Focus on change processes...
...a platform that shows flexibility in global transformation projects
What has proven excellent in M&A projects for years now shows its strengths in other corporate change processes: smartmerger.com is successfully used in a multi-year transformation process and provides clarity, clear responsibilities and a structured approach as well as effortless real-time reporting.
A consulting firm that supports companies in the implementation of digitalization projects, among other things, was commissioned to support a group company in its repositioning as a digital champion. The aim of the project is the comprehensive transformation of a part of the company into a structure comparable to a modern US tech or software company.
A suitable online project management and collaboration tool was sought for the project, with which the individual workstreams, responsibilities and dependencies could be clearly structured and displayed, and the progress achieved could be transparently tracked. The tool had to minimize manual work, create transparency, integrate all stakeholders, and offer the flexibility to adjust project management as the project progressed.
"As a tool for such projects, larger programs traditionally use PowerPoint with the classic PMO control slides," explains the consulting firm's senior consultant, who, together with his team, was tasked with initiating the project, familiarizing those involved and creating optimal conditions for success. "However, we were dissatisfied with this solution. The frequent exchange of PowerPoint files often brought version conflicts, inconsistencies, lack of flexibility and general dissatisfaction."
After reviewing numerous other standard tools, the customer-side transformation team had initially settled on Jira. However, the consulting firm recommended the smartmerger.com M&A platform, which had already proven itself in carve-out and integration projects for the end customer. As the turn of the year was approaching, the customer wanted to decide quickly and requested a demonstration of the software at short notice as a basis for decision-making.
Demonstration at record speed, cooperation at eye level
The senior consultant turned to smartmerger.com. "Extremely quickly, smartmerger.com created a very credible live demonstration for us, which was available just two days after the Christmas break," he reports. "That was a huge relief for us." The smartmerger.com app also won over the customer team.
In the cooperation with smartmerger.com, the personal level also plays a major role for the consulting team, says the senior consultant. "The willingness to jointly develop a solution for new requirements - at eye level with the business, - has inspired a lot of trust compared to classic IT providers."
The smartmerger.com tool was a precision landing for the ongoing digitization project, confirms the senior consultant. "The customer is extremely happy. There is 90-95% positive feedback. The tool is clear, cleanly structured and performant. The few outstanding requests only concern detailed aspects that don't have a significant impact."
Flexibility and fast implementation
Given the advanced time, the smartmerger.com app now had to be adapted in detail to the project requirements. In addition, the project data had to be migrated to the new software. "The customization and migration from the live demo to the production environment took no more than four weeks," reports the senior consultant. "Within this period, quite a few customizing requests were implemented, and the first pilot users were able to test the system. As a result, we were already able to go live with all 150 users!"
His colleague from the consulting team adds: "For me, the flexibility of smartmerger.com was impressive. Based on our list of requirements, we worked out proposals together on how to implement our wishes. smartmerger.com was always very cooperative."
The visualization of the reporting templates, which the consulting firm wanted to be implemented in PowerBi in order to offer users as familiar a working environment as possible, was also very successful, mentions the senior consultant: "In Jira, it was not possible to integrate Power BI reports. In the smartmerger solution, on the other hand, it's very easy, and that's a huge advantage."
The smartmerger.com tool makes transformation transparent across a larger user community. "We can use the tool to give access to all stakeholders, regardless of which BU they belong to. That has been extremely helpful to us. For the 150 users, access is very easy; they only need a single company log-in. Access rights can be assigned individually," says the senior consultant. New users can be assigned tasks immediately, even before they log in for the first time, he adds. "That wouldn't have been possible with Jira either; it makes onboarding much easier. And unlike other tools, we don't pay a separate license fee for each user. Individual employees can therefore be integrated at short notice as needed at no additional cost."
Variety of methods
Right at the beginning of the project, the consulting firm had expressed the desire for a hybrid model that supports both agile and traditional work and offers the possibility of freely defining mutual dependency relationships from within the project and mapping them in the Gantt chart.
The consultant confirms that the smartmerger.com M&A platform can also easily meet this requirement: "The many workstreams in our program are structured differently, and the fact that all participants can still work with the smartmerger.com M&A platform once again demonstrates the flexibility of smartmerger.com."
"From classic waterfall structures to agile project management and the PowerBi reports with well- defined timelines and traffic light circuits, to input fields, aggregation, notes, all of that is possible," the senior consultant specifies. "For agile working, you can pull in unlimited levels of hierarchy, so a program can have any number of sub-structures down to the workstream and sub-workstream level. You have the ability to use Microsoft Planner-style task overviews, i.e. a Kanban board with task backlog, progress and done. We haven't missed anything yet."
Especially with agile ways of working, users also benefit from features such as real-time reporting, the consultant adds. "No matter how sprint cycles are organized, stakeholders can update and provide updates in program management at any time. All of this makes the smart M&A app suite very valuable for such a large program."
Customer support on demand
Flexibility, not only in terms of the choice of method, but also in the realization of any special requests, is one of the particular strengths of the smartmerger.com M&A platform, confirms the senior consultant: "Customized solutions are possible at short notice, very flexibly and at a moderate price. In this project - as in the past - smartmerger.com showed an unconditional willingness to respond to our wishes. I found that outstanding."
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