Maritime access agency automates project
and budget planning
The Maritime Access division (MOW-aMT) of the Flemish governm...
in-house for planning the budget and monitoring
these projects. The lack of an overview meant that
the implementation ofte...
Youri Meersschaut, engineer at MOW-aMT: “Now that everyone uses the same system, we can rely on
having uniform and accurat...
Collaboration and document management
In a second phase, TOBIUS and MOW-aMT focused on
collaboration and document manageme...
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Maritime access agency automates project and budget planning

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The Maritime Access division (MOW-aMT) of the Flemish government has had SharePoint 2010 Server and Project Server 2010 installed by TOBIUS. This means all project information is centrally available for all users.

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Maritime access agency automates project and budget planning

  1. 1. Maritime access agency automates project and budget planning The Maritime Access division (MOW-aMT) of the Flemish government has had SharePoint 2010 Server and tel. +32 2 300 80 30 info@TOBIUS.be country: Belgium sector: government Project Server 2010 installed by TOBIUS. This means all project information is centrally available for all users. Previously, MOW-aMT had no software for project planning and management. As a result, there was an incomplete overview of the state of affairs and people did not always work with correct and up-to-date infor- profile mation. So the budget was less reliable, and the imple- The Maritime Access division (aMT) is part of Mo- mentation often deviated 20% from that anticipated in bility and Public Works (MOW), one of the 13 pol- the annual planning. icy areas of the Flemish government. AMT manages the waterways of Flemish harbours as well as artworks and properties along the maritime access routes. In addition, aMT is responsible for the construction and maintenance of the basic infrastructure of the harbours. Some 140 people work at aMT. Thanks to the new Microsoft technology, MOW-AMT now works in a much more efficient way. Automated workflows have been created and people always have an overview of the status of projects, both in terms of how project files are progressing and financially. Now there is also no problem collaborating with other divi- challenge Each year MOW-aMT manages an average budget sions, so together they can further standardize project planning and monitoring as well as budget reporting. of 370 million euros for projects, including major infrastructure works. MOW-aMT had no software Microsoft Project Server
  2. 2. in-house for planning the budget and monitoring these projects. The lack of an overview meant that the implementation often deviated 20% from that anticipated in the annual planning. “The Maritime Access division works with massive projects and budgets, but we didn’t have any structured processes and tools for project management,” says Youri Meersschaut. He is an engineer at the Maritime Access division (aMT), which is part of the Mobility and Public Works solution IT specialist TOBIUS installed Microsoft SharePoint 2010 Server and Project Server 2010. SharePoint Server serves as the central information hub where all users can find the correct information. (MOW) policy area of the Flemish government. “So we decided to invest in new software in order to professionalize our way of working. That was Enterprise Project Management (EPM) from Microsoft. The main objective was to capture information that enables us to draw up the budget with reliable information. This way, we can carry benefits out the entire planning and implementation precisely, Û Correct information is available fast whereas previously we often deviated 20% from what we Û Structures processes had planned on an annual basis. A second objective was Û Collaboration across the divisions to make all the information related to projects available to Û User-friendly Û Effective overview of status of projects Û Meta-data added automatically Û Integration with other applications the other departments involved.” MOW-aMT called on the services of TOBIUS, a Brusselsbased service provider and Microsoft Gold Partner with extensive experience in the field of project management. TOBIUS structured the processes of MOW-aMT as much software&services Servers Project Server 2010 SharePoint 2010 Server as possible based on the standard features of the software package. Jim Verbist of TOBIUS: “After the needs analysis it soon became clear that all the information about projects had Developer Tools to be available quickly and easily. We could do this per- Windows Server, which provide access to all the financial and opera- fectly well with Microsoft Project Server and SharePoint tional information on projects. In addition, SharePoint Desktop Applications Business Solutions Online Services Microsoft Services Server can also extract information from external systems.” Greater efficiency The new approach at MOW-aMT led to a great improvement in efficiency not only because the correct information is managed centrally, but also because of the accessi- Microsoft Technologies bility of the software. The 70 end users are primarily senior Microsoft Security project managers and technical draughtsmen. officials and administrative support staff, but also include The greater efficiency extends to the simplification and standardisation of the planning and monitoring of the project and to the budget reporting across departmental boundaries. In addition, the users can always see in Project Server what phase a file is in, so they can also report how long each file is with each party.
  3. 3. Youri Meersschaut, engineer at MOW-aMT: “Now that everyone uses the same system, we can rely on having uniform and accurate information.” Relevant meta-data physical programme, MOW-aMT plans for periods In addition, SharePoint Server provides a modern of several years, each time specifying which projects Content Management System for the digital man- it wants to implement with the allocated budgets. agement of all documents, where the documents This is done on the basis of various policy docu- automatically receive the relevant meta-data. The ments, such as the Flemish government coalition integration capabilities are an added bonus. Jim agreement, policy papers and policy documents, the Verbist: “It is possible to integrate SharePoint and Port Decree and the objectives of the division. Project Server with external systems such as Post Within the Maritime Access division, project plan- Registration – for scanning and digital transmission ning is divided into 'Main Projects' and 'Sub- of incoming documents – and the GIS application projects’. Then an estimate is made of the financial for displaying the geographical location of a pro- resources needed to implement each of these pro- ject.” jects. MOW-aMT can also manage its ICT tools more effi- The implementation of Microsoft Project Server and ciently by disabling a number of local applications. SharePoint Server, with the latter acting as an infor- For instance, the organization could eliminate some mation hub, allows the manager of a main project of the smaller applications and also curb the use of to consult the related sub-projects and the associ- Excel. Youri Meersschaut: “Previously, everything ated long-term budget at a glance. The manager of was done in Excel or other tools and there were al- a sub-project can view the status of their files and ways different versions of reports and documents in see what resources are still available. The project circulation, with all the resulting consequences. Now manager can then monitor all the files that they that everyone uses the same system, we can rely on manage. having uniform and accurate information.” Approach in three phases The flexible reporting now gives each unit head a consolidated overview of the state of affairs, both in The project consists of three phases. During the first terms of how project files are progressing and fi- phase TOBIUS automated the planning of the long- nancially. term budget and the ‘physical programme’. In the
  4. 4. Collaboration and document management In a second phase, TOBIUS and MOW-aMT focused on collaboration and document management. The project type – for example infrastructure or dredging operations – determines the life cycle and task division, the document types that are applicable here and what meta-information users want to manage. The projects spaces are set up based on these parameters, so that there is uniformity per project type. “For us, encouraging collaboration around one central platform across the divisional units is the biggest catalyst for benefiting from this project,” explains Youri Meers- Jim Verbist “It is possible to integrate SharePoint and Project Server with external systems such as Post Registration – for scanning and digital transmission of incoming documents – and the GIS application for displaying the geographical location of a project.” schaut. “We now have a structure where we can define projects with a controlled workflow. Meta-information is validated and all the documents that were previously scattered everywhere are now centralized in the project workspaces.” The third and last phase should be completed in the course of 2013 and centres on operational planning, monitoring and reporting. Youri Meersschaut: “Ultimately, the aim is for us to be able to capture sufficient information down to the specification level, so that we can also test the feasibility of the budget and provide better predictions for the next budget. Then the next logical step is to increase the quality of the information.” for more information For more information about the Microsoft products and services described, call +32 2 503 31 13 or visit www.microsoft.be/ cases. There you will find other companies that use similar applications. For more information about Tobius, call +32 2 300 80 30 or visit www.tobius.be For more information about the Maritime Access division, visit www.maritiemetoegang.be

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