Avec heeds own project delivery advice, with the rollout of PPO’s project and portfolio management (PPM) tool

Australia-based specialist IT delivery company, Avec, has proven that actions are indeed louder than words by taking its own project-related advice and implementing Project Portfolio Office’s project and portfolio management (PPM) solution, PPO.

An international PPO partner, Avec, the IT consulting arm for global technology resourcing leader Talent, provides technology-agnostic implementation solutions across Australia and New Zealand.  With decades of project management experience, backed by the Talent digital and tech people solutions business, Avec helps clients across all industries achieve their business objectives by delivering IT projects with precision.

Seeking a scalable, user-friendly PPM option

Arne Gething, Avec’s Head of Delivery, explains that the organisation’s focus is providing a refreshing, no-nonsense, approach to project delivery and that, while Avec already had a PPM solution in place, the discussions around finding the best, fit-for-purpose PPM tool started early on, with a number of products identified for investigation.

“We knew that as we continued to grow, having a product that was easy to use, yet gave us all of the information and insights we need to manage at scale, was fundamental. As a company where our core business is delivery, we needed to have a reliable solution in place that could help us to do this.”

Having previously used other tools, Avec decided to investigate what else was available within the Australian market, ultimately selecting PPO as its PPM solution of choice in August 2022.

“One of the main reasons behind deciding to go the PPO route was its ease of use. It allows us to run the gamut of projects, from sophisticated, highly complex, large budget programmes through to very simple, light-touch, multi-week engagements. We need to be able to cater for the range of projects and programmes that our clients need.

“Regardless of the size, Avec must have that governance and trackability throughout its projects, to ensure that the proper disciplines are in place and that the project is delivered on time and on budget to quality. We wanted to be able to scan our full portfolio of hundreds of projects at a glance, and then drill down into the detail as needed.

“To achieve this, we required a PPM tool that would meet the diverse needs of Avec’s portfolio, encompassing our managed services and projects utilising Waterfall, Agile, and Hybrid methodologies. We discovered that PPO was adept at accommodating these varied requirements while remaining user-friendly and straightforward to implement, complemented by prompt and supportive customer service. For us, it ticked all the boxes.”

The benefit of timesheet centralisation

“At any one time we have Avec, client -and third-party resources all working on projects that we are running in PPO. Not only has PPO allowed us to consolidate the previously disparate timesheet systems, but the workflow means that on a per project basis we can decide who will approve the timesheets, be it clients, project managers, other managers or even a client’s internal project management office (PMO).“

Avec is currently integrating timesheets directly into its financial system, allowing for the auto-generation of invoices based on the approved timesheets from PPO.

“A major driver for us here is the fact that a lot of time and effort is currently needed to generate invoices for active projects. By automating this process through our PPM tool, we will be able to save a massive amount of time.”

Taking a bird’s eye view

Another critical benefit being experienced by Avec currently is the centralisation and consistency of projects. “All of our projects are now being run within PPO, regardless of their maturity, and this complete portfolio view is critical to the business.

“PPO allows us to look at our portfolio from a resourcing point of view, instead of just from an individual project perspective. In addition, the project resource allocations roll up into the project budgets.  The timesheets are then used to create the actuals and we can see in a single view how the project, programmes and portfolios are tracking against budget with no further intervention. This gives us far better visibility and control and allows for proactive management.”

The ‘bigger picture’ portfolio view also allows Avec to look at different metrics. For instance, risks, issues, tasks, financials and so on are tracking at a consolidated, or an individual view and the company can slice further by client, department, project manager or any number of views.  This means that portfolio or practice managers can manage their projects by exception.

Gething explains that Avec is continually looking for opportunities to improve its processes, with the assistance of PPO. “This is an ongoing, iterative process, and the support Avec has received from Project Portfolio Office has been fantastic – the team’s reactivity has been amazing. This most certainly gives us the confidence to advise our clients to go the PPO route also; it is a great product backed with excellent support,” he adds.

“The fact that, as a PPO Partner, Avec has also chosen to implement our PPM tool for its own use is an incredible accolade for Project Portfolio Office,” says Guy Jelley, CEO and co-founder of Project Portfolio Office. “Avec is playing a critical role in opening up the Australian market for us, and we look forward to continuing our partnership, moving forward with opportunities for further collaboration and growth.”

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