Running an outdated portal solution, our client, a large, global mining company, found that collaboration and information sharing across regions, mine sites and even departments was severely limited by the technology in place. Running with an ineffective search engine and inconsistent site construction, users were only effective at accessing information they themselves placed in the portal. Our client recognized the impact that effective collaboration and knowledge sharing could have in terms of promoting safety, reducing cost and increasing productivity. As a result, a project was approved and funded to roll out an integrated, centralized SharePoint 2010 environment to replace the old, regional portals that users across the company disliked so intensely.
Client operations were largely decentralized, with each region setting their own priorities and working on the initiatives they felt were most critical to their bottom line. Getting a global solution in place that would be centralized in the corporate data center, with a consistent look and feel, and begin to promote collaboration and sharing outside of regional and departmental silos was going to be a big challenge. A prior effort to roll-out SharePoint 2007 was unsuccessful in the early stages and other centrally-run IT projects delivered solutions that were not embraced by the business. These other IT projects likelihood of success was low because they failed to gain traction in the regions and at the mine sites and did not provide meaningful benefits to departments who would be using the new tools. Pessimism toward centrally-managed IT projects was running high when the project neared the planning phase.
Lewis Fowler provided overall project management for this large effort and helped the client put some strategies in place that increased the chances for success. Taking information derived from a pilot effort, we identified five key business stakeholders and focused on their most critical business problems. In the project scope, we included plans to build custom developed solutions for SharePoint that would address these needs. Solutions included online HR forms and a hub for employee-related content, document centers for key mining operations procedures, a landing page reporting tool with safety and production statistics, and company news in a centralized and prominent location. Our team focused on not just the technology - SharePoint, but true corporate collaboration.
By identifying and focusing on what was important to the business during project delivery, we were able to drive successful completion of an enhanced portal and collaboration solution for our client that fundamentally changed the way they worked.
By understanding how prior projects failed, Lewis Fowler was able to help the client tailor their large portal and collaboration project in a manner that increased executive sponsorship from the outset, was more inclusive of the business overall and incorporate into scope deliverables that would eventually drive a high level of user adoption. This enabled the client to modernize their portal and improve the way they worked, effectively reducing costs, promoting safety and positively impacting production through information sharing and collaboration.
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