“No need for a manual“
The first things which occurs to Antti Kaipainen, designer of Soster information systems, is the ease of use of the project and asset portfolio management software.
Better information flow to company management about the department’s numerous projects was needed, and a tool was needed to manage the mass of projects.
Pilot implementation of the project and asset portfolio management system was started at the beginning of 2011.
“The pilot project opened our eyes to the need for this software. We also saw an opportunity to tailor the software to our needs,” says systems designer Antti Kaipainen.
According to Kaipainen, the project and asset portfolio management system is part of a change-management entirety, which also includes project management and training in project-related decision making.
Tailoring was a success
Antti Kaipainen feels the project and asset portfolio management system has been easy to use.
Collaboration with Thinking Business has gone well, and agreed-upon schedules have been met.
“This project and asset portfolio management software is among those rare software programs which do not require reading user instructions. It is definitely the first thing which comes to mind.
The work of managers in the public sector requires much handling of reports and statistics. It is important that implementation of the new software be as easy as possible, so users can concentrate on content,” Kaipanen adds.
“Tailoring the software has succeeded well, and we have gotten exactly the results we wanted. Our company uses an internal project realization model, which created a need for some tailoring of the software.”
At Soster’s request, changes were also made to the software with regard to assessment of the level of difficulty and risks involved in projects and business activities.
A portfolio is a learning tool
Thinking in terms of a project and asset management portfolio is still new at Soster. Antti Kaipainen says the new software has opened the eyes of users, for example with regard to project activities.
“Together with project managers we have noticed that beginning to input information into the project and asset management software has been cautious.
It takes time to understand that this is not software for a single project, but software for project management in general.”
Kaipainen feels that the project and asset management portfolio software has also brought organization to the mass of projects and improved information flow.
“All kinds of projects are ongoing in our information management department which our neighbors were previously not always aware of. Now, when projects have been input into the portfolio along with descriptions, anyone can access and read them.
For project managers the project and asset portfolio management software also works as sparring, in which one’s own project starts to blink red in quality measurements,” Kaipainen adds.
The project and asset management portfolio currently serves only the information management department, but there has also been discussion about using it elsewhere in the organization.
According to Kaipainen, the greatest benefit of the project and asset management portfolio has been that project managers can now better understand the role of projects in the big picture. They see the effects of their projects and must take a stance on, among other things, how their own project will affect the organization. The District’s management has also started to think about what information and reports they would like to get from the software.
“Nothing is really needed except one tab in the software, in which project managers explain how well a phase of a project has succeeded, what has been learned, what challenges have been encountered and how goals have been realized.
The opportunity for gaining information with the help of the project and asset portfolio is visible. This is also important.”
Text: Meri Eskola
Information systems designer for the Eastern Savonia Hospital District
antti.kaipainen (at) isshp.fi