Alorica Success Story

“The platform and social collaboration functionality enables our project team members to interact in real-time through numerous channels. We have increased project communication by 100%, reduced our average meeting time by 10 minutes, and 30% of our projects are completed in less time.”

Jeff Smargon
Director of Project Management
Alorica

Company overview

Alorica is a leading provider of customer management outsourcing solutions spanning the entire customer lifecycle, from customer acquisition and sales, customer care and support, to logistics and fulfillment. Alorica’s award-winning Business Process Outsourcing services span both the Business-to-Consumer (B2C) and Business-to-Business (B2B) sectors across all industries for Fortune 1000 companies. Headquartered in Irvine, California, Alorica offers the proven industry experience and know-how to provide a total customer management solution. More information is available at www.alorica.com.

The challenge

Alorica operates call centers around the world, which are staffed by teams that serve large, high-profile customers in various verticals. Launching a new program takes about three months, and typically involves deploying a new use case in an existing and functioning call center.

In order to ensure that its call centers continued delivering a seamless customer experience across all service channels, Alorica’s Director of Project Management Jeff Smargon recognized that his growing PMO team — which maintains a portfolio of projects of anywhere between 100 – 125 active efforts of varying size and complexity — needed to address a core set of project and program management-related challenges, including:

  • Communication across workgroups and teams was not consistently being shared in a timely manner
  • Inability to consolidate resources for better allocation
  • Communication and issue resolution was reactive, rather than proactive
  • Finding emails and other assets was time consuming, unreliable and stressful
  • Project visibility was lacking with respect to status, performance/progress, cases and change control
  • Employees felt that they were not recognized for their efforts and contributions

Requirements

  • Purposefully collaborate in the context of work vs. “collaboration for the sake of collaboration”
  • Enable effective communication on a global scale
  • Make project execution more efficient and less risky
  • Create project-specific repositories to store, organize and retrieve emails and other assets
  • Generate visibility both at the implementation and executive level
  • Boost employee morale by celebrating achievements

The solution

In order to solve its core set of project and program management-related challenges, Alorica evaluated various platforms, and ultimately chose Clarizen.

Since deploying Clarizen, Alorica has improved collaboration on a global scale — particularly in terms of its ability to generate timely responses to critical activities. The platform and social collaboration functionality enables project team members to interact in real-time through numerous channels, which has increased project communication by 100%, and reduced the average meeting time by 10 minutes. In addition, Clarizen’s flexible dashboard approach is providing a wealth of information at each team member’s fingertips, and proactive reporting has reduced the amount of open questions on project status with executive leaders. At the same time, Clarizen’s scheduled workflow rules are creating increased efficiency with respect to report automation, change/risk management, and project accuracy.

Team members are now receiving daily task orders, and providing status updates directly into Clarizen. All risks, issues, requests and escalations are also being managed and tracked by project, and Clarizen’s functionality as a centralized repository for all files and emails has eliminated the possibility of lost or missing project assets. As a result, 30% of Alorica’s projects are finishing in less time. In fact, Alorica’s CEO is so impressed with the efficiency gains that he has mandated all employees worldwide — and not just those in the PMO — to complete their timesheets in Clarizen.

In addition, Clarizen has helped Alorica improve its overall data integrity by making the information produced, governed and centralized by the PMO more reliable and relevant. The improved data integrity has also increased executive support, as leaders can easily drill into projects at anytime to verify that work is being done. Leaders can also browse Clarizen’s social fields to see a wealth of in-context interaction and collaboration, both internally between team members, and externally with Alorica’s customers.

Alorica is also using Clarizen to push real-time status updates to stakeholders, including high-level “roadmap” views that show milestone progress. Project managers are also creating meeting minutes with action items, which are being shared with customers and sponsors to track and verify results. Instead of wondering and worrying about project status, issues and risks, external stakeholders are now getting the relevant, real-time information they need.

Another key Clarizen-enabled benefit is a major improvement in employee engagement and morale. Now, Alorica’s employees are being recognized by colleagues, peers, managers and leaders for their efforts — because such positive contributions are being captured by Clarizen vs. overlooked or missed. This improvement in engagement and morale is helping drive performance, while also giving teams the leverage they need to request — and receive — more resources (e.g. technology, staff, budget, etc.)

Alorica is also using Clarizen to increase its knowledge capital by mandating that project managers complete a “lessons learned” before closing a project. This valuable information and insight is immediately accessible to other individuals and teams company-wide, who are using it to align with best practices, as well as proactively avoid issues and risks. Furthermore, Clarizen’s #hashtag functionality is making it simple and fast to search for information. For example, a project manager preparing to launch a project involving a mobile component can search “#mobile” to rapidly find relevant, in-context information on everything from “do’s and don’ts”, to browser and compatibility considerations, and more. Launching this “lessons learned” information database took just 30 minutes, and the system is being automatically updated on a continuous basis.

Notably, Alorica is also benefiting from Clarizen in ways that it had not anticipated. For example, although it had not initially planned to do so, the company is using Clarizen to completely manage a major, mission-critical acquisition worth $275 million dollars. Clarizen worked (and continues to work) closely with Alorica to develop the numerous workstreams for this highly complex $ transaction, and to efficiently and effectively loop in Alorica’s consulting firm.

In terms of adoption, Alorica’s teams have embraced Clarizen as a solution that supports how they want, need and are expected to “get work done”. To further drive adoption rates and ongoing usage, Jeff Smargon is working with Clarizen to build innovative gamification elements that inspire employees and encourage behavior. For example, employees who open five projects are designated as “Builders”, those who complete five posts are “Contributors”, and so on. There is even a leaderboard to publicly recognize the most engaged and active employees.

Results

  • 30% of projects completed in less time
  • Project communication has increased 100%
  • Average project meeting times reduced 10%
  • Project team members interacting in real-time through numerous channels
  • Flexible dashboard approach provides a wealth of information at each team member’s fingertips
  • Proactive reporting has reduced the amount of open questions on project status with executive leaders
  • Scheduled workflow rules allow for increased efficiency for report automation, change/risk management, and project accuracy
  • All employees worldwide using Clarizen for timesheets
  • Creation of a continuously-developed lessons learned database, which is leading to better performance and result, and fewer errors and risks
  • Providing the PM infrastructure for mission-critical M&A activity
  • Improved response to critical activities
  • Improved ability to manage and monitor risks, issues, requests and escalations
  • Eliminated lost/missing project assets
  • Improved project visibility for both projects and action items
  • Enhanced communication internally (team-team) and externally (team-customer)
  • Increased support from executives and leaders
  • Improved employee morale and engagement
  • More efficient cycle between collaboration and execution

Fast Facts

INDUSTRY:
Business Services

LOCATION:
Irvine, CA

PREVIOUS SOLUTION:
Microsoft Project

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