InVizion- A Cost Effective Solution for Capital Improvement Planning

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The Issue

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD) sought to optimize and increase efficiency and accuracy of the budgeting and planning processes associated with their Capital Improvement Program (CIP).  They were seeking a user-friendly solution that could incorporate several historically disconnected enterprise systems, such as scheduling, reporting and analytics as well as allow for off-line manipulation of schedules to perform “what if” scenarios to reduce risks associated with costs and speed of delivery and ultimately minimize investment risks.

The Solution

By quickly combining budget data from disconnected enterprise systems, the InVizion software provides planners and analysts with an organization tool from which to start planning, tracking, forecasting, reporting, and conducting what-if and decision-making analyses- without manipulation of spreadsheets or cumbersome user-interfaces.

InVizion supports unlimited group category codes, user-defined fields, and resource categories, which can be used to map any number of hierarchies, coding, descriptions, cost, and units from your enterprise systems. InVizion’s implementation team includes subject matter experts who will customize and/or configure the groupings, user-defined fields, resources, milestones, etc. based on your integration requirements to leverage existing enterprise data at any level of detail.

The Pilot

MWD, with funding support from WaterStart, conducted a 90-day pilot of the InVizion solution to evaluate the software’s capability to quickly combine project data from obsolete and disconnected enterprise systems.

The pilot initiated with a discovery where InVizion consultant(s) performed a data gap analysis and mapping of existing data sources of CIP cost, schedule, grouping and prioritization rankings necessary to populate and use InVizion solution in a production cloud environment. This task included meetings with intended users of InVizion.  The required data from MWD’s internal spreadsheet was migrated to an InVizion database and a one-way data import from Oracle Primavera P6 was implemented to gather schedule, relationships, as well as actual and forecast-to-complete values from P6 resource cost assignments.  This data exchange was achieved by a custom import feature in the InVizion application.  InVizion was able to leverage existing data from Elist and P6 to provide a portfolio model by project and by phase.

The tasks associated with setting up the portfolio model and the actual software integration were completed in 90 days, allowing MWD to begin utilizing the software for CIP planning within one week after software completion.

The Results

MWD immediately discarded their Access database because InVizion can store MWD metadata for their over 400 active projects. Within one-month of deployment which included training, MWD users were proficient using the InVizion tool to create a 20-year capital spending outlook categorizing projects by type and priority, and are currently using that tool to work with the Office of the CFO to begin long-term financial planning.

“InVizion combined project metadata housed in an obsolete Access database with current Primavera P6 project budgets and schedules and created a CIP management tool that allows efficient program planning, organizing, forecasting, and reporting capabilities never before possible,” says Michael Thomas, Capital Program Management Unit Manager for Engineering at MWD.

MWD now has project and financial planning tools previously not thought of.  A process that would take weeks and include awkward and tedious analysis, has been streamlined to just minutes. Overall staff were satisfied with the performance of the InVizion software and the payback for this initial investment was achieved in just a few weeks.

InVizion and MWD presented this case study at WaterStart’s CHANNELS Connect webinar in Dec. 2020.  Check it out here…

Further Development

The MWD, at this time, continues to evaluate and adjust procedures to further optimize its CIP program using InVizion as cornerstone.  Further, the MWD is looking into ways to expand the uses for InVizion which include creating algorithms that will reschedule projects based on spending limits, providing real-time P6 updates, enhancing project reporting, and providing additional ‘sandbox’ opportunities.

About InVizion

InVizion enables companies to quickly combine project data from disconnected enterprise systems – like finance, supply chain, asset and project management applications – for accurate planning, forecasting, reporting & what-if analysis to reduce portfolio costs, minimize investment risks, and speed project execution.

InVizion software is meant to complement each client’s different enterprise systems (i.e. financial, resource planning, and asset management), and to replace their unique combination of manual spreadsheets and workflows for collaborative budgeting and program management. InVizion’s standard onscreen layouts are highly-suitable for reporting and analysis, and clients can adopt their optional reporting and dashboarding module to customize stakeholder communications.  Learn more at www.invizionllc.com.

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