Managing finances in a rapidly growing company is not a piece of cake, but it gets even more complicated when combined with planning and project scheduling. All of the above challenges were becoming more and more pressing in Speednet - and that’s when Primetric entered the scene.
Head of Project Management Office
Speednet defines itself as a software development company. During the last years, it grew from 60 employees to over 250 by delivering IT projects for fintech, banking, edtech and insurance industries, including such clients as POP Pankki, Fico, BPH, Eduhouse, DPD and many more. Such (exponential) growth and project complexity require top-notch operational and management processes - and Speednet was finding it hard to create them without comprehensive tools.
In this case study, you will understand how Speednet:
Speednet delivers apps, advanced BI, and backend systems for customers from different industries. The company specializes in Fintech and banking tools, as well as insurance. However, the company is also happy to accept other advanced projects, including programs for a shipyard, heavy industry, and logistics.
For example, after their redesign of POP Pankki, the application’s ratings went through the roof and achieved a stunning score of 4.9/5. In their other project for BPH, the Speednet team was responsible for dividing a complex system while keeping it operational - and they were successful in that, too.
However, the broad scope of operations, while undoubtedly beneficial from a profitability point of view, proved to be challenging for managers taking care of specialists, projects, and accounting. As the company scaled, the problems became more and more pressing, motivating Speednet’s managers to take action.
"Up until today, we are the only company responsible for maintaining BPH’s digital banking."
As a software development company, Speednet focuses on delivering the newest technologies that can transform clients' businesses, and it's the core of all its operations.
However, to ensure the quality of products and services, as well as transparency, the company is divided into three separate departments.
The Software Development Department is responsible for the delivery of the products. It mainly consists of programmers, testers, admins, and other technical specialists working directly on new projects. They work full-time or part-time on various projects, most of which are based on Agile/Waterfall methodologies.
However, its cross-platform characteristics set the Software Development Department apart from similar teams. The department comprises experts specializing in numerous fields, from UX specialists to programmers, analysts, admins, and architects.
That’s because the team often works on complex projects that require a combination of different skills.
Last but not least, these two departments are managed by a team of PMs, managers, and executives that oversee all of the company's operations.
"I make sure that projects are managed successfully and effectively in terms of the well-being of all parties involved - clients, board, employees."
Jacob is Head of the Project Management Office at Speednet. The list of his duties is long; however, his primary responsibility is to ensure the company’s well-being in teams, projects, and customer service. In general, he focuses on:
To ensure the highest standards of these three elements, Jacob mainly focuses on resource and project portfolio management.
"What do we do to achieve that? If we were a factory, I would say that I need to ensure that the machine park is top-notch. In the case of an IT company, our machine park consists of people, and the people sometimes need some adjustments to do their work right. That is what Primetric helps us achieve."
He must be aware of all the overbookings, full-time and part-time allocations, and possible multitasking on the basic level of his job.
However, from a more general perspective, he also needs to focus on improving projects’ finances, managing the settlements, and organizing the work in his teams. However, he needs more than just a pen and paper to do so.
Jacob was also one of the people behind using Primetric to its fullest extent. From his experience, he knew exactly why precise forecasting and monitoring of the profitability of both the projects and the company perspectives was important. In his years spent in other companies, he greatly benefited from such an approach and was eager to introduce it to Speednet. However, he was about to face a few challenges caused by the current state of processes in the company.
Planning processes in Speednet changed as the company grew. However, there was a point in its existence where the managers started to need much more than just spreadsheets - and their needs were much more urgent.
When Jacob joined Speednet, it was a relatively small company with just 60 people on board. The company managed its specialists during general meetings with all the PMs and executives involved.
During these meetings, the managers stated their needs for a subsequent planning period.
Then, they exchanged information on the availability of specialists in questions, trying to put together a plan that could use the time of their employees to the maximum. At the same time, they also aimed to reduce the time their employees spent being idle to a minimum.
