From Resource Management Using Excel to Ganttic | Case Study
For Innopolis Engineering™, Ganttic Is Their Main Tool for Plan Their People And Resources
We had a chance to meet with Lauri Reinart who is the Chief Structural Engineer at Innopolis Engineering ™.
Innopolis Engineering™ is a Scandinavian and Baltic Architecture and Engineering Company. They have offices in Stockholm, Tallinn, and Tartu with about 35 employees.
Innopolis Engineering™ initially used Excel for their resource management. Until they discovered Ganttic.
Read on to find out how Ganttic made resource planning easier and more transparent for one company. And get some tips from real Ganttic users.
How long have you been using Ganttic?
We have been using Ganttic since September 2016.
What challenges were you experiencing prior to starting using Ganttic? How did Ganttic solve those?
Like most of us in the engineering industry, we were using Excel for our resource management. At that time we had about 8 team members in the structural engineering department and more projects were adding up constantly.
And then you ended up with Ganttic?
When we were planning resources with Excel, we had something like Ganttic in mind. We were looking for a resource management tool that looked like Ganttic. Then we came across Ganttic and it felt like a perfect fit. It quickly became our main resource planning tool.
Could you describe your user habits in Ganttic? What kind of resources do you work with?
We use Ganttic as a long-term planning tool. Our default view is 9 months and we plan one week at a time.
Ganttic is mostly used by our department managers. We have four departments in Innopolis Engineering™: Structural Engineering, HVAC&Piping (heating, ventilation, air conditioning, water supply, and sewage), Architecture and Project Management.
We have added a resource Data Field called "Department" which we use to group our company specific grouping resources accordingly. Doing so we have an overview of who’s doing what in each department.
Each department manager is responsible for adding new projects and tasks to their department.
What do you track with Ganttic?
Our aim is to track the availability of our employees with Ganttic.
Innopolis Engineering™ uses Ganttic mainly for resource planning. To do that, we need an overview of our resource schedules. The schedules give input to our sales team. If a department has an opening, they’ll evaluate it and decide if there are enough resources to take on a new project.
Therefore, we use Ganttic to estimate the workloads of our resources and forecast if and when we can take on new projects.
We also do quite a lot of utilization planning.
The Management Board actively has its eye on the planner to make sure that no employee would be overbooked with any project. The utilization of our departments is also something we constantly analyze. For example, during the next three months, our goal is to keep the utilization of each department over 80%.
How often do you use Ganttic?
In our office, I’m called "the Ganttic guy" (laughs) and I check the resource schedules several times per week. Others look at Ganttic mainly during meetings. Once a week we meet with each department’s lead engineers. During that meeting, we analyze if there’s a need for reallocating resources. Our other meeting is with project managers. The project managers give an overview of their week and tell "the Ganttic guy" if they need any additional resources or not.
Once every two weeks, we have a board meeting. This meeting concentrates on sales activities and analyzing resource capacity.
As you can see, Ganttic really is the most important resource management software for us.
What are the main problems that you have encountered while using Ganttic?
Our problem is that sometimes our employees forget to update their schedules.
If that happens, I usually say that we just have sold a new project for the next week as a joke. That really gets them going since they know they are actually fully booked. After I have had a tiny evil laugh, I remind the managers to add their tasks to Ganttic.
This means that we still need to remind our employees why Ganttic is important to our organization and why they need to schedule their tasks. We even have a short manual about why we use Ganttic and how to do it properly.
What's your favorite feature of Ganttic?
I think the fact that it’s easy to use and one can get a clear visual overview of everything that’s going on. For me personally, the different coloring options are everything.
Any tips for using Ganttic?
I guess in resource planning many project managers make the mistake of booking people at full capacity.
However, in reality, employees get sick, or they have inspirational coffee breaks, trainings, or different courses. This means that on average people work 6.5-7 hours per day, not the full 8 hours. Taking that into consideration, I have set the work time to 7 hours in Ganttic.
How could we improve Ganttic?
For us, Ganttic is as good as it gets.
Can we quote this?
(Laughs.) Yes, by all means.