A couple of years ago, WSP Denmark was making resource planning with spreadsheets and different Excel files in which the personnel updated their own working hours. What was important, but missing back then, was the overview information of people and project relationship. WSP Denmark found out that Silverbucket could help them fulfill that need.
Global civil engineering company WSP develops creative, comprehensive and sustainable engineering solutions. WSP Denmark works with all kinds of projects in their three business units. Lasse Wilms, Head of BIM and ICT from WSP Denmark narrates about WSP Denmark´s resource management with Silverbucket.
"The goal for implementing Silverbucket was simply to do better resource planning and raise the utilization rate", says Lasse.
Generally, the aim was to ease the weekly workload with spreadsheets and to get things into relation in the same database. "We also wanted to find a solution, that would not do too much", says Lasse and continues: "We didn´t need detailed level data and I´m really happy that Silverbucket has kept it this simple".
Lasse names that the best benefit of Silverbucket is the link between projects and people. It is really important to have that information visible for being able to do more precise resource planning and plan better for future, because that keeps the business moving, he says.
WSP Denmark first started using Silverbucket in one of the three business units; properties and buildings, as a stand-alone software just for resource planning but keeping in mind they would integrate it with Visma later on, tells Lasse Wilms. Roughly a year later, when the integration with ERP was up and running and everything was working for the first business unit, WSP Denmark started to use Silverbucket widely throughout the organization for resource management.
Lasse Wilms, who has been leading the Silverbucket implementation at WSP Denmark, tells that in the running, WSP has increased the scope of what they want to use Silverbucket for. In addition to resource planning of production projects, WSP Denmark now brings tendering projects into Silverbucket as well. Lasse explains that they take the data from Silverbucket to actually create a soft backlog data for the whole tendering. The latest decision was to add competencies into Silverbucket. According to Lasse, the plan is to be able to search and see if WSPs resources have certain competency.
WSP Denmark has created a process where, in general, project managers can add and edit the allocations for projects. Earlier, when using spreadsheets, everyone added their own allocations. Adapting a new way of working is obviously not always easy. From the project management perspective, Lasse thinks that is the right way to go, because project managers should have control of their projects and financial responsibility. "This puts a bit more pressure on the project managers and more responsibility to control their projects. The overview of the project also helps the project managers to see if the resource planning should be done better", phrases Lasse. Lasse emphasizes that Silverbucket was not implemented to replace communication. Instead, Silverbucket is a tool that helps people to communicate better when they want the same people in their projects. Possible challenges with resource management at WSP Denmark are tackled in the weekly resourcing meetings using Silverbucket solution as a help.
"We are using data from Silverbucket across everyone from top management all the way down", says Lasse Wilms.
It´s not only the project managers that are using Silverbucket at WSP Denmark. The top management benefits from Silverbucket as well. Especially when it comes to tendering projects, the idea is to have overview of the resourcing situation for the top managers in the main offices in Sweden and Canada. This resourcing information from Silverbucket is integrated into PowerBI and used for forecasting and reporting.
Lasse Wilms describes the Silverbucket tool very accessible. "As a standard, Silverbucket is intuitive and really easy to go to, and it takes only minutes to get people to start using it and understanding how it works", he conveys. Yet, of course the integration with ERP makes usage a bit more complicated at times. Most important thing in the implementation phase is to get everyone to use the solution. Lasse states that "if the data is not there, the system doesn´t really help." Lasse thinks there are small important tweaks for project managers to learn, like: "When you are looking at a project, you are looking at the project resource planning. And only by clicking the right button, you see person accumulated hours."
With Silverbucket, Lasse Wilms finds that WSP Denmark has reached the awareness that they were looking for on projects and visibility further in the future. They are now able to see roughly a month ahead if there are resource management issues coming on projects. That view was not available before. WSP Denmark´s utilization rate has indeed raised. But it´s off course very difficult to measure if it´s just Silverbucket that has raised the utilization rate. Probably it´s a combination of many things.
"When we start putting also all our tenders into Silverbucket, it gives our employees even better picture of the future, because they can see what´s in the pipeline also on tendering projects", Lasse explains and adds, that this view is a big advantage, giving feeling of safety. He goes on "often in the bigger organizations, people on the employee level don´t get involved in the tendering projects".
WSP Denmark´s properties and buildings business unit has been an encouraging example of Silverbucket resource management usage and usefulness internally. The other departments were looking at it and found it looks very good and now want to be part of that, tells Lasse Wilms.
WSP aspires to keep their people and keep the working environment good. Profitability is, obviously, crucial for any company. Lasse Wilms claims "it´s a central key thing to plan your resources properly to be able to run a healthy business and have a good working environment". WSP wants to make a change also worldwide on environmental stuff. "If you´re not able to run a healthy business and plan your things right, you won´t be able to do any big impact", closes Lasse.