ENEL is very geographically distributed and has application development centers in a number of locations. With a mix of waterfall and agile development methodologies, it was difficult to apply central IT governance over all application development projects, as Paolo Notazio, IT4IT Tools Management Specialist at ENEL, explains: “We really needed one single point of truth where all project information resides, so we can provide reporting for management and auditing purposes. This is the only way to ensure true governance for all activities and assets that make up our application landscape.”
With different cultural habits, and a natural human resistance to change, the IT4IT team had to demonstrate the value added of a central project management solution.
Micro Focus® Project and Portfolio Management (PPM) was already in use within ENEL, but only in Italy, and for a quite limited subset of processes. Notazio and the IT4IT team saw the opportunity to put PPM at the centre of the application map and started educating development teams on the benefits of a shared central resource. Little by little, adoption increased, and from an initial 50 PPM users, now 2,500 application development colleagues use PPM across ENEL. Notazio estimates that 100 percent adoption rate will be achieved within a year. This will represent a total of 3,500 annual projects.
PPM is now used to manage projects end-toend, from budget allocation, to the initiatives activation, and to the projects execution, as well as maintenance and change requests, across the entire application portfolio. Many new development projects follow an agile approach. This requires flexibility, and often a cultural shift.
ENEL leverages PPM (which internal name is Spring) for its projects, integrated with Jira (and the rest of the Atlassian suite), used for managing agile projects. When a project is started in Spring (PPM), Jira is automatically populated with all the relevant information, to ensure budget coverage and investment approval. The project set-up phase captures all data required to define a project. Here, a staffing profile is created in the PPM project so that the needed resources can be allocated. Once the PPM project is underway, it links to SAP where the financials are managed.
Jira fulfills project management activities such as product backlog definition and epics creation and management. All progress information, such as milestones, percentage of epics completed etc., are automatically retrieved from PPM for management and audit reporting. The program, and possibly portfolio, associated with the project, automatically retrieves and consolidates all progress and budget information, and links it to other projects within the same program or portfolio.
PPM has brought development teams and management closer together, as Notazio comments: “In PPM, our development teams have a solution that allows them to collaborate much more effectively. The decision makers within ENEL have ready access to the data they need to understand the business impact of our application development projects.”
PPM is deployed in an Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud environment, and operates on an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) basis. “AWS gives us the flexibility we need,” says Notazio. “We stay in control of any PPM configuration and integration, and can easily request more compute power if we need it.”
PPM has now been in use for a number of years and the solution has been configured based on best practice within ENEL. Notazio and the team plan to deepen the PPM integration with other solutions in the application lifecycle. Integration with timesheet management systems, for instance, will ensure PPM automatically logs the exact number of hours worked on a project. Further integration between PPM and Jira ensures small enhancements are covered also in agile projects, as they currently are only in waterfall projects. ENEL release management is managed through Jira, Bamboo and Bitbucket. Further integration with PPM can create end-to-end visibility of the release cycle.
Notazio concludes: “PPM is at the very center of our application landscape. It is the single source of truth, and it ensures our geographically distributed development teams work together much more effectively. There is so much more we can do. PPM Portfolio management and ‘What-if’ scenario planning will really help us anticipate future investments.”