After 25 years in operation, Metametrix Clinical Laboratory had reached the point of pain with project management. Projects were costly in terms of resources and capital expenditures, yet there was no system for integrated, company-wide monitoring and management of projects and workflows. From R&D projects in the laboratories to marketing efforts, Metametrix could not track project requests, priorities and progress. “We had a long list of congruent projects happening in their own bubbles,” says Metametrix Director of Information Technology Dave Kuehling. “We had overlapping resources and spent a lot of time backtracking.”
Metametrix had an existing Windows SharePoint Server 3.0 (WSS) implementation, but, as Kuehling relates, “Like many people who jump into SharePoint, we basically did everything wrong—no planning, structure, awareness or education.” Metametrix had attempted to cobble together its own “PM Lite” tool using WSS and various webparts from other vendors, but again, poor implementation and low adoption was a barrier to success.
The firm was considering a SharePoint upgrade, so Kuehling brought Abel Solutions in to make a presentation. Through the development of a SharePoint roadmap, Abel Solutions illustrated how much impact SharePoint could have on the business if Metametrix leveraged it throughout the entire organization instead of in pockets. To address Metametrix’s project management needs, Abel Solutions recommended a full deployment of SharePoint 2010 along with EPMLive’s WorkEngine platform.
WorkEngine is a comprehensive project management solution that provides pre-built yet customizable, best-practices templates and applications for a broad array of projects and processes. “It was everything we wanted in one package and not a series of put-together webparts,” says Kuehling. “We compared EPMLive to other solutions, and it was a clear choice for ease of use, offerings and thorough implementation. It fit our bill perfectly.”
Rather than opt for a traditional migration, Metametrix and Abel Solutions decided that a new, independent implementation would sweep away vestiges of the old, unsuccessful WSS system. Abel achieved the implementation for Metametrix in less than five months, gradually transitioning to a point where internal personnel could manage the system confidently and successfully.
During that time, a major awareness campaign ensured personnel not only knew about and could use the system but also understood its power and potential. “We asked staff to consider how it could help their teams by replacing some of the day-to-day drudge with a workflow,” says Kuehling.
In its first phase of deployment, Metametrix wanted to accomplish several key objectives ranging from better quality control/assurance in the labs to an improved marketing collateral review process and a more accessible way to store and share project-related artifacts and collateral. “The solution has solved those challenges by giving us a centralized tracking and access mechanism,” says Kuehling. “It is helping us ensure quality, give partners their own collateral libraries and develop a best-of-breed operation to service customers more optimally.”
The initial implementation has been so successful that Kuehling has a “growing list of 30+ objectives that will further expand SharePoint into the organization. SharePoint and WorkEngine ensure that all projects or initiatives are in line with our strategic objectives and goals—and that they add value to reaching them,” he says.