Eastman Chemical implements the CA Clarity system

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Eastman Chemical Company manufactures and markets more than 1,200 chemicals, fibres and plastics products, employs approximately 15,800 people in more than 30 countries, and had 2002 sales of $5.3 billion. It is one of the worlds leading suppliers of polyester plastics for packaging, coatings, cellulose acetate fibres, basic chemicals and custom-manufactured chemicals for pharmaceutical, agriculture and other markets.

Business challenge

Prior to the formation of Eastmans IT customer-project office, executives found it extremely difficult to make decisions about projects based on timely and accurate data. Company knowledge was fragmented in different types of databases, with different data collected on different types of projects. Getting any semblance of a high-level view required a substantial effort and even then was based on questionable information. When the IT department made the decision to form a project office, part of its mandate was to acquire a data-consolidation capability along with the resources and processes to support it. Their first effort produced a very large Excel spreadsheet with information aggregated around projects. Although an improvement, it still took many hours to produce and a lot more effort to keep updated plus executives still had to accept the accuracy of the underlying data on faith. This was clearly not sufficient.

Results

With the CA Clarity system, Eastman Chemical has been able to:

Consolidate data from groups operating in 60 different locations around the world.
Enable decision making to be based on accurate, verifiable real-time information.
Align the IT project portfolio with corporate strategies and business objectives.
Sunset redundant in-house systems for project, portfolio and resource management, as well as time/cost allocations.
Drive wide-user adoption of best practices project and Enterprise Portfolio Management.
Improve the IT planning process by accurately defining project NPVs.
Base all IT expenditure decisions on accurate cost-benefit valuations.

The solution

Eastmans IT project office reviewed 32 potential software solutions and chose Clarity. Defining the core benefit needed as consolidation, they selected Clarity for its ability to aggregate real-time data in a central repository as well as its fully integrated functionalities. Integration of functionalities and consolidation of data then gave them the ability to roll up information into level-specific management reports, using verifiable real-time data from participating project groups anywhere in the organisation. Clarity also satisfied a specific requirement that these consolidated supporting functionalities be available for use in a common interface throughout the organisation. Although the project office initially considered allowing certain key functions to remain in separate applications, when they discovered that a single Clarity application could manage projects, portfolios, resources, project accounting, knowledge and enterprise wide collaboration, they made the decision to standardise on Clarity.

The future

Eastman Chemicals IT customer-project office is planning to extend the use of Clarity into additional areas in the near future. Planned expansion includes strengthened IT Management and Governance, multidimensional project prioritization (based not only on value but also on factors like risk and strategic fit), and best practices process standardisation around CMMI. The customer-project office plans to widen use of Clarity within the IT organization, then move beyond it into corporate business-user groups for Enterprise Portfolio Management. The office is planning implementations for two or three business groups and expects to bring on other groups within the company in the near future. Its not the old days of Microsoft Project, said Eastman process-excellence manager Paul Mitchell, where you could monkey around and decide not to update your project plan and nobody would know the difference as long as you got it updated by the review meeting. With Clarity, its out there, its integrated, and its visible.

Paul Mitchell, Process Excellence Manager, Eastman Chemical

With Clarity, were positioning ourselves for better decision making that comes from better information around projects and the key indicators of value, risk and where a project stands in its lifecycle. Were also implementing an enhanced portfolio management and governance process for decision making about IT expenditures. We feel that not only will Clarity give us a better handle on the execution of projects, but also on which projects we should initiate in the first place thereby helping us to spend our budget wisely.

 
 

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