Resource Capacity Planning for Project Management

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					                                             Microsoft Project Server 2010
                                             Customer Solution Case Study

                                             Volvo Group Increases Project Visibility and
                                             Control While Saving Employees Time

Overview                                     “We use Project Server 2010 to gain more control over
Country or Region: Europe
Industry: Manufacturing—Automotive           which projects we are starting and stopping, and when.
and industrial manufacturing
                                             This means we contract out fewer assignments based
Customer Profile                             on sudden demand fluctuations.”
The Volvo Group manufactures
                                               Stéphane Perrin, Director, Product Planning and Project Management Solutions, Volvo IT
commercial vehicles, and it supplies
other technologies and services. Based in
Göteborg, Sweden, it has 90,000
                                             The Volvo Group is a leading supplier of commercial and
                                             consumer transport solutions and customer financial services.
Business Situation
The Volvo Group wanted to improve its
                                             Volvo IT, which provides solutions to the Group to manage its
resource management to accommodate           projects, wanted to improve employee efficiency by extending
its sophisticated time-reporting
                                             current resource management, time reporting, portfolio
                                             management, and other project management processes. The
The Volvo Group implemented Microsoft
                                             Volvo Group implemented Microsoft Project Server 2010 and
Project Server 2010 and customized it to     made customizations to adapt to various internal processes and
interact efficiently with other software
such as Microsoft Visual Studio Team
                                             software applications. The Group is using Project Server 2010 to
System 2008 Team Foundation Server.          improve capacity planning to build its long-term strengths.
                                             Because of the customizations and the rich but simple user
 Value-based capacity planning              interface of the Microsoft Project Web App technology, the
 Time savings
 Simple user interface
                                             Volvo Group has cut the time spent entering project data by 40
 Quicker routes to visibility and control   percent. It also has improved project visibility and control, and
 Clarified, transparent resource
                                             can now provide more transparent resource management.
Situation                                         The Volvo Group was interested in
The Volvo Group produces commercial               improving its resource management. “We
vehicles—such as Renault and Mack trucks          are always looking to better anticipate
and Volvo buses—and construction                  demand on our resources,” Stéphane Perrin
equipment. It also includes companies             says. “We seek to manage our capacity
responsible for marine and aeronautical           planning and our hiring of contractors in
technologies, logistics, and financial            the most efficient way.” The Group tries to
services. With headquarters in Göteborg,          keep its in-house staff always working at
Sweden, the Group has more than 90,000            full capacity. “We like to make sure that we
global employees, production facilities in        are using resources at their optimum
19 countries, and sales activities in 180         speed. Thus we try to keep everyone
countries. It had 2009 revenues of about          occupied, to never have excess capacity,”
SEK218 billion (U.S.$29 billion).                 says Stéphane Perrin. This philosophy
                                                  means that the Group frequently employs
Volvo IT, a global company that is part of        contractors to augment the in-house staff.
the Group, develops new technologies and          Thus, to most effectively manage those
business solutions for Volvo companies,           internal and external resources, the Volvo
and it works for external clients, including      Group is always seeking to improve its
Volvo Car Corporation (a separate entity          portfolio management and capacity
since its sale to Ford in 1999), ASSA ABLOY,      planning.
and the City of Stockholm. Given the
diversity of its internal and external clients,   Some internal software applications did not
Volvo IT provides solutions that manage           interact successfully with Project Server
many different types of projects. “These          2003 and Office Project Server 2007, which
activities include product development            sometimes resulted in employees having to
projects, manufacturing, maintenance              enter duplicate information. For example,
activities, training, IT projects, and an         some employees spent 25 minutes per
increasing number of activities that might        week entering project summary or time-
not formerly have been thought of as              reporting data into SAP enterprise resource
„projects,‟ but need to be managed that           planning software. Others had to enter
way,” says Stéphane Perrin, Director of           such data into Microsoft Visual Studio
Product Planning and Project Management           Team System 2008 Team Foundation
Solutions at Volvo IT.                            Server, which Volvo IT uses to implement
                                                  familiar methodologies for developing IT
The Volvo Group has sophisticated, well-          applications. “The developers who work
developed project management processes            with Visual Studio Team System 2008 Team
that provide control and visibility. To           Foundation Server tend to use it for day-to-
