MVRO is a project agency for retail construction management at home and abroad. They help large chains in food and non-food from A to Z with the professional renovation of their shopping environment. There is a good example of project management involved and they do not turn their hand at MVRO. When a large number of branches had to be renovated at a large client, their service went further than usual. Not only did they supervise the renovations, but they also helped the retailer to set up a greatly improved project management system. Dirk-Jan Bark, a responsible project leader at MVRO, shares his experience. 

Managing projects 

Just over a year ago, we at MVRO made the switch to Herke ICT Group and we are very satisfied with that. Among other things, they have set up and rolled out a SharePoint environment for us, in which we can manage our projects easily and clearly. When I demonstrated how we work with this new client, they were so enthusiastic about it that they asked us to create such an environment for them as well.

Many external project leaders 

This chain works with many external project leaders. This was, therefore, the biggest challenge. Not only did we supply several project leaders to supervise the renovations, but they also hired several project leaders. These are external people who are logically not allowed on the client’s network. This created a situation where each project leader created their own Dropbox environment to which they invited each other. Inside this app, they shared drawings and documents. This caused some problems. For example, version management was not possible. It was also difficult to clarify, for example, project planning or the number of project leaders. And if a project leader left and closed his Dropbox environment, all documentation would be gone. That had to be done differently. I explained the situation to Toine Lambalk (SharePoint consultant at Herke ICT Group), and together we took up the challenge.

At the touch of a button in SharePoint

I have little knowledge of ICT, but Toine always knows how to explain things in yip and jane language. With my knowledge of project management and his knowledge of ICT, we visited the client together for consultation. It was then decided to build a new external environment in SharePoint Online, based on our own system. External project leaders and subcontractors, as well as people from the organization themselves, had to be able to obtain the desired information with the famous “push of a button”; not only documents and drawings but also, for example, the status of each current project. We have set up the system in such a way that no hard disks are needed anymore; everything is in SharePoint Online. One of the advantages of this is that you use a smart legal system. Everyone logs into the MVRO SharePoint environment and is then further directed to the client’s environment. The project leader then sees everything, just like the management. Subcontractors and franchisees, on the other hand, see only certain parts. When a project is completed, we make a hard copy of that part of the environment, including a digital copy, and deliver it to the client. Then we remove it from our environment.

A logical structure

The place where everyone enters is the main site. There everyone can find general information, such as requirements, specifications, rules, general matters, overall planning and news. But also, for example, standard documents that every project leader must use. If someone changes certain documents or information, this is also visible. A subsite has been created under the main site for each current project. It contains information specific to that project; the latest documents, drawings, plans. Another part is a shared agenda, in which everyone can register for a specific timeslot on a certain day so that you do not get overlapping appointments. Everyone sees on which day there is a meeting for which location and who is present.

Project monitoring

The last and perhaps most interesting element is the project planning. Each project has several steps that you go through: you will be given the assignment to do a project, you will receive an explanation, drawings must be made, requests must be made and made, etc. These are a total of 50 steps; the system guides the project leader through these steps, as it were, using an automatic task list with proposed deadlines. In this way, not only the project manager but also management can see whether work is being carried out according to the plan and whether all steps have been taken. Project management wanted management to have it and it is nice that we were able to comply with this.

SharePoint management in your own hands

The client is in charge of the management: they can add external users, fill the environment, etc. Only when a project closes, we have to remove it from the SharePoint environment. I try to solve issues myself first. If I can’t do that, then I turn to Toine’s help. Even if there are additional wishes with the client, we will call in Herke ICT Group to implement this. Management is set up in such a way that we can do everything ourselves at MVRO, even if Toine leaves Herke ICT Group, for example. That in itself is a comforting thought.

More insight into current projects 

SharePoint Online offers many advantages for the client. There is now more insight into current projects; what is the state of affairs, what steps have been taken, what still needs to be done. And the right people see the right information. The project has also been very valuable to us; there is a lot of interest from my colleagues and we are investigating the possibilities of using SharePoint Online with other potential and existing customers. Also as a social intranet In addition to more insight into projects, SharePoint offers even more possibilities. SharePoint can also be used as an intranet, for example.

Curious what working with SharePoint will bring to your organization or do you want more information? Then do not hesitate to contact us.