"Back then, with a few people, projects, and customers on board, managing was focused on a very general, aggregated level of information. For example, it was assumed that when a company was profitable, its projects were profitable, too - and that was true to some extent. Still, it was not accurate enough. [...] However, when Primetric was introduced, it was such a significant positive change that I literally fell off my chair when I first saw it."
Initially, this simple process was perfect for Jacob and other Speednet managers. However, their collective effort resulted in the rapid growth of the business. As desirable as it might have been, this expansion caused Speednet to face an unforeseen problem: resource management was no longer that simple.
If you have a sales motion and know how to find the perfect balance between market demand, profitability, and market for staff - you’re the winner, and Speednet knows that. That’s why they identified the following challenges.
With so many people and projects on board, it comes as no surprise that plans and processes began to complicate. The number of operations grew, making it difficult for the managers to monitor them properly.
It has also become a problem for employees. They were not provided with a long-term plan for their work and couldn’t optimize it based on the information. They also couldn’t verify whether their allocations were correct. The implementation of a new tool was to change that.
It caused misinterpretations, unnecessary meetings to keep everyone in the loop, and a high probability of mistakes.
If managing a professional service company would be a chess game - we would say that the revenue is king, but profitability is the queen. The more detailed you forecast and track it, the better.
Just like any other software development company, Speednet was working on numerous projects at the same time. Naturally, each of them generated its own set of financial data, including profitability. All these projects combined created a profitable company, but it was hard to establish whether there were some black sheeps among these operations. Jacob’s new tool was to aim to check that.
"When I first came to the company, I asked everyone, “How profitable is that project?”, but no one could answer that question. That was the case because only the company’s statistics were considered."
As the company grew, the people allocation was becoming more and more challenging to complete.
"When we had about 60 people on board, it was simple to manage the work of our specialists and relations with customers. However, the level of complexity is growing exponentially with the company. As we reached over 100 people, the time of allocations was a dark time full of chaos and storm."
The regular meetings between all the managers were simply insufficient to sustain many employees and projects. In fact, creating allocations during lengthy conversations was the main reason for mistakes. Additionally, the number of idle specialists was also on the rise, causing the company to look for new solutions capable of supporting the process.
Additionally, Speednet works on multiple projects at the same time. As a result, it has to manage hundreds of employees with thousands of different skills that need to be assigned to the correct projects. Therefore, it is no surprise that people management has become a pressing matter for the company.
"Primetric allows us to embrace complexity, which grows exponentially as employment increases."
One of Jacob’s main worries was keeping everybody in the company - employees, managers, customers, and board members - happy and informed. However, even when Speednet was small, it was not an easy task.
As the company grew, combining the transparency of projects and finances was even harder. With more people came more contracts, more costs, and more profits, resulting in an exponentially growing chaos. Therefore, Jacob expected his new tool to solve this problem, too. At the same time, he also wanted to maintain the high quality of the company's services, catering to the customers’ needs.
At the time of the implementation, Speednet already had three different tools that needed to become one with Primetric. That included:
Fortunately, thanks to the integrations available in the system, this case proved to be very simple for the people involved in the integration. After just a few clicks, the tools were connected, and Speednet was able to start using other features included in Primetric.
As a result, Primetric became a single command center for planning, tracking, and forecasting people's workload, project portfolio performance, and financial forecasts.
Right now, Speednet uses the following features included in Primetric:
"Primetric always surprises me with its capabilities. It’s a comprehensive tool with huge potential, and when used properly, it’s simply amazing. Additionally, Primetric is teaching me a lot. When I read your release info, I can simply get better at managing processes."
Soon after implementation, Primetric gained not only Jacob's approval but also his trust.
"I trust the data available in Primetric, and I feel calm when I evaluate the state of the project. I have all the projects here, and no project is lost; I feel at peace when I browse everything that happens in the company."
Additionally, he wasn’t the only person in the company taken aback by Primetric’s features.
Not long after the implementation, the positive impact of our tool on Speednet’s condition was felt across the company. It included:
Finances were one of the most welcome improvements introduced to Speednet by Primetric. Thanks to the advanced features in the field, the company can now manage:
As a result of the implementation of these services, Jacob can now count every penny the company spends and earns.