support those processes, Volvo IT was             day tasks, for which it is very precise,” says
using Microsoft Office Project Server 2003        Stéphane Perrin. “But we sometimes had
and Microsoft Office Project Server 2007.         difficulties mapping these details to the
Although the Volvo Group was generally            broader summary tasks defined by project
satisfied with the Microsoft software, Office     planners.”
Project Server 2007 did not have the
flexibility to adapt to the Group‟s time-         The Volvo Group also wanted to streamline
reporting processes. For that reason, only        some of its project management
about half of the Group‟s 2,200 users had         procedures. For example, managers
upgraded to Office Project Server 2007.           sometimes struggled to successfully
publish information in simple and clear         RAM. It plans to migrate all 2,200 of its
reports. Some employees had problems            users to the new software by the end of
with the speed of the Web client, Microsoft     calendar year 2010. All employees will
Office Project Web Access, because it           perform their work with the Web client,
depended on the ActiveX controls on their       Microsoft Project Web App. “Even the 500
client machines. Finally, the Volvo Group       who formerly used the full client, Microsoft
was always seeking to use employees‟ time       Office Project Professional 2007, will be
in meetings most effectively. “Too much         able to access everything they need in
time in meetings is spent with people           Project Server 2010 using Project Web
telling their manager what they have done,”     App,” says Stéphane Perrin. Because users
says Stéphane Perrin. “Sometimes that           can edit project data through Project Web
would take so much time that the meeting        App, the Volvo Group is significantly
would end without a decision being made.”       reducing the number of project managers
                                                who need Microsoft Project Professional
Thus, the Volvo Group wanted project            2010. And because Project Web App does
management software that could more             not depend on ActiveX controls, it
flexibly work with its time-reporting           responds more quickly to user commands.
processes and support efforts to improve
resource management, portfolio                  For the project managers who are
management, and employee effectiveness.         responsible for completing project plans,
                                                reporting is important. Those managers can
Solution                                        use the new Timeline view in Project
The Volvo Group participated in the             Professional 2010 to easily create a high-
Technology Adoption Program for                 level view of a project plan. They can drag
Microsoft Project 2010 so that it would be      tasks into the timeline and paste the
able to provide prerelease feedback on          timeline into presentations or e-mail
process flexibility. The Group was intrigued    messages.
by Microsoft Project Server 2010 because it
would offer better ways of planning             Project Server 2010 incorporates and
resource deployment, more features in its       improves the functions of Microsoft Office
Web client, and close interoperation with       Project Portfolio Server 2007. “We will use
Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.               Project Server 2010 to both manage
                                                ongoing projects and track new initiatives
In February 2010, the Volvo Group               or new ideas,” says Stéphane Perrin. “With
implemented a pilot project with 50 users.      everything in the same place, we will make
It worked with Teamsquare, a Microsoft          sure that we take all factors into account
Certified Partner based in Lyon, France, that   before making a decision.”
specializes in project management.
“Teamsquare worked with us from very            The Volvo Group has deployed Microsoft
early in the process, looking at                SharePoint Server 2010 to manage
requirements and design,” says Stéphane         workflows as well as documents and forms.
Perrin. “Teamsquare is a small company,         Because Project Server 2010 is built on
but with wide expertise.”                       SharePoint Server 2010, interoperation is
                                                seamless. For example, a SharePoint Server
Volvo IT runs Project Server 2010 on a          2010 workflow automatically routes reports
mixture of virtual servers and quad-core        to various managers who may need to view
physical servers featuring 4 gigabytes of       information or perform actions on it. The
“With the tools in Project               Volvo Group also uses SharePoint Server         Value-Based Capacity Planning
                                         2010 to assist in training. Users of Project    The Volvo Group uses the resource and
Server 2010, we can                      Web App can directly access a SharePoint        portfolio management functions of Project
                                         site containing slide shows, cheat sheets,      Server 2010 to better manage its capacity
manage our portfolio of                  and frequently asked questions about the        planning. “With the tools in Project Server
projects and our                         project management software.                    2010, we can manage our portfolio of
                                                                                         projects and our resources working on
resources working on                     Furthermore, Volvo IT has made several          those projects to maximize our capacity,”
                                         customizations to help Project Server 2010      Stéphane Perrin says.
those projects to                        interact with other software packages.
maximize our capacity.”                  “Some customizations are small, such as         Furthermore, the Group manages that
                                         macros in Microsoft Office Excel 2003           capacity to build the organization‟s long-
