VR Group consists of three business sectors catering to different customer groups. VR passenger services, VR Transpoint and VR Track. The group’s support operations also cover Train operations, Maintenance, Russia and international business and Corporate services.   

Thinking Portfolio benefits from positive customer experience and is good value for money 

When the VR passenger services sector was looking to acquire a project portfolio, the various options were explored extensively. Thinking Portfolio was deemed to best serve the needs of the organisation. During the procurement stage, VR evaluated the features of competing applications and interviewed Thinking Portfolio’s customers, who added fresh impetus to the decision to implement the service. Another positive was Thinking Portfolio’s price point compared to its competitors.  

Use of the project portfolio quickly gained traction within VR  

After piloting the passenger services sector, use of the project portfolio quickly extended to other sectors of the organisation as the positive user experience and its immediate benefits becoming apparent to all concerned. For example, users praised the clarity and user-friendliness of Thinking Portfolio. “An application that is easy to use is also easy to implement into workflows,” PMO Heidi Hartikainen says of VR’s experience.  

Thinking Portfolio is also considered to be a key tool for the future  

The majority of portfolio users at VR are project managers. The portfolio’s project management features assist with project planning, progress monitoring and reporting to the steering group. With the implementation of the portfolio, the organisation has been able to stop using separate PowerPoint and Excel files. Its executive department is particularly interested in the portfolio’s reporting and analysis features, as well as its ability to adapt to future needs. Indeed, the portfolio has been developed based on the needs of the executive department with new features being added as and when.   

Thinking Portfolio users have noticed that many projects feature similar rationale and challenges. The portfolio has brought these to the fore, providing fellow users with valuable information through other projects, which has contributed to improved collaboration between projects.  

“We have moved on from operating in silos, and taken our collaboration to another level thanks to the portfolio.”  

Valuable networking with other Thinking Portfolio customers  

Heidi Hartikainen appreciates the customer networking events organised by Thinking Portfolio. She finds Thinking Portfolio’s policy of reporting new features and customer networking as a very positive step, providing the opportunity to exchange feedback and learn from others engaged in the same line of business.  

“We still have a long way to go in terms of adopting perfect project portfolio workflows, but we expect to gain added value with the continuous development of the application, which will further contribute to our process development in the future.”  


Business Development Manager Heidi Hartikainen describes VR’s experiences with Thinking Portfolio.