Optimising and improving the performance of a project management organisation

The design and development of a tool which accomodates and facilitates the projects- and process management of Ericis b.v

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Ericis b.v is a dynamic real estate organisation which provides numerous services in real estate. This project concerns project management department. The operational team of this department is relatively small and exists out of six people. Although this department is quite small, their demand on the real-estate market is not. The consistent successes of their projects, which are created through their high level of execution and premium services and products, cause an increase of demands and projects.
A consequence of this success is that an imbalance is created between the amount of work and the available employees. As the pressure and workload increases the team starts to experience numerous difficulties which refrain them from seamless project management processes. Once a lot of projects start to run simultaneously, certain existing problems in the organisation, of which the team might have been unaware, become very prominent and can’t be ignored anymore. One of the most prominent difficulties the team encounters is the lack of an overview regarding the project processes. The organisation indicates that next to the large number of projects and small number of employees, this problem is foremost caused by the lack of a standardized project process. The team does not have a clear documented process which they can hold onto when for example the projects increase and the overview blurs.
In order to solve the difficulties they cope with, one of the steps is the implementation of a tool which supports and accommodates the organisation with the difficulties they face. The following design challenge is created: ‘Design and develop a tool which facilitates the management of the project process as well as the management of all running projects.‘ This tool will both support the team dealing with the difficulties and solve the existing situation.
In order to solve this design challenge a design process is conducted. This design process exists out of a research & analysis phase, a ideation phase, a conceptualisation phase and finally an embodiment phase. Within this process elements are discovered, defined, developed and designed. From discovering the underlying core problems, to developing ideas based on the defined design requirements and finally developing a concept which is also user tested.

Eri-tool is an interactive smart app which provides management support regarding the phasing, hierarchical lines and decision documentation of each project. This application requires specific project input which is to be defined in the project plan- and decision documentation templates. From this input, numerous fundamental elements are generated such as the long- and short term overviews (plannings) of the project process. The user can zoom in and out on the project-phasing overview, as much as preferred or required. The application also contains personal pages, project pages and an archive which offers the users a continuous learning process.

The Eri-tool is an application which guides, supports, enhances and optimises the process and projects management by not only facilitating the management process however also by accommodating the required fundamental elements to perform to full potential.