Varma is a mutual employment pension insurance company, owned by its client companies and self-employed persons, insured employees and owners of the guarantee capital. Varma takes care of the statutory earnings-related pension cover of private sector employees and self-employed persons and currently covers around 862,000 people. (www.varma.fi)
Varma uses several dozens of applications. In November – December 2015 Varma began using Thinking Portfolio application portfolio to improve the management of basic knowledge and application status relating to applications. In addition to the basic information of applications (technology, integrations, and people in charge) Varma has also recorded in the portfolio information which ongoing projects the said system relates to. Controlling dependencies is one essential factor in system maintenance and development, and here the application portfolio is useful, Varma’s ICT service manager Minna Mattila tells us.
– We had previous experience of Thinking Portfolio project portfolio. Our positive experiences with the project portfolio partly influenced the fact that we chose Thinking Portfolio for our application portfolio. We gained synergy advantage when we started using the application from the same supplier.
Integration map is an excellent tool for managing dependencies between applications
In Varma the application portfolio is mainly used by data administration experts in different departments. There are also some users in business activities. The content of the portfolio helps many issues to progress when there is no more need to search for information from many different sources, because, for example, all data regarding the system, technology, internal key personnel and suppliers can be found in one application.
– Just the fact that the basic information on applications is gathered in one place is a step forward.
– Managing the dependencies of applications is a challenge for everyone. The system map of Thinking Portfolio is useful when the overall picture is being created. It is especially useful when perceiving dependencies between systems, whether the question is controlling change or problems or mapping the extent and effects of a new project.
The usability of the systems is monitored with Thinking Portfolio traffic lights
Implementation of the application portfolio has progressed in stages in Varma. During the first stages the portfolio was entered with the basic information and connections and the contact with projects. At the moment the focus is getting the functionalities which have been realised so far utilised to the full.
More recent ongoing issues include building the roadmap information relating to the life cycles of application into the portfolio.
– We also collect contract information into the portfolio and use it for reporting on how the maintenance service has been realised compared with the SLA agreed in the contract. For this we use the traffic lights reporting in Thinking Portfolio.
New ideas will be quickly put into practice
Thinking Portfolio is easy to edit. This was found in the project stage: it was easy to realise one’s own requirements into the application with widgets. Implementation and the post-project support and maintenance have also worked out well.
– Chronologically and financially the investment has been within sensible perspectives. Implementation was made using a few iteration cycles. Immediately after the first specification meeting we got a proto-type and we could comment on it and use it as the base for easy editing.
– Further development of the application portfolio is quick and new functionalities can be implemented fast. This has proven to be a purchase which should have been made earlier.
Information Management, Application Services
Mutual Employment Pension Insurance Company Varma