Speednet was dynamically growing. With its size came great responsibility - and quite a big chaos caused by the company's complexity. New projects, new people, and, last but not least, new sources of profit - Primetric has to gather all of this information and convert it into calendars for employees, charts, and reports for their managers.
"To evaluate the project now, we need to start with Primetric. It’s really great for me when the executives do not come to me asking for some kind of tables or charts. Now, I do not have to prepare them manually; they can check that in Primetric. In my mind, Primetric is a single source of truth that can be accessed at any time, whenever the CEO or a project manager needs it."
A specialist being idle (or benched) was the worst-case scenario for Speednet. Unfortunately, it was also a common occurrence, as the company lacked a single source of information, and it was easy to miss people with nothing to do.
Now, Primetric can not only provide information on specialists that are not working on any project. It also acts as a base for decision-making processes that play a pivotal role in minimizing the costs of a bench. This information can be used to motivate the sales team to look for a new project, or to allocate people better in the future.
When we first started working with Speednet, the company only had a little over 120 people on board. Right now, Speednet takes pride in having over 240 specialists - its size has doubled since our cooperation began. But how was that possible in a business that was initially facing so many challenges?
The answer to this question lies in the processes based on Primetric’s features. The tool can gather information and automatically convert it into different resources. Consequently, managers do not have to do calculations, estimations, and budgets. As a result, their work is less burdensome and allows for managing larger and more complex teams - just like the ones you can see in Speednet today.
As you may remember from the first part of this case study, increasingly complex allocations were one of the most pressing issues in Speednet. Fortunately for the company, Primetric offers a wide range of tools that help Jacob and other managers handle the problem like a boss. These features included:
"Primetric serves as a thermometer for all of my projects!"
The mixture of these features helped Jacob and other managers create accurate and precise full-time and part-time allocations in numerous projects simultaneously, with no mistakes and mishaps in sight.
Lengthy meetings were once the only source of information in the company - however, they were quite troublesome and time-consuming. Primetric has changed that.
"The board does not need to ask for reports and summaries - now, they don’t have to do that. The CEO can read all of this information on his laptop while drinking coffee; Primetric is always there for him."
Right now, Primetric connects all the departments in the company. It gathers all the information on costs, profits, people, capacity, estimates, and more, in a single place, and converts them into more user-friendly databases, such as calendars, tables, and reports. As a result, it drastically improved the quality of information flow and played a pivotal role in the standardization of data. Now, the information is no longer stored in managers' minds - their knowledge is available to everyone with the proper access level.
"Primetric is the only source of truth and information on the state of the project. If I want to evaluate a project, I go to Primetric. [...] It is a system that allows us to stop and catch up with all the data through the clear visualization of complex data. It allows us to make decisions and changes - without drowning in data and compiling it, which already eats up so much time that no one has the strength to analyze it and make decisions later."
Managing operations in the IT industry is not a piece of cake. But what if you could use the knowledge and experiences of other major businesses in the industry to improve your own?
Jacob didn’t have to ask that question. As he was exploring Primetric, he discovered that numerous processes included in the tool were, in fact, an improved version of his own.
"Thanks to Primetric, I learn new processes we can implement in the organization."
The reason for that was Primetric’s close cooperation with dozens of customers from the service and IT industry. Their experiences were gradually incorporated into the tool, resulting in a wide range of tools for the most advanced and detailed processes we could possibly reflect in such a tool.
"Once I asked the board whether we could make our own Primetric. The answer was “No”, because Primetric gathers so much knowledge and experience. It inardevtly exchanges knowledge on processes in its features."
When Speednet and Primetric first met, Jacob and the management team already knew many challenges needed to be addressed.
However, when our journey started, these problems became a thing of the past. The managers - including Jacob - could replace the stress caused by lack of knowledge and chaos with confidence, scalable processes, and focus on what they do best - making outstanding software for their clients.
We do not doubt that Speednet will continue to grow in the upcoming years, and we can’t wait to help them in that even more.
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