London Borough of Tower Hamlets Automates Portfolio Governance and Visibility with Project for the Web and Wellingtone Accelerator+

The London Borough of Tower Hamlets (LBTH) is a culturally vibrant area of East London, with some 320,000 residents and 20,000 businesses housed within eight square miles. The borough’s council provides a comprehensive range of public services, forming an ambitious delivery portfolio. A key objective of LBTH’s Strategic Plan (2021 to 2024) is the use of digital innovation and partnership to respond to the changing needs of the borough. Underpinning this is an IT transformation portfolio which prioritises automation, business intelligence and analytics, core business systems transformation, insourcing of services, new town hall technologies, broadband for social housing, and cyber security solutions.

Gareth Bedford has been Head of IT Transformation for the Borough since 2018. Until late 2022, Project for the Web and Power BI were used out-of-the-box as part of the Microsoft 365 suite. However, Gareth recognised the potential to enhance automation, visibility and reporting with a bespoke Accelerator+ configuration by Microsoft Gold Partner, Wellingtone. He recalls the implementation journey, reflecting on the emerging benefits as well as Wellingtone’s value-adding skills, service, and customer support.

Overview

Customer

London Borough of Tower Hamlets

Products and Services

Microsoft Project for the web

Microsoft Power BI

Country

United Kingdom

Industry

Local Government

Accelerator+ Key Benefits

  • A scalable, customisable solution that transforms Project for the Web into an enterprise-ready solution.
  • Deployed securely within the existing Microsoft tenant, with no third-party licences required.
  • A consistent PPM approach with multiple live views across portfolio, programme, and project data.
  • Uses Wellingtone’s Power BI reporting pack for fully customised, live, automated reports.
  • Eliminates silos and promotes a single source of truth within a simple to use, powerful, toolkit.

Transforming Project for the Web into an Enterprise Ready PPM Solution

To promote portfolio governance and efficiency, Gareth was keen to maximise automated visibility and reporting capabilities across LBTH’s IT portfolio. “I needed a single dashboard that could generate reports across statuses, risks, issues and escalations at the touch of a button,” he explains. “We were already licensed to use Project for the Web and Power BI as part of the Microsoft 365 suite. So, it made sense to enhance what was available to us, rather than further expanding our product catalogue. We were clear on the insights we needed to generate, but we did not have the in-house expertise to configure the technology at this level. I first engaged with Wellingtone some years ago at a Microsoft event and I felt that their specialities aligned with the skills I was looking for. We were attracted not only by their technical expertise, but also by the wrap around support they offered that would help us to maintain and maximise the solution they designed for us.”

Wellingtone tackled the work using their proprietary Accelerator+ Power App. This customisable, scalable solution is deployed securely within the client’s existing Microsoft tenant, enhancing Project for the Web’s ‘off the shelf’ capabilities. Users can access a single source of portfolio truth – configured to the organisation’s specific portfolio and programme management priorities, and available in an intuitive live environment.

Wellingtone also worked with Gareth and his team to customise and automate dashboard reporting using their specially designed Power BI reporting pack. Reports were tailored to generate valuable, real-time insights into change requests, risks and issues, and projects by status. “Wellingtone helped us to embed stage gates into our four-stage delivery life cycle,” Gareth explains.  “They configured the system with structured workflows featuring checklists and time stamped approvals, which adds an important accountability trail to our governance procedures.”

Wellingtone helped us to maximise the tools we already had at our disposal to achieve a modern approach to automation, business intelligence and portfolio management. It has been a pleasure working with their Lead PPM Consultant and the whole team, they have all been great.

Gareth Bedford, Head of IT Transformation

A Pragmatic Rollout Strategy Generating Fast Results

Wellingtone also supported Gareth and his team with user training and rollout. Initially, the customised versions of Project for the Web and Power BI have been adopted by users within the IT department. “I was pleased with not only the speed but also the quality of the configuration,” says Gareth. “We are focusing on a manageable approach to onboarding, migrating only live and pending IT projects into the new system. So far, we have only been fully operational under Wellingtone’s support contract for around a month, so we have not yet been able to formally measure benefits. But, from my perspective, you can tell straight away whether something is having a positive impact, and this piece of work undoubtedly is.”

It will be some time before we’re fully migrated, but already we are increasing efficiency, saving time, and generating more portfolio visibility and control.

Gareth Bedford, Head of IT Transformation