Global Information Technology Project Portfolio Management (GITPPM)
Union Bank of Switzerland (UBS) has a multi-billion dollar portfolio of IT projects. These projects are spread across a large number of organizational units and hundreds of initiatives. In the absence of a high level reporting tool that aggregates the data from these various projects, it is impossible to identify and fix problem as they are, take informed decisions and closely monitor critical parameters like cost and schedules. Any failure in this regard can lead to long-term inefficiencies and ineffective utilization of the IT budgets.

The aim of the Global Information Technology Project Portfolio Management (GITPPM) system is to develop a tool, that will provide a set of high level reports that would help in gaining an insight into the banks IT project portfolio and enable the senior management to use this information effectively in the budgeting and planning processes.

Some of the key benefits of deploying GITPPM are:
Provide transparent information about the performance of the IT project portfolio throughout the organization
Provide metrics that will support Business Divisions in the prioritization process of their IT projects
Improve the value UBS gets from IT projects
Create processes and tools to enable a better allocation of scarce resources
Establish an inventory of IT projects
Enhance collaboration among Business Divisions and IT controlling During the course of the project, a number of other areas were identified that could potentially be developed at a later point in time. Though they are not within the scope of the tool, they provide an idea of how the tool could evolve into a full-blown suite of applications all integrated together providing total coverage and control to the Corporate IT group.
With the deployment of GITPPM, the Corporate IT group would have consolidated key information about IT projects during the planning and budgeting process to:
Align IT projects with the business strategy
Manage scarce resources to get better value for money
Inform regions about deployment plans in an early stage
Identify dependencies and resolve potential conflicts
Prevent redundancies
They would be able to better monitor the execution of the banks IT project portfolio to:
Identify problems (projects, areas, categories etc.)
Manage the risk of the IT project portfolio
Manage the quality of the IT project portfolio
Have easy access to information about the performance of the overall IT project portfolio - by year, division, region, cost, duration etc..
GITPPM could be visualized as a tool that is positioned as a layer above the various project management and tracking tools such as ARTEMIS, PROTON, Microsoft Project etc. While the project management tools operate at the project level, GITPPM operates at the portfolio level. Hence, project data from project management tools is aggregated into a portfolio and analyzed by GITPPM.

The intent is to design and develop a comprehensive project portfolio management system for the Corporate IT function of UBS. The application comprises of a web-based tool for collecting, disseminating and monitoring information on the multi-billion dollar portfolio of IT projects and initiatives. Since the tool is web-enabled, divisions of UBS across the globe have access to it over their intranet. Data from the various underlying project management systems is collected and stored in the GITPPM database. Users with the appropriate access rights can then generate a set of reports from this data.

The tool is developed using state-of-the-art technology. Based on the three-tier client/server architecture, it is designed to be as open as possible with regard to extensibility and scalability. End users (the presentation layer) do not need any software on their systems except the Netscape browser. The middle tier residing on a powerful application server in UBS headquarters in Zurich comprises of a web server, Active-X components, Visual Basic and an Oracle Reports 3.0 engine. The third tier comprises of a highly secured Oracle database on a powerful OpenVMS database server.