Implementing an international ERP project with Projectplace
About Deutsche Leasing
In the financial services industry, unique specifications and security provisions are required for IT applications. Consequently, the IT departments of companies such as Deutsche Leasing AG are faced with a multitude of basic conditions they must meet. If you then add in the international component, you soon find yourself involved in highly complex situations and projects, all of which need to be managed.
Leander van Delden is OrgIT International Solution Manager at Deutsche Leasing AG and, as such, is responsible for ensuring that the IT landscape of the foreign branches and representative offices operates at an optimum level. Together with 12 other colleagues, he oversees audits, the global introduction of an ERP system, server installations and much more. In this context, it is certainly a challenge that van Delden and his colleagues are based in Germany while constantly needing to coordinate with other managers in various different countries. Many things have become easier for them since early 2014, when Deutsche Leasing AG began using a project management platform that offers many functions to ensure that their numerous tasks are simplified, with a more reliable and faster implementation process: Projectplace.
Deutsche Leasing AG’s entire IT infrastructure for its foreign branches is centrally controlled. As such, collaboration and coordination among IT managers, even across borders, is a high priority and entails enormous data security requirements.
It simply works!
The introduction of this Web based collaboration and project management solution was not all that simple initially. Many specifics of the finance industry in respect to data security, access options, password protection, etc. had to be clarified before signing the contract.
Van Delden has now been working Projectplace for more than six months and has already implemented multiple smaller projects. As he is responsible for the IT organization outside of Germany, he primarily uses the option to share documents and information through Projectplace and to conduct online meetings with his colleagues. “In our projects, we communicate in English, but within the individual countries staff usually exchange ideas in that country’s language,” says van Delden. Altogether some 70 registered foreign colleagues collaborate on projects with 45 colleagues in German specialist departments, such as the Risk Department.
International ERP Project
A highly complex project is now at the starting blocks: a new ERP system is to be introduced in the branches outside of Germany.”This project has been planned to span over four years – it comprises a total of 22 countries and approximately 500 staff will be affected by the introduction of this new software,” says van Delden. The basic structure of this complex IT project, with its numerous team members, different read and write authorizations and responsibilities and the overall schedule are already fixed. This project as a whole encompasses 22 smaller country-specific projects in which the introduction of the ERP software is represented in a detailed manner that has been slightly modified for each country.
In this far-reaching task assignment project, Van Delden is also basing his decisions on the Gantt chart options, as well as on setting milestones and the agile completion of individual tasks in accordance with the kanban method. “In our ERP project, external consultants will also have access to Projectplace,” explains the expert. “After all, we are dealing with more than just defining a set of specifications, implementing the ERP system and training the employees.”What is particularly important is that the interconnectedness of the individual steps be traceable, that individual requirements can be taken into account, that all those affected are optimally informed from the very beginning, and that, afterwards, extensive project documentation is generated.”
Project management and more
With Projectplace, Deutsche Leasing AG is basing its planning not only on an innovative project management tool, but has also chosen an easy-to-use collaboration platform. Projectplace is where important documents and information are centrally stored and shared with colleagues. In addition, Deutsche Leasing AG staff use the kanban boards, as well as the pragmatic project management approach to personally organize their own work. According to Van Delden, “What is so great about Projectplace is that the solution is both intuitive and powerful at the same time, i.e. that, aside from a user manual and a short introduction, nothing more is required to use it, but the option of using it to implement highly complex tasks and projects is still available.”
“Projectplace not only looks better than other comparable solutions, but it is also more intuitive and easier to handle.”
– Leander van Delden, Solution Manager Org IT International Deutsche Leasing AG
A central platform is required to facilitate international collaboration, simplify project management tasks and enable online meetings and effective document management.
Both small and medium-sized projects have successfully been implemented using Projectplace, so much so that the implementation of the international rollout of an ERP software system is now being planned in 22 countries using this approach.
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