H-Hotels AG Improves Project Work with Planview ProjectPlace

About H-Hotels

H-Hotels AG is among the top 10 largest German hotel companies and is one of the last privately run hotel companies in Germany. The family-run corporation, now in its second generation, has over 3,000 employees and offers more than 9,600 rooms through its own brands, H4 Hotels, H2 Hotels and H+ Hotels, and as a sales partner of the Wyndham Hotel Group for the RAMADA brand. The hotels of H-Hotels AG are located in attractive metropolitan regions and scenic holiday destinations, provide a diverse and varied offering and guarantee their guests high-quality standards.

Challenge: 24/7 Multi-Project Management

Operating a hotel chain like this is a complex task in many respects – not least because of the fact that the guests expect perfect service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because the room rates and package offers are also subject to seasonal fluctuations while at the same time needing to maintain their ground in the aggressively priced online marketplace, a lot of demands are placed on the hotel managers in charge.

They must ensure that all processes, structures and projects required for the operation are running intelligently in the background so that the guests have everything they need. As a result, this in turn means that countless projects need to be simultaneously controlled and implemented at the management level, for example, when it comes to carrying out modernisation work while hotel operations are ongoing.

H-Hotels AG wanted to optimize the company structures sustainably in order to be able to react to market changes even faster. Thus, the position of Head of Project Coordination was created last year. The task of the Head of Project Coordination is to oversee key projects and inform the board about them so that necessary decisions and investments can be made in a timely manner. “In the past, it was customary for various departments to implement their projects using different software support. There was a lot of experimentation. However, this was not a long-term solution and it was clear to the management that a cross-departmental platform had to be created”, said Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG.

The Solution: Pragmatic Project Management with Clear Analysis Functions

Initially, a catalogue of requirements was drafted and research into common project management tools was begun. It soon became clear that a cloud-based project and collaboration solution was required that not only ensured transparency and improved processes, but above all, was also easy to introduce without requiring major training expenditures. “Our philosophy is that we keep the expertise in-house in all areas”, says Alexander Fitz. “That is why it was important for us to introduce a solution that could be used by all the different departments and that could enable the implementation of virtually every project of a hotel operation.”

Planview ProjectPlace delivers through its holistic synergy of planning, implementation and analysis features, as well as the fact that the platform can be custom-tailored to its users. Whether kanban boards, Gantt charts, document management, resource planning, online meetings or communications centres, every user can select their focuses themselves and design the project work however it suits them best. This was demonstrated in the pilot phase, where different marketing projects from the company’s own advertising agency, Längengrad 9, were planned, implemented and subsequently evaluated with ProjectPlace. Here, it proved to be helpful that even external contractors could be integrated easily and without additional costs and that the frequently large quantities of printed data could be stored centrally.

After a successful conclusion of the pilot phase, the software was also rolled out in other areas and is currently being used intensively by just under 60 employees in the administration. For example, it is being used for the implementation of a large modernisation project with several buildings and various crews that H-Hotels AG is currently carrying out.

Hagen Schaller, Head of Project Coordination at H-Hotels AG: “With ProjectPlace, we can see the responsibilities wonderfully, follow the progress of the construction and determine where challenges are becoming apparent. Since we are a growing company and will be integrating additional buildings and departments in our group and in the program, we will certainly continue to use ProjectPlace in this form often.”

“ProjectPlace delivers a great framework for the project work. The kanban boards ensure transparency and clarity – at the employee and project manager level.”

– Alexander Fitz, CEO of H-Hotels AG

The Benefits: More Synergy Effects and Transparency

Above all, H-Hotels AG appreciates the transparency, the intuitive operation as well as the kanban boards. In addition, users benefit from the fact that Planview ProjectPlace suggests a structure to them, enabling projects to be launched and implemented easily. Templates and other sample forms provide guidance and working with kanban boards ensures more flexibility in implementation.

Through these different aspects, the communication becomes more target-oriented and the project work becomes more efficient. At the same time, the team members are more motivated and the collaboration is strengthened. “The software has met our expectations completely and we continue to discover new possibilities for how and where else we can use ProjectPlace. The subjective impression is positive. The long-term experience is lacking, however, we are already beginning to see countless synergy effects that we didn’t have in this form before”, says Schaller.