    Stéphane Perrin, Director, Product   spreadsheet software,” says Stéphane            term strengths. “We use Project Server
    Planning and Project Management      Perrin. “Others are more complex. But we        2010 to gain more control over which
                   Solutions, Volvo IT
                                         greatly appreciate the software‟s flexibility   projects we are starting and stopping, and
                                         and the ability it gives us to do these         when,” Stéphane Perrin says. “This means
                                         customizations.”                                we contract out fewer assignments based
                                                                                         on sudden demand fluctuations. Instead we
                                         For example, one customization provides         base contracting decisions on the value the
                                         Project Server 2010 scheduling and time-        activities add to the organization.” By
                                         reporting information to SAP. Another           contracting out fewer strategic activities,
                                         develops Project Server 2010 reports by         the Volvo Group can use less costly
                                         querying databases in Microsoft SQL Server      contractors. And by assigning more
                                         2008 R2 Enterprise data management              strategic activities to its own employees,
                                         software. A third improves the                  the Group builds internal strengths.
                                         sophistication of the dashboards that
                                         Project Server 2010 provides to executives.     Time Savings
                                         A fourth takes advantage of improved            By automating more of the collection and
                                         interoperation, which makes it easier to        dissemination of project management data,
                                         integrate information entered in Visual         Project Server 2010 is saving employees
                                         Studio Team System 2008 Team                    time. For example, because of the
                                         Foundation Server into Project Server 2010.     integration with Visual Studio Team System
                                         Overall, the customizations fully adapt         2008 Team Foundation Server, employees
                                         Project Server 2010 to the Group‟s time-        no longer have to enter information in
                                         reporting processes.                            multiple software applications. “The
                                                                                         flexibility of Project Server 2010 has led to a
                                                                                         great productivity enhancement for the
                                         Benefits                                        employees who use Visual Studio Team
                                         The Volvo Group uses Microsoft Project          System 2008 Team Foundation Server,”
                                         Server 2010 to make better capacity-            says Florent Gayet, Senior Consultant at
                                         planning decisions. It also saves time for      Teamsquare. Likewise, because of the
                                         employees through automated processes           integration between Project Server 2010
                                         and a simple user interface, gains more         and SAP, time entered by Volvo Group
                                         visibility into projects, and improves          personnel in Project Web App is
                                         resource management.                            automatically routed to the proper SAP
                                                                                         module. Such customized links have
                                                                                         reduced the time spent on these tasks from
“With Project Server                     an average of 25 minutes per employee per       The result of these improvements in
                                         week to 15 minutes (a savings of 40             information and communication is a better
2010, we are better able                 percent). At the same time, the reduced risk    understanding of projects, and thus more
                                         of mistakes has improved quality.               control over them. For example, Stéphane
to anticipate whether a                  Most important, Project Server 2010             Perrin says, “With Project Server 2010, we
project will be delayed.                 performs the data collection function that      are better able to anticipate whether a
                                         too often takes place in meetings. “Our         project will be delayed. This gives us the
This gives us the                        employees can use Project Server 2010 to        opportunity to shape future contracting
                                         assign resources and activities, estimate       and distribution strategies.”
opportunity to shape                     completion dates, and report on progress.
future contracting and                   This means that none of these activities        Clarified, Transparent Resource
                                         have to be done in meetings,” Stéphane          Management
distribution strategies.”                Perrin says. “The data already exists,          With Project Server 2010, the Volvo Group
                                         providing a base as the meeting starts. So      gains a better view of its resourcing needs.
    Stéphane Perrin, Director, Product
    Planning and Project Management      now people can spend their time in              “We can use Project Server 2010 to better
