CHALLENGE: Establish quality reporting within a new business mode

The IIEP faced a challenge as the scope of their work expanded beyond traditional education programs and more deeply into research, as well as providing support to local projects within different UNESCO member states. This new work was becoming complex and difficult to manage, and existing SQL databases and Excel sheets were quickly reaching their limits. The Institute’s new business model also changed how funding was applied for, requiring a greater level of team organization and more efficient financial reporting.

SOLUTION: Bring the intelligence required for strategic planning

After an invitation to tender in 2017, the IIEP chose Planview’s solution, as it offered governance under a PMO that could connect allocated budgets, project funding and resource capacity, while greatly improving timesheet management that would help IIEP optimize agility for prioritizing work.

”I takt med att våra behov har ökat har lösningen gjort det möjligt för oss att sluta göra allt manuellt och implementera strategisk projektprioritering.”

– Paul Coustère, Deputy Director, IIEP


At the end of the Second World War, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London from November 1-16, 1945, bringing together 44 nations to create an organization dedicated to promoting peace. The new organization needed to establish “intellectual and moral solidarity between all humankind,” with the aim of preventing another world war.

UNESCO is a UN organization which seeks to establish peace through international cooperation in education, science and culture. UNESCO programs are working to achieve the sustainable development goals agreed in Agenda 2030, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015.

Results: Exceptionally high-quality data and more representative KPIs

Planview’s solution closed the gap between employees at the Institute and provided the insight needed to implement dashboards, which show near real-time analysis between financial reports and program reports. It showed a complete data cube, including mapping that can be themed and organized by activity type, with space for detailed information. Dashboards can also be organized based on HR requirements or financial and budget data, offering a consolidated view of all facets of a project and supports management with strategic planning.

“The nature of our work changed, and we needed a more modern and agile management system to support strategic planning,” added Coustère.

The Institute is now able to collect high-quality, high-definition data that can generate a variety of consolidations. With project cycle and strategic portfolio management, the PMO gets all the breadth and depth of information it needs to perform.

The Institute was able to implement an organized list of KPIs, with volumetric mapping organized thematically, geographically, and by type of activity, showing the price in dollars per project. Teams can clearly understand investments in terms of human resources and budget per activity.

“The board confirmed that the annual report is more readable, and that our financial model benefits from the format and quality of the reporting on the collection and use of funds,” confirms Coustère.

Even in a very “old school” institution where people value their autonomy and can be suspicious of metrics, user adoption was so smooth that the implementation of the solution is now used as a reference throughout UNESCO.

Future: Improve analysis capability and reactivity

The way that governments fund international cooperation has changed, and the Institute needs to adapt to the UN’s new system of sharing budgets. This means IIEP needs to be more specific about the value they add, the way they present their projects and timelines, and the way they report.

Given these circumstances, the Institute is considering capacity planning and strategy modules to provide real-time forecasts on their ability to execute high-quality programs that will be prioritized by international organizations.

Additionally, the Institute wants to implement Projectplace to improve the quality and sharing of information internally. This is essential for managing growth and risks to their projects, as they now need to plan with what-if scenarios over a four-year period.

“All levels of management are asking for capacity planning, as we have resources with extremely rare skills, so we need to know how much time is spent on each activity. We can also anticipate recruitment needs and give an exact cost and price for services we offer. Even though we’re a non-profit, we have to stay relevant in a competitive market”, Coustère concluded.

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