Sydney, Australia, January 21, 2009 -- In arguably one of the most competitive aviation environments, low fares airline Jetstar is extending its agreements with project services firm PM-Partners group [www.pm-partners.com.au] that have delivered the business project maturity and major efficiencies over the last four years.
Jetstar CIO Stephen Tame says with huge challenges confronting the industry, extending Jetstar's outsourced Project Management and Project Office agreements with Australia's leading project services firm for another two years was a "no-brainer".
"We need to ensure the IT group can continue to deliver first-class services to the business without us having to maintain huge teams," says Tame.
"Moving our projects into a variable delivery model under the agreement with PM-Partners means my team can focus on core business whilst continuing to ensure projects deliver to the business."
Tame says whilst Jetstar as part of the Qantas Group is in a strong position with respect to facing existing and emerging external and financial challenges, the low fares carrier still faces the universal issues of all businesses in that it must seek flexibility in both cost and delivery of business projects.
"A significant loss of world capital will challenge many business and IT projects and hit capital-intensive businesses, potentially including airlines," says Tame.
"Fortunately for Jetstar, the company has been running the leanest of shops since its inception in 2004, and today enjoys the lowest operating costs of any Australian domestic carrier and is highly competitive internationally.
"The move to extend the contract with PM-Partners is designed to assist in retaining and even growing Jetstar's cost advantage over its competitors.
"One of Jetstar's advantages is that we modelled ourselves as a lean organisation from when we first started, and we have been working with ITPM, PM-Partners' predecessor, since 2003 and prior to launch," Tame says.
Tame says PM-Partners was selected for its high levels of responsiveness and flexibility.
"Under the agreement with PM-Partners we know that on average we are going to have somewhere between two and two and a half project managers over the term," says Tame.
"However, this can be scaled up on demand. The agreement means we are able to build delivery capability as and when required and can therefore manage a large number of virtual teams."
With Jetstar's business expected to further grow rapidly over the next five years, the agreement allows for flexibility in delivering the required business projects with the avoidance of significant staff costs, and frees up the IT team to focus on running the business.
"When it comes to projects, the IT team's primary function is to act as a steering group over the delivery, and then to receive the project into the business-as-usual functions," Tame says.
"PM-Partners runs not just the Project Management Office (PMO) but the project management itself. So my small team is 95 per cent focused on running the business. The five per cent that we have left we like to use for R&D or looking at how we can innovate the business."
Virtual teams have been involved in a wide range of projects since Jetstar's inception, including the launch of the domestic and international businesses; introduction of an engineering systems solution; rollout of web check-in and airport kiosks; and the current introduction of new operations control and crewing systems. All projects were delivered on time and within budget.
"Airlines are founded on three major platforms: reservations and departure control, engineering and operations. In 2008 we upgraded two of those and implemented new systems, so these are significant business projects," Tame says.
"Our agreement with PM-Partners ensures project maturity. Project management is only an expense if it doesn't deliver an outcome. If the project management does deliver an outcome at the budgetted price, then it's not expensive."
About PM-Partners group
PM-Partners group [www.pm-partners.com.au] combines the capabilities of over 65 professionals to offer project services including education, training & certification, organisational capability development, project consulting & governance services, project management, project solutions, project management recruitment & contracting, electronic project management solutions and online tools.
PM-Partners group -- recognised in the BRW Fast 100 as one of the fastest growing companies in Australia with an annual growth rate of 50% over the last three years -- has a combined customer list that contains Australia's most prestigious corporate and government organisations.
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