2019 Technology Initiatives portfolio performance

In 2019 up to 31 Technology Initiatives (TI) were active at any one time with 14 projects completed. These included major projects such as Banner Upgrade, ASSIST and Extended IT Support. A full list of projects completed in 2019, and the key benefits they delivered, is available in the Annual TI Portfolio Performance report.

The report also reviews some other highlights, including the ongoing reduction in the time taken for projects to be completed. The duration of projects is only one factor by which we measure the performance of the portfolio. However, it is an indicator of improvements in delivery.

The average duration of projects – irrespective of size or complexity – has reduced in 2019 by a factor of 111% compared to 2018. This reduction increases to 122% when compared with the 2011-2018 long term average. All project types have seen a drop in the time taken, with the reduction most marked in very large projects.

A key element of project delivery, and one that is at the core of the agile@CSU project framework, is the release of functionality into production as soon as possible and as often as possible. This iterative and incremental approach to delivery results in a new product or system being made available with expanded functionality over time. It also means that the business can start to secure benefit much sooner than with a waterfall, big-bang approach.

Not all projects can be delivered using this methodology, but our goal is to ensure all projects that can be undertaken this way are. In 2019 nine of the 14 completed projects and over half of all active ones did follow iterative and incremental delivery.

Assessing and developing the capability of our team of project managers and business analysts is something we undertake on an ongoing basis. Capability surveys have been running for a number of years now and they are an essential tool to ensure professional development is targeted and relevant. This also recognises a key principle of agile delivery: Regular Reflection and Adjustment – “At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behaviour accordingly.”

As well as this taking place within projects at the end of each delivery cycle (typically at the end of each sprint) it forms the basis of our biannual capability assessments.

We survey stakeholders, sponsors, developers, other technical staff and external partners where appropriate. Staff are assessed across a range of factors including leadership, change management, process improvement and quality of work. The charts below show the 2019 team results.

Business analyst capability results in 2019
Project managers capability results in 2019

In 2020 we are expanding this survey process to include our testing team. Testing has become a core discipline within Technology Projects and will continue to grow.