Rank Group has been entertaining Britain for 75 years, from movie production and distribution to its current focus on bingo, casinos and online gaming. While it maintains a heritage estate of well-established retail premises, including Grosvenor Casinos and Mecca Bingo halls, Rank Group is embracing new challenges in the online world, and working hard to bring its values to the burgeoning digital space.
Supporting its aim of being the UK’s leading multi-channel gaming operator is the company’s Project Management Office lead, Andrew Arnold. With a new management team and corporate strategy in place, the team faces a heavy project workload, and needs to be more agile and responsive than ever. As part of this, the PMO has left old ad-hoc, unconnected systems behind and adopted a new single project delivery platform, based on Microsoft’s cloud platform and PS+.
The Rank Group is pushing hard to both widen its audience in its retail premises and develop its strong position in the world of online gaming. However, doing so requires innovation, speed and effective use of resources. “Online gaming is a big area that’s really taking off, and one where we’ve got lots of competitors” says Andrew Arnold. The competition moves fast, so Andrew sees his job as being “to ensure that we can respond just as quickly. We have to move as fast as they can in online games.”
One obstacle from the PMO’s perspective was that until recently, there was no unified approach or standard project management toolset.
“Project management, until a year ago, didn’t really exist as a specialization in the company, and we didn’t have the frameworks. Managers – the people in charge of product streams – had their own ways of getting things done.”
This ad-hoc approach might have worked on a case-by-case basis, but it was making more work for the team overall, preventing them from working as coherently and effectively as possible. What’s more, projects would often lock-up when they were meant to go live, simply because the teams responsible for launching hadn’t had enough forewarning.
Rank decided it was time to change, and invested in the end-to-end, integrated PPM solution, PS+ for Microsoft Project Online. PS+ simplifies the usability of Project Online whilst enhancing the functionality and providing support for recognized standards, such as Prince2® and PMI.
The solution is focused on helping organizations prioritize their projects and deliver them on time, whilst providing full visibility to key stakeholders. PS+ also provides a framework for consistent processes that helps teams work more effectively together, resulting in efficient project delivery.
A key deliverable for the Rank Group is the ability to use the standardized PS+ highlight reports that help them communicate progress on all projects in flight.
I can go in and look at it any time and I can get it out into the public domain so that everybody in the department can see what’s going on. All the key stakeholders can get a feel for where their projects are
Individual Project Managers create and manage their projects, highlighting important milestones, risks and issues directly on PS+. Reporting can now be seen as an outcome of managing a project on PS+ rather than a manual overhead, ensuring much more efficient reporting.
In the future, Andrew plans to deploy additional PS+ functionality, with the next step focused on improving resourcing so that the group can manage the demands placed on the workforce. Andrew has a clear roadmap of what additional value can be gained from rolling out other PS+ functions across the business.
PS+ facilitates business change, but changes to enterprise culture do not happen overnight. Your organization’s PPM success is reliant on technology, processes and people. Andrew is confident that the Rank Group can continue to innovate and build a stronger position in a highly competitive sector.