Supporting process improvements to drive quick and cost-effective delivery of infrastructure to meet business needs.
With a strategy to increase profitable revenues and extend its position as a market-leading pharmaceutical, our client needed agile and cost-effective IT delivery. A critical element of this is the ability to bring infrastructure services online as efficiently as possible. If servers, storage, back-up, and networks aren’t delivered on time and on budget, it can have a dramatic impact on productivity. That can mean delaying the introduction of the tools needed to execute business processes, ranging from molecule discovery through to product packaging and distribution.
In common with many large, global organisations, the processes for delivering infrastructure were complex, and included an ecosystem of internal teams and external suppliers. A combination of voice-of-the-customer (VOC) feedback and baseline performance measures had highlighted challenges where the process was falling short of the expectations of the business.
Mason Advisory was engaged to support the IT department in addressing these issues.
Mason Advisory supported the business in designing improvement initiatives, and developing and deploying implementation plans to address challenges that have been highlighted in relation to infrastructure provisioning. This work used our knowledge and experience of applying Lean and Agile techniques, as well as our understanding of implementing IT service management (ITIL), infrastructure delivery and change management for global organisations.
We initially worked with the in-house IT team to design and drive a series of round-table discussions and solution design workshops. During these sessions the groups applied Lean tools to:
- establish the current infrastructure provisioning process
- gather VOC feedback
- confirm the target state
- identify problem statements
- develop solutions to move from the current position towards the target.
The discussions worked through user stories so that the team focused on different stakeholder perspectives. We supported the internal team in identifying changes that should be implemented to deliver improvements.
Using an Agile approach, a number of improvement actions were divided into prioritised ‘sprint’ plans, with initiatives falling within four key priority areas:
- reducing effort and delivery cycle times associated with the global infrastructure provisioning processes by more than 40%
- reducing manual effort, removing waste and improving visibility associated with measurement and reporting of performance
- reducing the overall time to implement IT projects and reducing the associated procurement overheads (and therefore the costs) by improving demand forecasting and capacity management processes so that the IT team can see what the business needs and plan timely infrastructure delivery accordingly.
Mason Advisory has played a lead role in supporting the organisation in implementing change. That includes mapping its current infrastructure provisioning process, understanding the critical requirements of the business, and identifying and implementing the changes needed to meet those requirements. The resulting improvement programme introduced new practices delivering a significant reduction in cycle time for parts of the provisioning process, while also delivering cost avoidance benefits. In addition, the changes have introduced new ways to capture and process demand for infrastructure services through a single service catalogue, resulting in improved customer experience.