This spotlight article is intended to show how an internal service provider took over the operation of a company's TBM Office. Thanks to Attila-Bela Szabo, who took the time to give me an interview. Equally big thanks go to the project team that made the know-how transfer possible. This was a challenge and very valuable experience for both the company and the external consulting agency as well as the internal service provider.
Let's start with how it all began...
How and when were you challenged with what you and your team should get for tasks?
In October 2017 it was decided to build a new team. In December 2017, the first agreements and dates were made, in which the time frame for the handover of the Technology Business Management Office (TBMO) activities and processes around the TBO Office was agreed. Over a period of 3 months, the know-how built up to that point was also to be transferred to the newly created Service Center. This plan was very ambitious, so that the handover did not take place as usual. Instead of a detailed theoretical handover, the first practical tasks were started directly. In retrospect, this procedure was good because it made it easier for the team to get started with Apptio.
It is important that the Service Center is not seen as an "extended workbench", but as a sparring partner for the company. A particularly challenging task was that my team had to familiarize itself with a new tool and had not previously worked together as a team before. Thanks to the good handover, the team has grown very well into the new tasks from a distance.
What exactly is YOUR task in the TBM Office?
I manage the #TBMO at E.ON Business Services in Cluj. My team currently consists of 6 people. I am the interface to other functional areas in Cluj, such as the Finance Team. My main task is certainly the scheduling of resources for the operation and enhancement of the TBM in the Apptio Tool. I also take over some part of the tasks that my team would not be able to do.
What tasks does your team have? Who takes over which tasks?
The tasks of the team are divided into more technical tasks (TBM Analyst Data) or more business consulting (TBM Analyst Business). My team has gradually taken over all activities related to Apptio and the associated data. This includes the collection of all data, the regular upload as well as the monthly promotion of this data.
Also the following activities:
- Communication about progress and measures in the context of data, model, reports and related processes.
- User and Access Management
- Ensuring operational stability and support capability for on-time monthly closings
- Analysis and improvement suggestions for current modelling and reporting strategies
- Technical / configurative work including feasibility analysis within the scope of change and release management
- Data uploads for monthly and quarterly financial statements
Are you still in regular contact with Apptio or your Customer Success Manager?
Right, we still have weekly weekly meetings with our Customer Success Manager. This exchange is enormously important to solve mistakes and to get new ideas off the ground.
But I'm also happy that TBM Connect is a platform where users can share their knowledge and discuss problems. This has already helped us in the past with many problems.
What have been your greatest successes since you took over TBM Office operations?
The TBMO has identified several data quality issues and process gaps that could be addressed in a timely manner. The critical processes could be optimized to close these gaps before the data is uploaded to Apptio.
As far as communication is concerned, we learned that the consumers of the report, i.e. people in the individual business areas, such as product managers and project managers, must be informed regularly and purposefully about which relevant changes will be delivered when a new release is promoted.
What do you want for the future?
In order to ensure the ongoing development of all running processes, especially internally but also at the interfaces of the central TBM team within the company, it is important that the regular dialogue in the form of planning meetings is further enforced. These meetings should primarily focus on feasibility evaluations and the scheduling of changes and releases. This central platform is and remains an essential tool for recording customer requirements and wishes and for controlling the implementation of changes.
In summary I can say that my team and I are very excited about the changes and features of the next Apptio version. In particular, we are waiting for the changes in the area of user management and role-specific reports.
Many thanks to my team who have made great progress over the last months. I am happy to see how it is committed to the customer and thus ensures their success. I am looking forward to more exciting and challenging tasks for 2019.
Attila, thanks again for the interview! I wish you and your team all the best for the future.