A Leadership-Interview with Thomas Schlereth In an interview Thomas Schlereth (CEO Can Do) and Prof. Dr. Lutz Becker (Head of the MA programme in leadership at the Karlshochschule International University) explain ...
Arvato Systems selects Can Do skill-based resource managementPlease download the case study here
More than 3,000 employees in over 25 locations worldwide provide a high level of technical expertise, industry knowledge, and a clear focus on customer needs. As a team, the company develops innovative IT solutions, helps its customers move to the cloud, integrates digital processes, and handles the operation and support of IT systems.
Before the company implements this range of projects – which include application development and support as well as customer change requests – it needs to start with careful planning. This ensures that the right employees work efficiently and successfully on the required tasks at the right time.
Project planning and resource management at Arvato Systems
To facilitate resource management and project planning, Arvato Systems uses a variety of solutions that import project data from other systems via interfaces. This often means that the company can use a customer’s preferred planning software. However, using a range of solutions can also be a challenge when it comes to standardizing on working methods. The company wanted to harmonize planning and management processes, which are based on meaningful information generated by current and constantly updated data. This was why it decided to look for a solution that could be integrated into operational activities while providing efficient project planning and resource management. In 2012, Arvato Systems’ management, project management office (PMO) and key users in project and department management evaluated the graphical client software from the Munich-based company Can Do. Following a successful proof of concept in 2013, the company implemented it for project planning and resource management.
Can Do has the edge when it comes to resource management.
The main reasons why the company selected Can Do were:
Overview of Can Do Web Client benefits
Being available on the market since 2016, Arvato Systems now uses the Can Do Web Client. Alongside additional functions, such as skill-based resource management that takes employees’ capabilities into account in the capacity planning process, the Web Client offers a very intuitive user interface.
Some departments within Arvato Systems are trailblazing with the use of Can Do. In the medium term, the company is aiming to implement enterprise-wide, skill-based resource management. “We want to do more cross-departmental projects, which will facilitate universal, skill-based resource planning across different departments,” says Axel Mattern, Director PMO at Arvato Systems. Arvato Systems currently has 450 users working with Can Do. It plans to increase this number with the addition of international subsidiaries to project planning and resource management activities.
Project selection and planning
To make its project selection process more efficient, Arvato Systems uses a role-specific approach to Can Do planning, control and analysis. The standardized, reliable data and information base facilitates decision-making, communication and coordination processes between everyone involved in the selection of projects. All relevant information is displayed in easy-to-read dashboards using the reporting function.
Successful projects thanks to selection of the best possible team
As part of its modern project management initiative, Arvato Systems uses Can Do to run real-time capacity analyses and plans the utilization of employees based on their skills. The employees’ capabilities, which Arvato Systems records and updates in a centralized skill library, are linked to the availabilities of each member of staff, whose time is then booked and assigned to projects. Viewing lists of skills and skill combinations can quickly lead to a confusing number of possibilities, an issue that Can Do’s algorithm-based software resolves by providing a clear overview of the best team for each project. The result: Arvato Systems has more visibility into the skills available within the company and a better view of the skills it needs to acquire. It also prevents staff from being overworked or under-utilized. In short: the company now executes more successful projects. “We now have the best possible distribution of our existing skill sets,” says Mattern. “The project currently being worked on always takes precedence.”
The Can Do platform enables integrated planning of staff resources. For example, when there are change requests from Arvato Systems customers, project data is imported from other systems into Can Do and transferred automatically into the skill-based capacity planning process. This method provides the company with optimal utilization of its staff and 360° visibility.
Visibility facilitates more balanced decisions
Can Do also relieves the normal tensions that can occur between project and line management when planning resources. “Teams working on day-to-day business are usually managed on the operational level by their department manager,” notes Mattern. “Those working on projects are also managed by the department manager for operational matters, but by the project manager too. This can give rise to conflicts of interest from time to time.” The increased visibility into skills and resource availability with Can Do skill-based capability planning has resulted in more balanced decisions and more efficient deployment of staff.
Increasing the sense of personal responsibility with the Advanced Me tile
In order to increase its employees’ sense of personal responsibility and enable them to plan their tasks themselves, Arvato Systems is using the Can Do solution’s Advanced Me tile. This comprises the Me tile, which gives staff an overview of their tasks and activities, as well as a timesheet that lets them enter their hours worked, even for long periods of time. In addition, Arvato Systems has its own centralized PMO that supports project managers in their work with the software. “It’s important to work with the software regularly,” comments Mattern. “Employees sometimes change roles – they can be a team member at one time and a project manager at another. That’s why it’s really important that the software’s practically self-explanatory and intuitive to use.”
Improvements due to Can Do
Arvato Systems places a lot of importance on the personal and partner-related aspects of its business relationships, praising the excellent collaboration with Can Do and the smooth implementation of the customized adaptations it requested. Commenting on the improvements at Arvato Systems, Mattern says: “Using Can Do has centralized and standardized our processes. We have more visibility into our employees’ workloads than before, making it easier for us to plan and control resource utilization. We work more efficiently now, both in operational project management and in resource management.” He adds that a further advantage is self-management and better data management with the Advanced Me tile, which gets staff more involved in planning and relieves the central planners’ workloads. “Can Do has the edge when it comes to resource management,” concludes Axel Mattern. He would recommend it to other companies.