With 120,000 residents, Lahti is among the largest cities in Finland. Heralded as a sports venue, Lahti has also garnered international fame for environmental and design know-how, as well as high-quality cultural services.
Project portfolio supporting service development
Thinking Portfolio was acquired as a replacement for earlier project portfolio application to address the evolving needs of the project and portfolio processes involved in development operations. According to Development Manager Sari Alm, Thinking Portfolio not only provided all of the necessary functions, but boasted many other welcome features as well.
Thinking Portfolio exceeding expectations on portfolio review requirements
The executive department was interested in the project status overview provided by Thinking Portfolio. The new features of the tool were presented from various angles and multiple reports. Expectation is also running high about the portfolio reviews provided by Thinking Portfolio. A review of future portfolio expectations has been established and, based on what has been seen so far, the management team believes Thinking Portfolio will satisfy expectation nicely.
Thinking Portfolio steering project progress
During its implementation, the city also revised its own project workflow. After only a short period of use, the impact of Thinking Portfolio’s streamlining of the process was noticeable. The portfolio supports the process through various stages, nimbly steering transitions.
Project managers taking on new projects really feel supported by the tool in terms of documentation and reporting, helping to clarify and speed up project start-up and the work of project managers. Some project managers, however, feel that updating the portfolio amounts to additional reporting. Nevertheless, implementation is still in progress, and all of the features and benefits have not yet been presented to all the project managers.
Thinking Portfolio is also a communications tool
Thinking Portfolio has also been implemented as a communications tool. Indeed, it is available to everyone, providing information on current projects and sub-projects, their content, progress and forecast results, as well as who to turn to for additional information. As another example of utilising the portfolio as a communications tool, Alm mentions projects carried out simultaneously across several units (e.g. schools). In such projects, various users have easy access to key information and financial data. Having a single data source also helps eliminate errors.
More benefits expected with increased user numbers
The city of Lahti had an active project team that participated in both defining and piloting the portfolio. This piloting also featured other project managers.
“During the piloting stage, we could have had even more future portfolio users who were not part of the definition stage. This would have allowed us to address items needing fine-tuning in the early stages, as well as the project model and portfolio.
Implementing Thinking Portfolio was smooth and fast. Collaboration with Thinking Portfolio’s consultants went well and all the agreed items were completed to schedule.”
For anyone planning to implement a project portfolio, Alm recommends that the processes are taken into consideration before implementation and plenty of time is reserved for piloting.
“We are only in the early stages of using Thinking Portfolio, but we are actively proceeding with its implementation. As clear benefits have been observed after only a short period of use, we are expecting these benefits to accumulate as the user numbers go up, with the portfolio providing genuine support to the executive department.”
City of Lahti Development Manager Sari Alm summarises their experience with Thinking Portfolio.