Lincolnshire County Council (LCC) serves the fourth largest county in England, famous for its agriculture, coastal areas and historic towns.
At the heart of LCC’s varied and complex projects is the InfoHub, the council’s Enterprise Project Management solution based on Microsoft Project Server 2007 and SharePoint. InfoHub is used across all directorates at all levels as a repository for shared information and the place to go for reports on progress, spending and other key issues.
With more than 400 licensed users, it is used on the council’s multi-million pound ICT programmes such as Next Generation Platform and Rural Broadband as well as the project to roll out the InfoHub itself.
However, frustrations set in during and following the initial installation by a third party provider. The council realised that the solution was not fully meeting its reporting needs and there was a lack of in-house skill to adapt the out-of-the-box product to meet LCC’s specific requirements.
The reporting system itself needed changes if the council was to realise its ‘wish list’, which included:
Highlight reports that more accurately reflected project performance
A way of automatically generating dashboard reports summarising performance on a number of projects without having to collate information manually from individual highlight reports
Developing a set of audit and management reports to assist in the overview and governance of projects
Embedding knowledge and skills so that the council would be self-sufficient in meeting future reporting needs
The only way forward was to consolidate all information captured within the EPM system, with the majority of reporting requirements delivered through Microsoft SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS). LCC called in Microsoft Gold Competency Partner Program Framework for help, training and support in realising these aims.
Program Framework coached and trained key users around the use of the report ordering tools and on delivering those reports, including improving their knowledge, skills and how to cope with challenges that may arise. Not all information contained in the InfoHub was being accessed. This was addressed by deploying Program Framework’s exclusive SharePoint List Extractor, which looks at all lists and logs and writes them into a reporting database.
Said Philip: "We have certainly achieved our aims and expectations of the InfoHub’s capabilities through these recent improvements. We can now develop in-house reports that utilise all captured data and future upgrades and improvements are already under consideration.”
“InfoHub data is now ours to explore, analyse and report on in formats appropriate to our requirements.”
“LCC contracted Program Framework to undertake a variety of technical aspects relating to addressing issues with their existing Enterprise Project Management system. In the commissioning of such discrete pieces of work we found Program Framework solutions to be delivered in a timely, helpful, clear and knowledgeable fashion.
Technical support has been excellent and Program Framework readily involved LCC’s administrative staff in the deployment of their solutions, thereby providing invaluable knowledge transfer. Finally, we found Program Framework’s training to be useful and very well delivered.”
Philip Smelt, Performance and Programmes Service, Lincolnshire County Council