Financial Market Data Provider Transform Management of Projects Through the Introduction of MindGenius
Interactive Data is a trusted leader in financial information. The Company’s businesses supply real-time market data, time sensitive pricing, fixed income evaluated pricing, and reference data.
The Operations and Client Services (OCS) organisation within Interactive Data is a centralized function that provides a range of services to its lines of business. Given the scope and complexity of some of these functions, the OCS team was challenged to scale its project management activities in a way that would provide transparency and consistency in how projects were managed. Consequently, in early 2014 the OCS team embarked on a journey to find a new way to accomplish these objectives.
The OCS Project Management Office (OCS PMO) first created a scalable framework based on planning, reporting, transparency, and capacity expansion with a focus on finding a balance between process overhead and resource availability.
In addition, the OCS PMO received a unique opportunity to employ subject matter experts (SMEs) in the role of project managers (PMs); however, it believed that traditional project planning and management tools would divert their attention from the very business objectives the organisation was trying to achieve.
Interactive Data turned to MindGenius for a cost-effective, easy-to-use tool that synchronized well with the OCS PMO’s newly established project framework.
PMs executed their individual projects solely within MindGenius, converted the MindGenius files into XML, and uploaded them to a Microsoft SharePoint® site that included programmatic checks to ensure they were up-to-date and valid.
“Thanks to a new approach and MindGenius, our modest Project Management Office now operates like a large Project Management Organisation with increased business value at minimal additional cost to the Company.”
Monica A. Lussier, Director Strategic Platform Management, Interactive Data
The project framework that Interactive Data deployed was based on:
The team sought to improve how the organisation approached and resolved problems by stressing an increased focus on conceptual modelling. By leveraging MindGenius’ mind mapping component instead of back-of-the-napkin approach, the OCS PMO was able to more easily identify, plan, and structure how to run projects.
The OCS PMO needed to improve its reporting to eliminate inconsistencies and reduce time spent to produce them. Many of these reports provided status but not insight. The OCS PMO first implemented reporting standards and then used MindGenius’ built-in reports to simplify and unify project reporting.
In order to adhere to the general operating philosophy of transparency in the business, it was essential to standardize the view of the project portfolio in a central place. To achieve this goal, the OCS PMO was able to leverage MindGenius’ XML output format and integrate it with Microsoft SharePoint®. A homegrown, dynamic dashboard was developed to pull data from the notes editor function in MindGenius and provide click-through transparency at the major milestone level.
The OCS PMO is a small team and it needed to leverage SMEs in the role of PMs to handle the increased workload. MindGenius provided non-trained PMs an easy-to-adopt visual way to understand and manage projects. The additional functionality of being able to convert the visual map into a more traditional Gantt view with a single click allowed SMEs to be comfortable acting as PMs. Moreover, it allowed the trained PMs to shift to a mentoring/coaching role to ensure that projects were being managed in accordance with best practices.
Director Monica Lussier commented: “In 2014, Interactive Data’s Operations and Client Services PMO was able to pair our best practices with MindGenius so that our small Project Management Office of the three Project Managers and three Business Analysts could extend its reach and increased its value to the business. Before MindGenius, we were managing projects in a traditional-model with a capacity of approximately 10 active projects. Since MindGenius, we have moved to a mentor-model with 35 SMEs acting as PMs, allowing us to manage a portfolio of over 70 active projects”
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