Project Data at the Push of a Button
Pension provider improves project management with PLANTA project. Deutsche Rentenversicherung Baden-Wuerttemberg (DRV BW, German Pension Insurance) has optimized its IT and company projects with the help of the project and project portfolio management system of the company PLANTA. Now, the pension provider can efficiently plan and control its projects—from the initial idea right through to closure.
DRV BW is the government pension provider for the German State Baden-Wuerttemberg. It has about 3.6 million members and 3,600 employees. PLANTA-Software is being used in the IT department as well as in organizational and administrative areas and technical service by approximately 30 project managers in Karlsruhe and Stuttgart planning projects with a runtime between three months and four years. Before implementing the multi-project management system of the Karlsruhe software house PLANTA, DRV BW planned its projects using a variety of incompatible planning and controlling methods. Monthly project lists meant a huge manual effort was required to collate the date for reporting projects. In addition, reliable information about effort, costs, dates and resource utilization when planning a project and during its realization were unreliable and often out-of-date. Furthermore, project priority was not transparent and suffered from frequent changes. A newly created project committee defined the objectives for the software implementation and the required solution. The existing tools, Microsoft Project (standalone version) and Microsoft Excel, were replaced with the PLANTA system which has been running live since May 2005 after a two month pilot phase.
Better planning and controlling
Since implementing the new software, projects can be transparently planned and controlled within a standardized process—from the project idea to its closure: The respective process status of the individual projects is immediately recognizable in the new software. Even the planning results are transparent and thus are a reliable base for project approval. The immediate result of this is that planning has become much more stable and accurate and the reprioritization of projects occurs much less frequently than before. Since the implementation of PLANTA, reliable project and for every project participant. This data can be integrated into management reports required by the department heads and senior management. Wolfgang Bär, the project manager responsible for IT project organization at DRV BW notes: “For the first time, our project managers have the chance to plan professionally, creating stable and realistic plans, as well as being able to evaluate and prioritize a project throughout its life cycle. Using PLANTA project plans can be communicated internally and externally in a transparent manner.”
Mr Bär explains that increased accuracy means that the project plan is respected by all project members. Resources are not so frequently rescheduled from one project to another and the entire project work is now more efficient and stable. “For the first time, reliable statements about actual project costs after a project’s closure can be made.” In addition, the new software has a positive effect: the project members’ awareness of the importance of project work has increased, significantly. A higher level of responsibility with respect to project activities is clearly noticeable from both project team members as well as employees within the project environment (purchasers, management, external companies).