud: Limited or no customizations, easy to upgrade and stay current, Security: SAML 2.0, Single Sign-ON, Scalability and performance: Network response and global performance and availability critical for user satisfaction, Portability: employees are able to access the platform from a workstation remotely.

Services: end-user and admin training, implementation and integration

Expected/Realized Benefits & Next Steps

Better Communications and Collaboration

Sciforma is connecting the project and operational functions enterprise wide via a “central hub” for project intelligence. This has greatly streamlined project collaboration and alleviated delivery bottlenecks. For example, HZCU is experiencing less issues caused by a lack of visibility to project delivery dependencies on other departments.

Increased Resource Visibility

Resource availability information is available at a glance, which has been a struggle for the organization to track and understand in the past. As users become more familiar with the platform and data/reports that are available, it is anticipated that this will enable more reliable capacity planning and eliminate the common practice of over-allocating resources.

Improved Executive and PMO Reporting

The dashboards have proven to provide excellent overviews that senior leadership has been looking for and are easier than manually gathering data as project managers were doing in the past to create dashboards. Also, the variety of available dashboards that compile data in multiple views for the many different areas has made the project managers’ jobs easier. The PMO can now instantly answer questions relating to project status, issues, costs, resources, and time – increasing stakeholder satisfaction.


- Continue phased roll out to new project teams, evaluate tool effectiveness, and conduct a gap analysis to drive the second-phase plan and requirements.
- Finalize the definition of a new systematic project to idea/demand intake process that will leverage Sciforma.
- Implement time tracking and grow into portfolio management and capacity forecasting.
Provide formal support for the Agile and hybrid project methodologies.
- Focus on project management practice consistency across the enterprise through the use of a Project Management Information System (PMIS) approach. PMIS represents a key growth opportunity for the organization championed by senior managers as a way to better position the organization to achieve organizational strategies and initiatives.