Using ServiceNow to Delivery on a Century-Old Mission

Based in Northeast Texas, a Fortune 500 Global Technology and Specialty Materials company supplies the underlying materials critical to their customers’ global chemical, paint and coating needs. This century-old enterprise has grown from a small backyard shed in Switzerland to a global technology powerhouse driving innovative, sustainably-produced materials to diverse clients in automotive and consumer electronic designs, medical, food and beverage products – and more!

Never satisfied with resting on its laurels, the enterprise has seen significant growth in the past few years, including a series of new hires and six major acquisitions – coalescing into a team of 7,600 employees, six geographic regions, and $7.2B in revenue of $7.16B in the fiscal year 2018.

But keeping up with their lofty mission required the team to modernize their internal work processes and structures to facilitate greater company and employee productivity.

Rapid Growth Requires Scalable Technology

While exciting, their rapid growth brought management challenges – in particular, the firm was struggling with efficiency in their reporting, approval, and project monitoring. The enterprise needed a new system and revamped processes that would be able to handle the multiple hundred-thousand-dollar projects they were suddenly seeing.

Before working with Acorio, the six-person Project Management Office was using spreadsheets and ineffective project management software to carry out their project reporting and monitoring. These disconnected, largely manual processes meant the team had no clear view of each project nor its status.

They also struggled to differentiate external department budgets from projects sitting in the PMO mandate – preventing effective cost management and identification of budget overages, or even which investment pool belonged to which project – never good when reporting up to the executive team.

Overall, the small but mighty PMO team needed to a more robust, enterprise system aligned with their corporate mission of innovation and productivity, and their history of adaptation. So, in 2017, they began a multi-year journey with ServiceNow to transform and modernize their IT and other workflow processes. This transformation began on the Service Management front, rolling out ITSM, then Security Operations (critical given their global client scope.)

After nearly a year and a half of initial ServiceNow implementations, it was time to address the pains the project management team was feeling (and elevating to the IT decision-makers.)

Over the course of 13 weeks, this company added IT Business Management (ITBM) into their ServiceNow roadmap. For the first phase, the team was specifically looking to adopt the Project Portfolio Management (PPM) Suite to empower the PMO team to sort and track their projects and figure out where all their money was going.

The Work: Delivering a ServiceNow ITBM Solution

The primary goal for team leadership was to restructure how they approached their project management while also unifying the processes into a single platform that provided greater visibility of project status for enterprise-wide business units.

Using ServiceNow’s ITBM as the backbone for the re-structured processes, Acorio constructed a process for administration of projects on behalf of other business departments, complete with the desired visibility into the budgeting, financing, and resource utilization.

As a consultancy focused on advising and guiding our clients on their ServiceNow journey, the Acorio team often finds ourselves in the rewarding position of being able to push clients to extend what they thought was possible with the platform. That was the case here. We were able to show the team that not only could they leverage ITBM to deal with project-level work such as PPM, but they could also create a cascading, portfolio-level management layer to help clarify process and decision-making.

This additional project layer allowed the organization to accomplish all their project goals within their scope, time, quality, and budget constraints, including both overall project management and the additional layer of visibility.  This new approach provides visibility into all the different requests and inputs the Project team receive throughout the organization and can allocate their time, resources and budget allocations by discreet project or department, allowing them to make decisions based on business objectives and not what’s next in line. The robust ITBM and PPM solution also provides complete visibility into the entire utilization of their project portfolio, as well as offering specific project-by-project views.

Results: Extending ServiceNow’s History of Success

Working from a ground-up approach, the Acorio and PMO team successfully delivered this much-needed visibility by implementing ServiceNow’s PPM suite. Now, the company can manage project demand in a single place and track expected and actual costs.

In the first two quarters of 2019, this company surpassed its estimated earnings expectations. According to the SysAdmin of the PMO, they are now twice as productive internally. This is directly attributed to the fact that they can actually see where they are in each project through their project dashboards and their greater visibility into resource management.

The PMO team is now efficient in their project management, and they’ve even learned to embrace the technology along the way. There is an ardent sense of pride in the department, they have irrefutable data and are able to stay two steps ahead of everything that comes their way.

Because of their continued success with ServiceNow’s enterprise platform, they are slated to continue their journey with IT Operations Management (ITOM) in the next year. As this company’s history exemplifies, there is no doubt that they will continue to adapt the ServiceNow platform to suit their changing customer and employee needs, growing alongside the market.