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A detailed project and resource overview provides actual information as an optimal decision-making basis for top management
The newly won project transparency ensures efficient planning and on-time project execution
Clear and detailed planning enables accurate resource forecasts and prevents work overloads
Structured task assignments and quick time tracking ensure efficient project progress according to budget
REGIOCAST is a German radio company with subsidiaries in Kiel, Leipzig, and Berlin. They feature several audio brands, digital and analog, and holds interests in over 30 radio stations, radio broadcasting marketers, and other media companies.
The company was established in 2004 when R.SH (Radio Schleswig-Holstein), the PSR media group, and the KOM (association of several regional radio stations) merged. By now, the company has more than 450 employees and close to nine million daily listeners.
Project management, especially when it comes to IT projects, is an essential part of the REGIOCAST BIT (Broadcast and IT) department's everyday work.
The projects vary widely in size and range from restructuring the company's email communication to new radio studios' setup.
Without a professional project management software solution, it was very challenging to keep track of resource utilization and the progress of over 90 projects and to plan new projects properly.
It was not uncommon that projects got delayed, and therefore the BIT department's employees had to cope with permanent work overload. In 2014 a mega-project, the relocation of a radio transmitter, brought the already difficult project management situation to feasibility limits.
Projects came to a halt, and managing projects got even more difficult due to the non-transparent resource utilization. The implementation of a professional project management solution became vital. First, a task management tool should defuse this tense situation.
The project contributors were able to organize and handle their work in a more structured way with Kanban boards, but visualizing the resource utilization was still impossible.
The desired relief failed to occur, and the department had to look for a more project management solution that was able to deal with complex circumstances.
Thanks to Planforge, we are finally able to put work packages together without overloading our resources. In addition, due to the simple project planning we found out very quickly that we were lacking the resources for three or four projects that we had initially intended to start this year.
— Axel Felsmann
After intensive web research, several project management software solutions were shortlisted. Mr. Axel Felsmann, by now one of the project management managers, tested the free trial version of Planforge extensively.
After a short introduction phase, the user-friendly interface and the clear visualization of project and resource data convinced the tester. In 2016, the server version of Planforge was officially licensed.
The installation went quickly and uncomplicated. During a one-day introductory workshop, all other team members in Leipzig had been made familiar with Planforge.
Once the BIT department had become acquainted with Planforge and managed a few projects, another one-day workshop was conducted in Kiel to address the Planforge "Reports" area's comprehensive functionality.
In addition, resource utilization was further enhanced. The BIT department employees do not only work on projects; they also have to cope with day-to-day business, so first of all, the ideal resource utilization key has to be figured out.
At the moment, only 50% of the resource capacity is planned in projects. Consequently, enough time is left to cope with everyday business, absences, and sick leaves.
Two years after the implementation of Planforge, a Project Management Office (PMO) was established, and several projects were executed.
Since REGIOCAST is working with traditional project management methods, the project managers especially appreciate the intuitive operable and highly visual standards-based planning functionality.
The project contributors particularly appreciate the "My Work" area, which enables working efficiently thanks to a clear overview of work packages and to-do lists as well as quick time tracking functionality.
The most significant benefit of Planforge is certainly the transparent and highly visual resource management.
Shortly after implementing Planforge, an essential improvement of the BIT department's communication and REGIOCAST's top management could be identified. The top management was able to see how long and what the BIT department employees were working on in real-time.
Through this newly won transparency, the management is now informed about ongoing projects in the best possible way. The ideal start time for projects can be determined without fear of work overload for employees, thereby resulting in project delays.
At the beginning of 2018, the whole year's resource utilization was estimated with Planforge's "lean" projects. Therefore, it was possible to get a rough overview at the beginning of the year and get a sense of how many projects could be started.
Besides project resource planning, project creation, project documentation, and project controlling could be optimized and standardized.
With the portfolio analysis option, the top management of REGIOCAST can now benefit from a clear and consistent overview of the ongoing projects on the portfolio level.