Thinking Portfolio gives aid together with Finnish Red Cross

The Finnish Red Cross is one of the largest civic organisations in Finland. The Red Cross is a humanitarian aid agency belonging to the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, which operates in 189 countries around the world. The task of the Red Cross is to help the people in weakest position during catastrophes and crisis in order to prevent and mitigate human suffering, as well as to support and help the country’s authorities during peace and war and armed conflicts.

The Red Cross maintains Blood Donation services, Youth Refuges, Kontti recycling store chain, reception centres for asylum seekers and also organises first aid training. FRC also organises diverse voluntary aid operations. FRC has nearly 3000 employees in different offices around the country. The 30,000 Red Cross volunteers and 86,000 members operate in their own local offices of which there are more than 500. (www.punainenristi.fi)

FRC trusted Thinking Portfolio

The development manager of FRC, Mimmu Piirto, was responsible for implementing Thinking Portfolio project portfolio at the turn of the year. She says that they were lucky, because Thinking Portfolio contacted them and offered co-operation with Pro Bono principle just as an exceptionally large amount of asylum seekers arrived into the country. At the same time the Red Cross hired 2000 new employees, so there wouldn’t have been time to implement a new application. However, they trusted the supplier’s promise that the implementation project would not tie up their time from other work too much.

– This was a good decision. Thinking Portfolio held on to their promise of the time table and the amount of work and we received, with a really small investment, a good tool at the best possible time.

Mimmu Piirto

Photo: Mimmu Piirto

Thinking Portfolio suits the organisation’s character

The new project portfolio application was first implemented in the Red Cross recycling store Kontti who uses it in all projects of the chain. Kontti projects are typically those concerning the stores’ restructuring and opening, but they also include change projects to the operations model. The manager of Kontti stores Sari Nikkola is pleased with the additional value to their project operations, brought in by Thinking Portfolio.

– With Thinking Portfolio we have been able to improve advance planning and budget management and during the implementation stage everyone knows, better than before, what to do and when. We still need to improve the finishing touches and assessment, but we are well on the way.

The application’s use has quickly spread to become a tool to strategically develop almost all of our country’s operations.

Because the core of the Red Cross operations is to be prepared for catastrophes, Thinking Portfolio, as an easy-to-use tool, suits the organisation very well.

The Finnish Red Cross has found that the application is also useful for project management, because Thinking Portfolio supports management group work and different user prospects are helpful in monitoring and decision making.

– Thinking Portfolio has such an intuitive user interface that in a tight situation there is no need to waste time on training. While we have trained new people for the project, they have learned to use the application at the same time.

– Previously we monitored projects in Excel, but it was really difficult. Thinking Portfolio brought new kind of backbone to our projects whilst the insight into the projects has improved.

 

Sari Nikkola

Photo: Sari Nikkola

The application’s use has quickly spread to become a tool to strategically develop almost all of our country’s operations.

Because the core of the Red Cross operations is to be prepared for catastrophes, Thinking Portfolio, as an easy-to-use tool, suits the organisation very well.

The Finnish Red Cross has found that the application is also useful for project management, because Thinking Portfolio supports management group work and different user prospects are helpful in monitoring and decision making.

– Thinking Portfolio has such an intuitive user interface that in a tight situation there is no need to waste time on training. While we have trained new people for the project, they have learned to use the application at the same time.

– Previously we monitored projects in Excel, but it was really difficult. Thinking Portfolio brought new kind of backbone to our projects whilst the insight into the projects has improved.

While in a hurry you must concentrate on the essentials

Piirto is happy with how well Thinking Portfolio has supported the projects for different operations. As an example she mentions reception operations, where, at the request of authorities, they have to, at a fast cycle, set up reception centres and also close them down. The time scale for setting up a centre project may be one week or even shorter and it must be done with small staff and a small budget. The character of immigration demands that there are comings and goings all the time and this is why closing down a reception centre must be made in a controlled way and in a fast time scale.

The possibility of copying a project makes it faster to set up and close down reception centres.

– This kind of easily adoptable tool is a fine thing because we don’t need to invest in learning the application and we can concentrate on the essentials.

Contact information:

Mimmu Piirto
Development Manager
Finnish Red Cross
mimmu.piirto@punainenristi.fi

Sari Nikkola
Director
Finnish Red Cross
Kontti-kierrätystavarataloketju
sari.nikkola@punainenristi.fi

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