Mehrwert is an agency working primarily in the fields of Design (brand design, editorial design, corporate publishing, user interface design) and Technology (Intranet, webtechnologies, CMS with TYPO3, technical consultancy).
Initially founded by 4 friends having studied Design in Cologne, Germany in 1998, Mehrwert grew on a slow but permanent basis to the size it has today. To date, their team consists of designers, UX conceptioner, certified TYPO3developers/integrators, webworkers, serverspecialists, project managers, certified ScrumMasters, copywriters, technical editors, and a range of experts working as freelancers with expertise in the fields they don't cover with their team.
We were happy to have a chat with with Reiner Sunkel, a Business Unit Manager at Mehrwert. Reiner is responsible for all operations within his unit, those responsibilities include capacity planning and project management. He is also a member of the management board and makes strategic decisions concerning his unit and the whole organization.
The Mehrwert team works in both agile and traditional project management and they discovered Tempo Planner initially on our Tempo blog when they started using it in early 2014.
When we asked Reiner about what challenges his organization was facing before turning to Tempo Planner, he said that they had:
- Non-transparent planning activities within separate teams leading to multiple problems. Project managers had different statuses on project plans on different computers by not having realtime information available for all team members.
- Difficulties calculating availability for team members and making sure they weren’t overloaded. They experienced painful trials trying to change.
Before implementing Tempo Planner within their organization, Mehrwert tried multiple different tools and combinations before eventually deciding to go for Tempo Planner.
Having used Tempo Planner since it’s initial launch in early 2014, Reiner had this to say about the product:
“Tempo Planner has given our team members the ability to plan different projects with different teams consisting of different people with a different amount of available time and make all of this transparent. Gaining viable information early and increasing the chance to adapt to changes early.”
Today Mehrwert uses Tempo Planner as follows, they organize employees into the following teams:
- Project manager
Almost everybody is a 100% member of one team or a 50% team member if they have different roles within the organization. They also have people in different teams for a certain phase or time period depending on their role within the company.
Most of the planning done at Mehrwert is done on the Team Members Timeline, they reserve time for certain projects by planning on the timeline. Whether it’s a new project, maintaining an ongoing project or anything else.
Team Members Timeline in Tempo Planner
Once they’ve made their plans on the Team Members Timeline they navigate over to the Team Capacity Report to make sure that team members are not under/overloaded.
This gives the teams transparency, flexibility, and allows them to have a secure look into future workload for different teams and the whole organization. These features allow them to do team planning, resource planning, and capacity planning.
In the future Reiner mentioned that they also plan on working more with the open API’s in Tempo Planner and the program features.
When asked what the biggest change within the organization has been since they started using Tempo Planner, Reiner said:
“Everybody is able to say for certain what he's supposed to work on. Even if all project managers are unavailable, the teams would be able to exactly say what they were supposed to do. At least for the near future. Also everyone knows what the other team members are working on. Even if they are in a different team and/or if they different working days. Plus all members of the board are able to see the workload in a certain time in the future without requesting a report.”
But what about the employees?
When we asked Reinier how his team members have taken to the implementation of Tempo Planner, he said:
“Without a survey to back up my words I'd say our team members like Tempo Planner a lot. I know for certain that this is the opinion of everyone involved in project planning at mehrwert and every new employee seemed to be impressed when it's presented on his/her first day at Mehrwert when the tools we use are introduced.“
When Reiner was asked for any last words regarding Tempo Planner he simply said: “Tempo Planner is a great tool.”