Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), the world’s largest brewer, has rolled out Project Portfolio Office’s cloud-based project portfolio management (PPM) application, PPO, to track projects and consolidate reporting across 13 different African countries.
AB InBev underwent an organisational structure change following its acquisition of SABMiller in late 2016, explains Woveshen Moodley, design & delivery lead: QA & method solutions at the company, which led to the decommissioning of its then PPM application as it was deemed too complex and costly. “At the beginning of 2017, we began to investigate alternative applications, including PPO, conducting proof of concepts to find the right tool. We found that PPO ticked the box of AB InBev’s requirements of a more cost effective and easier to use tool.”
The PPO PPM application has been rolled out to all users across the company’s demand and delivery areas, helping with the management of projects from demand to operations, beginning with the identification of demand and ending in delivery.
PPO is now assisting in the tracking of demand across the different business areas within AB InBev, explains Catherine Potgieter, design & delivery project manager at AB InBev, stating that the organisation is currently running around 50 different projects for this year, with 75 demand items raised for next year.
“We’re using PPO as a mechanism to track governance requirements, ensuring that projects are meeting business requirements against defined processes and budgets. Since the rollout of the PPM application, we’ve seen compliance improve within this governance framework by 80 percent so far, with the aim of 100 percent by the end of the year, a figure that is easily within our grasp.
“Real-time reporting also allows our team to make informed decisions and has improved collaboration and interactivity,” she adds.
Prior to the implementation of PPO, the project team was not using the previous PPM tool for reporting but using manually processed Excel reports, which could take three days to compile and generate, depending on the number of resources involved, Moodley clarifies. “Now, reports can be drawn on the fly in real-time and with far greater accuracy. This real-time activity is key also with the regular e-mail alerts that allow project managers to take immediate action when a new demand item is raised or an issue arises. Having the project managers use the PPM tool for both their day-to-day project management, PMO governance and reporting is a huge win for the organisation.”
In terms of lessons learned, both Moodley and Potgieter agree that it is more advantageous to ensure all data resides within the system before going live.
Says Moodley: “PPO is not only easy to use, but also effortlessly customisable based on your specific functional requirements. Working with the PPO team has been fantastic, since inception. They’ve always been responsive, even when requirements have changed, given expert advice, and have supported our new PPM journey, truly understanding what it takes to build and run a successful project management office (PMO).”
According to Guy Jelley, CEO and co-founder of Project Portfolio Office, PPO’s intrinsic transparency and visibility are critical to improved compliance. “It is the PPM application’s ability to publish a visual view of the lifecycle and methodology using any process mapping tool, and to provide interactivity, descriptions and links from the lifecycle to PPO screens, that is critical here.
“A major advantage for PPO users like AB InBev is the ability to use one tool, not only to track governance (in line with PMBoK, PRINCE2 or any customised methodology), allowing for governance monitoring and checks on compliance to the process, but also to closely manage projects, while delivering accurated, real-time reporting.”