                   Solutions, Volvo IT   meetings analyzing data, rather than            anticipate whether we need more
                                         collecting it, and making good decisions        resources,” says Stéphane Perrin. With that
                                         based on that analysis.”                        anticipation, the Group can better manage
                                                                                         staff and contractors. “For example, if you
                                         Simple User Interface                           have to stop a project, Project Server 2010
                                         Volvo Group employees appreciate the            makes it much easier to reassign people,
                                         simple user interface of Project Server 2010.   because you know where they are and what
                                         The rich feature set in Project Web App         they‟re doing. With better visibility into our
                                         makes it easier for managers to perform         resource assignments, we are able to
                                         their work. “In Project Web App it‟s very       reassign our engineers and contractors in
                                         easy to find the action you want to             only a few weeks compared to a few
                                         perform,” says Gayet. “For example, the         months in the past.”
                                         Timeline view makes it easy to report
                                         project status information.” Also, Project      Furthermore, the Volvo Group can more
                                         Web App is more responsive and more             effectively communicate with members of
                                         stable than previous Web clients, because it    the team. “It‟s important that resources see
                                         does not depend on ActiveX controls.            how their activities relate to a project as a
                                                                                         whole,” says Stéphane Perrin. “Too often
                                         Quicker Routes to Visibility and Control        you are asked to do something, and you do
                                         The Volvo Group uses Project Server 2010        it, but you don‟t have the awareness of why
                                         to gain better visibility into projects. For    you are doing it or where it fits in the
                                         example, Gayet says, “With the Timeline         overall project. Now, with Project Server
                                         view in Project Server 2010, managers can       2010, our resources can see that
                                         easily display project status, even pasting     information for themselves.”
                                         the timeline into a spreadsheet or an e-mail
                                         message, which results in much better
                                         transfer of information.” And with
                                         SharePoint workflows, they can publish
                                         reports and link to data throughout the
For More Information                                  Microsoft Project Server 2010
For more information about Microsoft                  Microsoft Project Server 2010 brings
products and services, call the Microsoft             together the business collaboration
Sales Information Center at (800) 426-                platform services of Microsoft SharePoint
9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft                   Server 2010 with structured execution
Canada Information Centre at (877) 568-               capabilities to provide flexible work
2495. Customers in the United States and              management solutions. Project Server 2010
Canada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing                unifies project and portfolio management
can reach Microsoft text telephone                    to help organizations align resources and
(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234.                 investments with business priorities, gain
Outside the 50 United States and                      control across all types of work, and
Canada, please contact your local                     visualize performance through powerful
Microsoft subsidiary. To access                       dashboards.
information using the World Wide Web,
go to:                                                For more information about Microsoft                                     Project Server 2010, go to:
For more information about Teamsquare,
call (33) (0) 4 72 35 13 25 or visit the Web
site at:

For more information about the Volvo
Group, call (46) 31 322 38 79 or visit the
Web site at:

                                                       Software and Services                        Microsoft Visual Studio
                                                        Microsoft Server Product Portfolio          − Microsoft Visual Studio Team System
                                                         − Microsoft Project Server 2010               2008 Team Foundation Server
                                                         − Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010         Technologies
                                                         − Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2              − Microsoft Project Web App
                                                        Microsoft Office                          Partner
                                                         − Microsoft Office Excel 2003                Teamsquare
                                                        Microsoft Project Professional 2010

This case study is for informational purposes only.

Document published July 2010

Description: Resource Capacity Planning for Project Management document sample