Vistra Energy, a Texas-based energy company focused on the competitive energy and power generation markets, struggled with enterprise-wide data feeds as the source of truth for configuration and asset management. The tool in place did not provide reliable information, which was impacting critical business functions and projects. Other pain points included:
- An unestablished governance platform for the database and related processes
- Poor data quality and lack of defined relationships between infrastructure component
- Unreliable, manual data sources
- Lack of insight into audits and financial analysis
- Negative perception of the tool by employees
- A lack of service adoption and understanding of policies
Since this was not the client’s first attempt at fixing the existing Configuration Management Database (CMDB), the team was committed to producing a transformational change and building a SACM platform, not just providing quick fix. This commitment was shown through a comprehensive approach to requirements gathering, inclusive team structure, and transformative results.
We began the 10-month project with a planning phase followed by leading design workshops with key stakeholders. Each of the 19 interactive workshops had specialized and targeted audience members (such as application architects, server owners, and compliance managers) based on the subject matter being discussed. By directly involving stakeholders that interacted with the tool, we ensured that all pain points and needs were appropriately captured.
The team structure was unique, as it involved Vistra stakeholders, HCL Center of Excellence team members, and Sendero – all working together with a “one team” mentality. While HCL provided technical expertise, Sendero owned the leadership components ensuring the solution was meeting expected business outcomes while following best practices, communicating across the organization, and managing program team and stakeholder expectations.
The blended team worked off each other’s diverse strengths, opportunities and skills. Amidst a challenging time of change for the client – including bankruptcy emergence, organizational changes, and a name change – we provided a constant focus throughout the course of the project.
Data Platform Transformation
Utilizing the feedback from the design workshops, we began the process of rebuilding the SACM platform: transforming the way it displayed data for end users and how it was used by the organization. By transforming the platform to include the correct data fields gathered in the design workshops, and changing the structure and forms of the web application where users access the tool, we built a platform and framework that can last. The tool needed to move from being a place where people uploaded data occasionally to being a dynamic data source where users would easily update records, interact and establish critical relationships between components.