Why IGEAN chose Threon as their Project Management guiding partner
IGEAN is an intercommunal organization that serves 30 cities and communities in the Antwerp district in case of land & housing policy, spatial planning, urban development, recycling, job safety, waste management, circulation of materials, climate and innovation. To better coordinate and follow-up its projects, IGEAN’s territory affairs wanted to install a professional project management approach. We, Threon, were of course very happy to support them through this transformation process.
Challenge: an efficient project overview
In a first phase, we defined IGEAN’s challenges. On the one hand, the organization performs a great number of immense projects, which they need to align on a continuous basis. Due to a high variety in projects and no uniform way of planning or reporting, IGEAN missed a clear project overview. On the other hand, planning and reporting documents where not transparently communicated to all different teams. Consequently, allocating the right people in an efficient way to the right projects, was a true challenge. What the organization really needed was:
- A global project overview
- A tool that eases project planning and resource management reporting
- A way to communicate more transparently with co-workers, but also with the organization’s customers
Based upon our experience with similar assignments and the proposed PM culture program roadmap, we convinced IGEAN to choose us as their trusted partner during this trajectory. We talked to Sofie Sterckx (Project coordinator at IGEAN) and asked her how she experienced the collaboration with Threon.
“Threon strongly believes in working with solutions that are tailor-made for your specific organization. Not once did they impose general actions that we just ‘needed to adapt’. Right from the start they included a variety of co-workers (team leads, managers but also project executives) in specific workshops that helped us to create commitment from all departments in the implementation of this new project management approach”, Sofie Sterckx.
Our PM Culture Program: IGEAN’s solution
We suggested our PM Culture Program for IGEAN: Assessments, a tool implementation, workshops and trainings.
- In the first stage, we mapped out the project context, current situation and project approach in combination with IGEAN’s project expectations. We collected all this information by interviewing relevant stakeholders in a one-to-one setting. This way, gaps between the expected and current project approach, but also between deliverables per knowledge area (scope, time, cost, resources, …) were identified at the start of the process.
- In the second stage we held workshops with the core team of specialists to define a suitable project approach that works for IGEAN. By involving internal teams in this process, we made sure the project approach included all requirements and feedback of the IGEAN team members who would work with this new approach in the future. This way, we ensured that the organization from now on uses a project management approach, tailor-made for the organization.
“At first, our team leads did not understand why they had to participate in these workshops. Why could Threon not just tell them which rules they had to follow? Throughout the process, those same team leads understood that joining those workshops helped them to better comprehend the principles of this new project approach and got them motivated to start working with it”, Sofie Sterckx, Project coordinator IGEAN.
While we defined IGEAN’s portfolio management architecture, we made sure IGEAN’s wish to report more transparently to both internal as external stakeholders was included in their new project approach.
- Consequently, as a third step, we implemented the Microsoft Project Online tool which guarantees a better follow-up of their programs and projects and enables them to easily adjust their planning according to the development of the program or project. To make sure all project leaders would be able to work with this new tool, we organized intensive in-house training sessions. Sofie Sterckx: “We could always count on Threon’s continuous support during the process. If we had questions about the tool or if we were struggling with this new approach, they were happy to help us and to get us back on the right track. Even now, long after the scheduled training sessions, we can still count on their advice”.
First results and next steps
“Before this trajectory, we intended to just implement a tool that improved our project planning. Threon made us realize our operational efficiency would improve when implementing a concrete project management strategy, with Microsoft Project’s planning and reporting tool as important component. We are now ready to pro-actively follow-up projects, communicate more transparently across different teams and connect our projects and programs efficiently”, Sofie Sterckx says.
Since planning, executing and reporting of projects and programs is easier to manage thanks to the Project Online tool, we continue to guide IGEAN during their process of putting this new project approach into practice.
IGEAN is an intercommunal organization that serves 30 cities and communities in the Antwerp district in case of land & housing policy, spatial planning, urban development, recycling, job safety, waste management, circulation of materials, climate and innovation. Its headquarters are based in Wommelgem.