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New project management tool advancing ITS Strategic Plan

Published on: May 15, 2020

This is a dashboard view of ServiceNow’s Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) tool, which is being used to amalgamate, track and report on all IT@UofT Strategic Plan Delivery-related projects.

Many in the University of Toronto (U of T) community are familiar with ServiceNow’s IT Service Centre, part of the Enterprise Service Centre (ESC) ticketing system, which streamlines and responds to IT inquiries.

But did you know that ServiceNow, which is the platform that hosts ESC, also offers a tool that is being used to track and report on Information Technology Services- (ITS) related projects?

Why is this important for ITS?
Gathering and evaluating data on projects, followed by analytics reporting, is an important part of ITS’ work and overall success.

Similar to how ESC was used to consolidate a previous ticketing system (including emails, phone calls and in-person questions), ServiceNow’s Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) tool is being used to amalgamate many ITS projects.

“This is unprecedented at the University, it’s the first time within the Chief Information Officer (CIO) portfolio that we have a conglomerate of all projects under one roof,” said Vikram Chadalawada, senior manager, Student Information Systems and IT@UofT Strategic Plan Delivery. “Currently, there are approximately 180 projects in the entire portfolio that are placed in a central location within ServiceNow.”

Started in April 2020, ITS staff began using the PPM tool to track all IT@UofT Strategic Plan Delivery-related projects, record milestones/targets, identify Strategic Plan initiatives and produce reports in a variety of ways.

The goal is to produce a consistent set of reports to share with the U of T community and other stakeholders on ITS’ progress as it relates to the IT@UofT Strategic Plan, said Gary Raposo, senior manager, Enterprise Shared Services, Enterprise Applications & Solutions Integration (EASI). Cris Diaconu, information systems analyst, Enterprise Shared Services, EASI, is also helping work on the logistics side of disseminating projects’ results.

How does it work?
“As we do work on the project, we indicate our progress by identifying how far along we are in our project plan and the system, accordingly, reports on the overall Strategic Plan progress made,” explained Gerry Lindo, enterprise systems senior project manager at EASI and a PPM project lead.

“One of my favourite features is the opening dashboard, which gives the user a quick view of the projects that are coming to a close and at upcoming milestones in the near future,” said Lindo. “[PPM is] also very versatile in that it allows us to build different styles of report to show information in bar graphs, pie charts or metre-style graphics, which can be attached to a user’s dashboard.”

In addition to the platform’s own dashboard, high-level reporting information is also available on Google Studios, which the ServiceNow team is using to provide senior leaders with regular updates.

Questions? Ask at the ITS Town Hall!
On May 26, the entire ITS division will participate in a virtual town hall event. This will be an opportunity to connect with colleagues and hear from CIO Bo Wandschneider. During Bo’s presentation, he will discuss the IT@UofT Strategic Plan. He will also welcome questions from the community. Submit any questions you may have ahead of time using this question dropbox form.