Levi Strauss

Levi Strauss

Created a powerful project management tool that helped establish significant visibility and profitability across the global IT organization.

The Client

Levi Strauss & Co. is a world-famous retailer of denim and other casual clothing. Its brands include Levi's, Dockers and Levi Strauss Signature. The Global IT Department of Levi's is responsible for developing and supporting the applications and infrastructure which allows the company to not only run smoothly, but also have a cutting edge in the business of retail design. The department consisted of 500 resources in North America, Europe and Asia, and an annual operating budget of approximately $100 million.

The Challenge

As with many large global organizations, Levi's IT department faced the challenges of managing projects, budgets and resources from an enterprise-wide perspective. It is especially critical for the Project Management Office (PMO) and the IT Leadership Team (ITLT) to accurately assess the business value of IT projects in relation to the costs incurred. One of the PMO's priorities was realigning the needs of the business with IT. Due to inconsistent project prioritization, planning and management methodology, there was an increasing gap between what the leadership intended when a project was selected, and what the IT group delivered.

Additional aspects to be considered were:

  • Adherence to strict guidelines provided by Generally Accepted Accounting Principles to precisely report on capitalized costs, which had huge tax implications for the organization
  • Lack of visibility on resource allocation meant in order to increase the ROI of IT costs, it was important to recalibrate the balance between base services and project work

Other key challenges included:

  • Overlapping business processes and tools
  • Redundant data being collected between different departments
  • Manual and decentralized reporting methods often resulted in employees spending time formatting the same information in different formats
  • Unproductive use of time which could have been better spent on enhancement projects

The Pcubed Solution

Some of the biggest challenges which Levi's IT department faced were ambiguities in regards to the real value of projects and redundancy in data and work effort. To counter this, Pcubed delivered a three-pronged solution:

  • Assessment of Potential ROI on Projects:Pcubed helped Levi's PMO develop metrics by which it could assess and prioritize a project's potential cost and ROI, before any expenses were incurred
  • Best Practice Project Metrics:To gauge the progress of projects in execution, Pcubed developed reports regarding resource utilization and capacity planning, project and portfolio cost tracking, and compliance
  • Standardized Processes:There was a tendency to "reinvent the wheel" when initiating or executing projects. To eliminate this overhead, Pcubed worked closely with the PMO to develop best-practice processes in both project execution and management

Key elements of the solution included:

  • Consistency across all enterprise projects
  • Ability to assess the real business value of IT projects
  • Healthier distribution of resources between base services and project work
  • Centralized system of record