How Threon optimized De Witte-Vandecaveye's project planning by implementing MS Project Online

Since 1948, DWVDC is actively participating in the electricity sector and strives to create distinctive value by offering their customers an allround electricity and railway technology service. The organization has grown immensely fast throughout the last couple of years; which provides multiple industry opportunities, but at the same time new and complicated challenges. Our Threon experts helped DWVDC to better organize their internal organization by implementing Microsoft Project Online for optimized project planning and automated reporting. Managing resources with Microsoft Project Online could be a possible next step in the future. In addition, we made sure the whole transition happened smoothly while we took stakeholder involvement high into account.

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Growing fast has consequences. New challenges arise and for organizations like DWVDC, who are growing exceptionally fast (DWVDC has been rewarded as Trends Gazelle for SME’s in 2017), challenges are even more complex. Due to their growth, the organization was able to initiate more new projects. Consequently, more projects mean more time investments, but while the organization is limited in its working time on railway lines, optimized planning was required.

Challenge

- Optimize project planning

- Generate automatic reporting

- Involve key stakeholders

- Reinforce internal communication flows between different departments

- Improve resource capacity planning

Solution

In cooperation with DWVDC, we decided to implement Microsoft Project Online into the organization. DWVDC noticed the desire of its customers to implement this specific MS tool and was convinced that this way their abovementioned challenges could be countered in an efficient way.

In the first stage, we organized workshops with various key stakeholders to specify the needs of the organization when implementing the Microsoft Project Online tool. During this process, we edited a preliminary version of the tool (as ‘Proof Of Concept’), so we could continuously improve all aspects during this test phase.

Once the Microsoft Project Online environment was established and completely configurated in the second stage, we trained all project- and construction leaders to become capable of planning their projects within Microsoft Project Online.

The third stage consisted of automating the project reporting (via Microsoft Power BI) so the tool could support general business operations. To finish the implementation process, we coached project managers to qualitatively design and follow-up their project schedules. These in-depth coaching moments gave all project managers the opportunity to discuss their specific cases with an experienced planner.

Results

Following the implementation of Microsoft Project Online at DWVDC, planning is standardized. Project managers are now pro-actively creating a detailed planning for every active project. Thanks to Threon’s coaching sessions, every project manager is capable to build and adapt those project plans according to best practices. This way DWVDC can maintain their delivery of high quality work, linked to their ISOO 9001:2015 certificate.

Reports who previously were designed by hand, are now automated in Microsoft Project Online. Due to this automated reporting, the estimation process of available resources (people, machines, transportation) for new potential projects accelerated significantly. Generating automated reporting also supports business operations and therefore enables DWVDC to better anticipate on gaps or potential challenges at busier moments within the organization. Optimized communication to customers is, to conclude, another very important advantage.

About De Witte - Vandecaveye

De Witte - Vandecaveye has been active in the electricity sector since 1948. Among their services are: general electricity works with VCA certification, cable pulling, horizontal drilling and lighting installations. You can also rely on them for heavy works relying on railway cranes, crawler cranes and mini excavators. They strive to offer their customers a full service offering with a distinctive focus on railway technology.