The university community of Tampere uses a portfolio from Thinking Portfolio for projects, ideas, systems and registries. Project portfolio was originally acquired to bring structure for resource planning, when the University of Tampere, Tampere University of Technology and Tampere University of Applied Sciences merged. The system and registry portfolios came right after it, and the latest one was the idea portfolio.

Thinking Portfolio brings clarity to the jungle of projects and systems

When the universities merged, tools were needed to manage more than a hundred simultaneously running projects, to manage resources, and to map the system entity. Now, after merging, the portfolios from Thinking Portfolio continue to be used by the university community of Tampere as a development project portfolio and as a system portfolio for the entire community.

The implementation of the project portfolio also resulted in mapping a lot of data that couldn’t have been easily managed in Excel, says system manager Päivi Lignell and designer Henna Koskimäki.

–At the beginning of the merge, we adopted a project model, which was a good base for starting the implementation. Deployment went smoothly for both the project portfolio and the system portfolio.

– Our situation in the beginning of the deployment was pretty hectic with over 100 projects going on, all with a lot of dependencies, a lot of pressure with schedules, and same resources doing both their daily work and the merging projects. The portfolio gave us visibility into the project entity, dependencies, resource plans and schedules, although there was a lot of work to be done outside the portfolio.

The university community of Tampere has already noticed that the project portfolio is a very useful tool for gathering information and managing development work in the new, larger community.

Resourcing is still being practiced, but the portfolio is already giving important information about the resource situation

At the very beginning of the implementation of the portfolio, resource planning was introduced as well. In the fusion projects, planning and monitoring resources were pretty successful, considering that the situation was special and in addition we introduced a new system.

–We also have a holiday and line work project in the portfolio, which records all non-project work as well.

–Resourcing is quite successful, although in some projects the resources are marked as oversized and others have marked them as undersized.

Lignell and Koskimäki have noticed that over the last 2-3 years the level of maturity in resourcing and project management has risen significantly. However, there aren’t many professional project managers, so those who are doing another job for living, are also leading projects. This of course has an impact on how resources are managed in different ways in projects, which in turn affects how reliable the resource data of project portfolio can be considered.

-Although not all projects have the same level of resourcing, it’s still possible to see in the portfolio who have been attached to the projects and who is available, i.e. free and reserved resources.

System portfolio shows the overall situation and dependencies between the systems

Initially all systems which were used in the university community were collected to the system portfolio. This way we managed to see the whole picture and all overlaps, and managed to map out the systems, which will be used throughout the community.

Even now, the most important thing is to see the system as a whole in the portfolio, as well as how the systems are linked to each other and who is responsible for each system. In addition, the portfolio also shows the lifecycle of systems and can for example map out the systems which are being deleted. The registry portfolio also helps us to meet the privacy requirements.

-The system and dependency map are excellent reports for visualizing the whole situation. Further use will be made of system the portfolio report to, for example, support budgeting and to get an overall picture.

Idea portfolio is used in annual planning and ideas for increasing its use are being thought about

The fourth portfolio of the Thinking Portfolio in the university community of Tampere is the idea portfolio, which is still in the early stages of implementation, but is already being used for annual planning. The idea portfolio gives you early access to future projects and visibility into the annual planning of the entire university community. Thoughts on expanding the use of the idea portfolio as a tool for collecting ideas of all sorts are being thought about, maybe even collecting ideas from the students will happen at some point with the idea portfolio, says Henna Koskimäki.