Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Giles Hartwright, head of BEIS’ portfolio management office, came to us in 2019 in need of an effective way of managing the information collected under a new governance process. We were recommended to Giles after working with his colleagues in BEIS Digital’s insurance team.

Giles says: “Joel ran an initial discovery session to see what our requirements were and set up a review of what we were doing and where we wanted to get to. He did this using the Project Online tool to manage all of our data and see what the risks and issues were, as well as the project status and who is assigned to it. 

“We looked at Power BI in order to create a set of dashboards that are uniform to all users. When we are presenting to the director or the director general, we are all looking at the same information. The good thing is that it’s live data, not just a PowerPoint that someone has put together.

“We split up the process into separate waves, as we had a requirement but we weren’t quite sure how far we wanted to take it. We wanted to make sure we could take it on at the end of wave one and progress it in-house. We are quite far into the process now; we have completed waves one and two and now are now looking ahead to the next wave. Joel’s been very flexible. We’ve changed our mind quite a lot, bringing some things forward and pushing some things back, and his approach has enabled this, rather than dogmatically following a process.”

Giles adds: “To begin with, it was something of a slow pick up, but we incorporated the heads of function and now people are seeing the value and are beginning to engage. Joel and his team have made it a very comfortable process and have consistently responded, sometimes beyond what was realistically expected. He has made it a lot easier, especially while I have been on paternity leave recently.”

With BEIS, we have also set up a pilot forum for project professionals, showcasing what Project Online can do and provide. Giles says: “It’s not just about the Department of BEIS, it’s about all government departments – and not just digital, either. There are a lot of options for us to explore within government departments and other partner organisations.

“I could have gone to a larger consultancy but the small team approach has worked really well for us. Joel is clearly a specialist, not a generalist, and knows a great deal about Project Online. I would definitely recommend him – and already have – if this is specifically the tool that people want to use.”