At the Turku University of Applied Sciences, Thinking Portfolio, affectionately known as TEPPO, is used for project planning, portfolio management, resource allocation and working-time monitoring. With the previous system coming to an end, it was time for a new project portfolio tool. Indeed, the former system simply could not meet today’s demands and users were looking for an application that better supported their work.
One of the key criteria was the ability to motivate the user
During the planning stage, the team discussed various options, putting the project out to tender in order to find the best tool of the future. According to Head of RDI Services Johanna Krappe, users got to see a demo of Thinking Portfolio during a project event, and they were excited about the intuitiveness of the tool, as well as its features, which supported publicly-funded project portfolio management.
“We ranked user-friendliness and intuitiveness very highly in our selection criteria. We found that users must be motivated as an imperative is not a very good motivator.
In order to improve our benchmark, we also reviewed other project portfolio applications and their use.
The final decision to go for Thinking Portfolio was influenced by its good-looking UI, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, unlimited number of users and implementation at a fixed price.
Implementation began during testing and user numbers quickly soared
The implementation project was quick and the tool was already in action during the testing and piloting stage with real project data input. Transition to full implementation was easy, as previously entered data could be used without additional conversion and fine-tuning did not affect the data either.
TEPPO is used daily by a large number of users, as it is a centralised location for processing and storing information that was previously processed across several systems. There are over 700 users, with almost 200 of them in active use. In addition to publicly-funded projects, TEPPO also includes all the training provided by the institution. Resource planning and time-logging for the entire staff is also done through TEPPO.
“TEPPO is always running on my computer. The introduction of the tool has enabled us to stop using Excel files and many other systems.
Thinking Portfolio supports process implementation
Johanna Krappe states that successful implementation was based on active staff training and a high number of administrators. TEPPO has also enabled a leaner approach to research, development and innovation processes. The tool is deemed to contribute to process training.
Users have been particularly pleased with the new project finance monitoring. TEPPO provides a clear overview of costs allocated to projects and education, as well as working hours. The financial figures are imported to TEPPO once a day via SAP. Salary allocation data is also exported once a month.
Resource allocation is facilitated by the tool’s resource planning capabilities making it easier to predict and anticipate such things as future staffing needs for the coming years. Collaboration between the customer and Thinking Portfolio has also involved developing time sheets and reports in order to meet the requirements of public funding providers such as TEKES and the EU.
Thinking Portfolio enables a big leap forward in portfolio management
Users have stated that thanks to TEPPO, the institution has taken a big leap forward in portfolio management with significant improvements to the availability of data. The tool has elicited improved commitment to measures that facilitate successful project portfolio management.
At the Turku University of Applied Sciences, the solution has been well received, in part because many of the collaborating parties are using the same application, which is seen to have contributed to increased cooperation.
“Thanks to Thinking Portfolio, we have enjoyed a smoother collaboration with our partners and we’ve been able to benefit from our interaction with other parties.
We are really pleased with this procurement and I believe more institutions are sure to adopt this tool.
We are grateful for the assistance we’ve received and we would like to pass this on by helping any future Thinking Portfolio customers.”
The interviewee is Head of RDI Services at the Turku University of Applied Sciences, Johanna Krappe.