Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) was established following a 2018 merger of two regional NHS Trusts. Today, MPFT serves 1.5 million people across Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, and beyond. The Trust’s mission: ‘Together, we are making life better for our communities’, is upheld by approximately 10,000 staff, collectively responsible for delivering physical and mental health care, learning disability, and adult social care services.

MPFT set up a formal PMO in 2015. In 2017, an on-premise Project Server configuration was deployed by Wellingtone to support the PMO’s maturity roadmap. But, by 2022, the world of work had changed, and the system was approaching legacy status. So, the PMO re-engaged Wellingtone to facilitate the selection, configuration, and rollout of a new solution. A core team from MPFT comprised Candice Morris, Head of Service Development & PMO, Jack Gould, Senior Digital Project Manager, Laura Marklew, PMO Planning and Assurance Manager and Nick Colley, Senior PMO Lead. Together, they were closely involved in steering the transformation. It was a journey that not only refreshed the PPM technology but also supported a continuous improvement approach to the Trust’s PPM maturity.

MPFT Logo

Overview

Customer

Midlands Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT)

Products and Services

Microsoft Project for the web

Microsoft Training

Country

United Kingdom

Industry

Public Sector

Key Benefits

  • Migrating from Project Server on-premise to a modern, Cloud-based PPM solution.
  • Delivering simple yet powerful PPM tooling to support PMO maturity and align to the business need.
  • Underpinning end-to-end project and portfolio visibility, governance, and assurance.
  • Automating processes and freeing the PMO to focus on delivery and strategy.
  • Supporting the Trust’s PPM maturity and the PMO’s continuous improvement.

A Strategic Tooling Transformation Aligned to the Business Need

“By 2022, we were encountering many of the technical and functional issues you would expect from a legacy platform,” Candice says. “We needed to upgrade to a modern, Cloud-based solution. At the same time, as part of our PMO Delivery Plan, we were revisiting and evolving our PPM frameworks, policies, and processes. It made sense to tackle these two workstreams together to ensure that the upgrade would support our roadmap moving forward.”

The transformation was also aligned with business needs, Jack explains. “The Trust’s Digital Strategy 2021 to 2026 outlines 15 key digital themes, two of which are ‘Connectivity, Performance and Security’ and ‘Remote and Agile Working’. Clearly, moving to a Cloud-based PPM tool would support both.”

It was a natural decision to use Wellingtone again. They had delivered a successful solution for us previously, so they already understood how we operate. We felt that we could trust them to support us with the right technical skills and project management expertise.
Jack Gould, Senior Digital Project Manager

An options analysis undertaken by MPFT, supported by Wellingtone, and further informed by the PMO’s pro-active stakeholder engagement. “We looked to align to Prince2 – our primary methodology – but with the flexibility to adapt when an Agile or Hybrid approach might be more appropriate,” says Candice. “We engaged extensively with both project-level users and executive sponsors to understand what was working and what wasn’t. Their input guided the options analysis, which confirmed that Project for the web was the right choice for us. It also helped us compile baseline data to track Project for the web’s benefits against our original objectives. After all, this is a considerable investment, so we wanted to ensure that we can measure the returns as the new solution embeds.”

Following the options analysis, a formal envisioning exercise was organised with a core stakeholder group. “We wanted to ensure we got everything absolutely right, so we focused a lot of energy on refining our requirements,” Jack explains. “Wellingtone’s consultant was very helpful, sharing industry trends and best practice, what other customers have done, and how Project for the web could be customised to fit our needs.”

Accelerator+: Enhancing and Extending Project for the web’s Capabilities

Wellingtone deployed their proprietary Accelerator+ Power App to enhance Project for the web’s out-of-the-box capabilities. The configuration covers the entire project lifecycle, from pipeline and initiation through to assurance, closure, and lessons learned – all tailored to align with MPFT’s methodology and approach. “Wellingtone are project management experts, as well as technical Microsoft Project Platform specialists,” says Candice. “Working with them enabled us to bounce ideas, problem-solve scenarios, and visualise how Project for the web would generate drill-down visibility, reduce duplication, and improve our assurance and reporting – a key PMO and business objective.”

Before training, the configuration was released for User Acceptance Testing (UAT), helping the PMO and Wellingtone to refine functionality collaboratively. “Wellingtone were particularly helpful at this stage, reviewing the feedback and giving us options to make sure the solution would support our people and ways of working,” Jack says. Wellingtone then trained core PMO staff in August 2022, incorporating a cascade approach to equip the PMO to onboard staff moving forwards. “We took the view that ongoing training also offered an opportunity to refresh people’s knowledge of our frameworks, policies and processes,” says Candice. “Wellingtone were happy to give us the tools to do that in-house. Alongside their ‘train the trainer’ model, we also created a set of ‘how to’ guides, videos, and resources to provide a useful self-serve reference library. It has enabled us to roll out iteratively – first to PMO and project staff, and then across the wider organisation – at a pace that suits our priorities.”

Project for the web is now fully deployed across the Trust. New customised features include drill-down programme and project dashboards, automated template population and stage gate workflows, and new dashboard tabs for project pipelines, status updates, change and exception requests, benefits, and lessons learned. “Power BI’s reporting capabilities are a particular game changer. We can populate reports automatically and pull in consistent, real-time data,” Candice explains. “This is significantly reducing the PMO’s reporting time, freeing our capacity to focus on supporting strategic delivery through stakeholder management, benefits tracking, and so on. We are working with our Business Intelligence Team to develop our reporting and assurance capabilities in line with our evolving governance structures. Jack regularly talks to Wellingtone to understand Microsoft’s latest innovations and how we can harness them to improve usability further. Where there are ongoing refinements and developments, these are managed as part of our support contract.”

The whole experience with Wellingtone has been very positive. There is no hard sell – they are friendly, approachable, flexible, and happy to share their technical and project management expertise. I would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone considering Project for the web.
Jack Gould, Senior Digital Project Manager