September 14, 2020
Forrester TEI Study: How Workfront can deliver a $13.8 million productivity boost for IT PMOs
By Steven King, Vice President of Program Management
Unprecedented change has put immense pressure on IT teams, from managing the rapid shift to remote workforces to now being asked to deliver against strategic priorities with increasingly limited budgets and strained resources. IT teams need solutions that accelerate productivity and efficiency. Workfront’s enterprise work management platform does exactly that.
Workfront commissioned Forrester to conduct a Total Economic Impact™ (TEI) Study, which found that by using Workfront, the IT project management office (IT PMO) could see a $13.8 million productivity gain over three years thanks to focusing teams on the right work, centralizing visibility with a single, undisputed data source, and increasing agility by adapting and aligning to the right priorities.
Forrester quantified the bottom-line impact companies have achieved with Workfront, including:
285% return on investment (ROI) over 3 years
More than $26.9 million in productivity savings
Payback period of less than 3 months
The IT PMO productivity gain.
One of the four customers Forrester interviewed was an IT PMO Team Lead at a healthcare organization with 74,000 employees. The company previously struggled “to capture all the relevant information from different sources to provide an accurate real-time readout of project updates.” Now with Workfront:
“Productivity increases due to the reduction of meetings and preparing pre-meeting work like slideshow presentations with data pulled from disparate systems allowed team members to address critical work as it arose; it no longer sat in a queue of backlogged requests. Workfront allowed a healthcare organization’s IT PMO to address time-tracking and billing challenges associated with a complex business model.”
Forrester noted a simple truth that all IT PMOs will recognize: “Programs and projects derail when everyone isn’t on the same page.” I know that being able to look at data in real time can eliminate unproductive meetings. And taking data from one system to another just to make it look pretty for reporting’s sake leaves you open to errors, and is a huge waste of time and talent. Workfront’s dashboards allow IT leaders to consolidate important work data and view it in a variety of ways.
During interviews with the TEI researchers, the Healthcare IT PMO Team Lead confirmed their own experience:
“Because we have the information in Workfront, I don't even have to report out anymore. We just have the report sent every week versus us trying to manipulate data into [slideshows], which has saved quite a bit of time.”
Breaking down the productivity gain.
For Workfront customers, saving time can translate into significant cost savings and productivity gains. And as companies increase their use of Workfront, the benefits grow as well.
In the report, Forrester demonstrated the impact a global B2C enterprise with 20,000 employees could expect to see with 350 Workfront licenses in the first and second years of deployment, and expanding to 800 in year three. Among the key findings are:
96 hours saved annually due to streamlining data analysis and reporting: 2 hours per week for 48 weeks per year.
$1,478,400 saved annually Year 1 and Year 2 due to streamlining data analysis and
$3,379,200 saved annually Year 3 due to streamlining data analysis and reporting.
$770,000: Year 1 and Year 2 annual cost saving from time-saved from meetings by program managers.
$1,760,000: Year 3 annual cost saving from time-saved from meetings by program managers.
$2,187,500: Year 1 and Year 2 annual cost saving from time-saved from meetings by participants.
$5,000,000 Year 3 annual cost saving from time-saved from meetings by participants.
In sum, organizations that adopt Workfront can expect quantifiable cost savings directly linked to productivity gains that grow year over year.
Other key “value-enabling” benefits.
In addition to quantifiable productivity impacts, Forrester enumerated additional benefits real Workfront customers experience, including:
Executive trust. The report found that Workfront helps rally C-suite support and understanding, thanks to reliable, centralized data. The TEI research team interviewed a Workfront customer who summed up their experience like this:
“Our executive champion is the executive director of finance and administration. He and the C-suite are endorsing the use of Workfront with the aim of having holistic reporting. That's what allowed this organization to significantly reduce the number of meetings: They trusted Workfront as opposed to needing to massage the data.”
Prioritization and alignment. Workfront’s ability to both centralize and visualize workstreams gives customers the information they need for accurate capacity planning and prioritization, including how well these priorities align to company goals. In the case of the IT PMO interviewed for the report, Workfront’s centralized view of all the work efforts in progress, gave their teams the ability to better facilitate capacity planning:
“Once we brought the work in one spot, so it was visual, we realized there was too much work in the pipeline and sidelined a bunch of non-valuable projects.”
Business agility. COVID-19 has put business agility at the top of every IT PMO’s priority list. For Workfront customers, having the flexibility to configure and adapt workflows quickly means they can make fast, responsive adjustments. The IT PMO interviewed for the report leveraged Workfront to create a time-tracking task for all COVID-related work and then apply the new rule across a wide swath of people and projects. According to the Team Lead:
“We were able to add that task for every single person on the task list. We have nearly 100 portfolios and programs that needed to be implemented, and it was awesome to complete that within one business day.”
As a result, almost overnight, the IT PMO was able to start capturing the data and produce near real-time reports on how work was allocated and the real cost of the company’s crisis response.
Look to IT to drive digital transformation across the entire enterprise.
The evidence demonstrated in the TEI report is of a unique opportunity for IT PMOs to enable an enterprise-wide perspective of their mission and improve productivity—and efficiency while doing so. IT is in a position to lead enterprise-wide digital transformation and influence technology use beyond their department to benefit the whole organization.
The ability for IT to be nimble and get the right people on the right work is crucial to emerging successful amid the uncertainty of the current market. As the Healthcare IT PMO told Forrester, their goal was to “work more efficiently and seamlessly together so that we can increase our output.” With Workfront, they’re discovering they can, even in the midst of unpredictable market changes.