is Credit Suisse's CIO for global private banking and regional CIO in EMEA, based in Zurich, Switzerland.
Given the increasingly global nature of today's projects, only well-educated, mature project managers can prevail. At Credit Suisse, project management and lean sigma are helping meet the demands of our expanding and fast-moving businesses: private banking, asset management and investment banking.
Project management is at the front and center of Credit Suisse's technology initiatives. We depend on it to implement our I3 strategy:
- Integrate: Realize efficiency and productivity synergies through organizational integration, common standards and processes, and harmonization of technology landscapes.
- Improve: Drive significant process improvement and extend the IT platform and capabilities into new markets to grow revenue.
- Innovate: Proactively seek pioneering ways of applying technology for efficiency gains and/or revenue growth to differentiate the firm's value proposition.
Standardized processes allow efficient collaboration across department and regional boundaries and help drive the entire IT organization to a higher maturity level.
Standardized processes allow efficient collaboration across department and regional boundaries and help drive the entire IT organization to a higher maturity level. Adherence to a formal governance process has made private banking the most mature of the IT organizations at Credit Suisse in terms of project management culture. Because private banking IT is an internal provider of solutions and services to the business, the quality and dependability of what we deliver has a significant impact on the whole organization. We emphasize the sustained institutionalization of best practices, which are deployed across the whole IT organization through top-level project management and solution delivery policies.
Our best practices have caught on. In 2004, Credit Suisse private banking IT took the lead in enhancing its project managers’ professional profile through education and certification programs and establishing a project management career path. Today, the rest of the organization is adopting the IT jobs framework. Project management certification is strongly encouraged and is even a prerequisite for promotion.
To ensure the consistent delivery of projects, Credit Suisse recruits and trains internal assessors—on both the IT and business sides—who monitor the compliance of projects with the governing policies. All IT staff members complete periodic online tests ensuring all people involved in project work understand existing policies. This enables the organization to develop a common project management language.
Routine project assessments have shown that non-compliances aren't necessarily negative but opportunities for improvements in quality and project delivery. With the support of expert practitioners, project teams have started to voluntarily request assessments themselves. As a result, we have seen measurable reductions in time and cost variances as well as time-to-market and development costs.
Credit Suisse private banking IT also strives to stay ahead in terms of collaboration with offshore development companies. Working effectively with high-maturity service providers has helped us establish adequate project management and requirements management capabilities on the customer side. Such improvements have a direct impact on swift implementations of market-winning systems at competitive costs—providing a positive impact to the bottom line. PM
photo by OLI RUST, SWITZERLAND (WWW.OLIRUST.CH)
SEPTEMBER 2007 ❘ PM NETWORK