Project Portfolio Management and Planning at a weather organisation

A major Dutch weather organisation executes many projects at the same time in the field of climate, observation and databases. The organisation entails many professionals with knowledge in very specific areas. The number of projects executed simultaneously is very large and it is difficult to keep oversight of all these projects. 

Matrix structure

The weather organisation knows a matrix structure. This means that seven functional departments exist, which each have their own domain of knowledge. Each department has a Resource Manager as head of the department. The projects are executed through the entire organisation. One or more departments are involved in each project. The project leader is responsible for the execution of the project and is thus dealing with various Resource Managers. 

The bottlenecks experienced in practice entail:

  • spreadsheets which are difficult to keep track of
  • insufficient insights into the project needs and project deployment
  • unclear agreements on deployment of capacity
  • progress of projects is not well visible on central levels

Excel as a planning tool

Many organisations use spreadsheets to plan for the medium term. In order to plan individual projects, a project management tool such as Microsoft Project is used, but in order to get insight into all projects, the progress or the deployment of a department Excel is used.

The following bottlenecks make clear that Excel does not work properly for planning:

  • no support for multiple users at the same time
  • no authorisation possibilities
  • connections with other systems is difficult
  • much manual handwork and a great chance on errors
  • rolling planning is not possible without programming

Migration to Anago Project Portfolio Management

In a short time the spreadsheet application has been migrated to the Anago Project Portfolio Management solution. This did not happen in one go, but in multiple phases. In the first phase the foundation is laid by adopting the existing functions within Anago. The first system thereby showed great similarities with the old Excel system. The transition of the organisation to Anago is hereby facilitated. 

Since the foundation now ran in Anago, it became easier to subsequently apply improvements, such as support for the matrix organisation and the accompanying governance, reports and analyses. 

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