»In Blue Ant we get the relevant project information at the push of a button.«
ANLEI-Service GmbH is a wholly owned subsidiary of Landeswohlfahrtsverband (LWV) Hessen and is responsible for marketing the data processing methods developed by LWV Hessen for inter-regional social security.
The LWV helps sick and disabled people in social and material need, in fully and partly inpatient facilities as well as in assisted living. Its other responsibilities include the integration of severely disabled people at work and the welfare of war victims. With more than 10,000 employees, the company is the largest hospital operator in Hesse.
We spoke with Rebekka Kothe, business administrator at ANLEI-Service GmbH, about the introduction of Blue Ant.
Ms Kothe, what is your position at ANLEI-Service GmbH?
I am a business administrator and deal with project management and controlling, with contracts and issues in the legal field and also with current IT trends. So, my remit is quite broad.
What does the project landscape at ANLEI-Service GmbH and LWV look like?
We almost exclusively run IT projects. Basically we plan according to the V-model. Similar to the waterfall model, it organizes the software development process in phases. This federal model was adapted for the LWV Hessen. In principle, we manage almost all measures as projects, even if not all phases of the V-Modell are always strictly processed. These are often development projects and projects for our customers.
In addition, we plan internal operating projects. We also record these and depict them in Blue Ant. This makes complete time recording clearer. Since we have both classic and operational projects in mind when allocating resources to projects, an overload of employees is avoided.
What was the project landscape like before Blue Ant?
We managed our projects using several data processing methods. We used an application developed by LWV for time recording, MS Project, MS Excel and our internal drive structure, in which all documents were stored. All this is now being transferred to Blue Ant and centralized. This also applies to time recording and project planning, which makes it much easier for our project managers to record and plan.
How did the introduction of the software go?
In 2016 we gained an overview of the current providers of multi-project management software. In 2017, a public tender for the LWV followed, as Blue Ant will also be used there after completion of the test phase at ANLEI-Service GmbH. proventis GmbH was awarded the contract.
After that, three very constructive one-day workshops were held, in which we planned with proventis, how Blue Ant was to be adapted to the needs of ANLEI-Service GmbH and LWV. Then the test phase within ANLEI-Service GmbH began with an example project. The employees involved in the project shared their experience and any problems they encountered with Blue Ant.
Finally, Blue Ant was adapted to our company and a template for mapping the V-model was created. We are currently in the phase in which we would like to introduce Blue Ant into LWV as well as ANLEI-Service GmbH. Initially, Blue Ant will only be used in the data processing department there. Due to the longer test phase and the necessity of further adjustments to Blue Ant, the previous process took about a year and a half. As soon as the official participation procedure has been concluded with the General Staff Council of the LWV, training courses for all users of the LWV and ANLEI-Service GmbH can be carried out.
How is Blue Ant used by ANLEI-Service GmbH and LWV?
Blue Ant is used to record all project details and work done by employees within the scope of projects. Parallel to project management, project controlling is also an important part of the Blue Ant’s deployment. In order to support realistic time planning, absences are also recorded. We commissioned proventis to prepare three BIRT reports, which can be used to document billing to LWV customers. The basic cost and holiday planning is not done in Blue Ant, however, but continues to be done using our standard procedures.
In Blue Ant we get relevant project information at the push of a button. This is a huge advantage for us. Blue Ant also helps to speed up procedures for all parties involved. We hope that the work effort will be significantly reduced.
Which systems run in the background at ANLEI-Service GmbH or LWV and which interfaces were required?
We are currently considering how to link Blue Ant with JIRA and Confluence. One possibility would be, for example, to continue recording tickets in JIRA and then transfer them to Blue Ant. We are also currently investigating how project-related documents can be created in Confluence and assigned to the respective phases in a Blue Ant project.
How did the cooperation with proventis go?
Especially at the beginning, and in the context of the adaptation of Blue Ant, there was a lively discussion. This has worked very well from the start! We conducted joint workshops and proventis adapted the rights settings for us and created a template for the V-model.
If test users had questions or problems, they were forwarded directly to proventis. The quick response is also worth mentioning here. Further workshops are planned as soon as the participation process is completed.
How do you rate the administrative effort after the introduction of Blue Ant?
Of course, I'm hoping for the minimum possible effort. I'm not so sure about the technical support effort right now. Some questions have already been asked by users, some of which I could answer myself, some of which I had to forward to proventis. I believe that when the users get used to Blue Ant, and have become more confident with it, the effort for proventis in the ongoing operation will be small.
On the positive side, the training and adaptation effort is expected to be a one-off, since the created template will not change all the time. I think a few weeks of work still have to be planned, but I am sure that this will be reduced in the future.
Thank you very much for talking to us, Ms. Kothe!