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FER - Fédération des Entreprises Romandes

The COMPANY: Fédération des Entreprises Romandes Genève

FER GE is the federation of employers’ associations grouped together, as well associations and self-employed people. FER GE offers a complete range of services to its members, including participation in Swiss pension programs, staff sponsored programs, and legal services.

The CHALLENGE: Centralized application accessible through web

FER GE manages a number of software development projects with their staff of 10 developers and ten consultants. In 2003, FER embarked on a project to migrate its entire AS/400 terminal based applications to WebSphere applications hosted on their AS/400 servers. As the applications were completed, they became accessible to FER members through the web. The applications included healthcare enrolment and processing, retirement planning and corporate training. And in 2004, the FER began development of a web application for payroll. All development was to be done on J2EE under the PMI method of project management.

Each of these projects needed a system for planning and budgeting and a means of capturing the information known by certain individuals and making it available to the entire project team. They were managing their timesheets with Excel spreadsheets, planning their projects in Microsoft Project, and creating and managing technical specifications in Rationnal documents; all disparate sources of data. And with the number of development projects increasing, FER GE needed an enterprise-wide system to manage project data, project resources, and project grants; a system that could integrate with Microsoft Project, follow the completion of tasks and activities, and filter information to the required team members.

The SOLUTION: Avoiding Disruption in Day to Day Project Management Operations

Genius Project was deployed in the first half of 2004 to achieve these goals. Genius Project provides collaboration between each project manager and their team. All project data – the lists of project tasks, the execution plan, the specific assignments of tasks to individuals, etc. is first entered into the system by the project managers. The system automatically generates completion and budgetary milestones for measurement. A collaborative system, Genius Project allows team members to enter the database to access their task assignments and to view the list of project tasks along with their prescribed completion time via the web. They can then directly input the time spent on their assigned tasks into their timesheets which filter into the overall project plan and budget. Genius Project can then assess percentage completion of the project at each milestone allowing project managers to gauge where projects are at any given moment. The project manager can view up to the minute task progress which allows him/her to alter plans or make operational adjustments if necessary, without disrupting the project flow.

Genius Project can easily interface with other data sources. It can integrate with other planning tools such as Microsoft Project or can be used directly with Genius Planner. FER chose to begin by maintaining its detailed planning information in Microsoft Project. High level planning and project activity and budgets are maintained in Genius Project.

The RESULTS: Accurate, online project and budget tracking; easy document management

“Managing projects in relation to their respective budgets was impossible before“, says Jean-Charles Finidori. “Today, we know exactly where we are day by day. We know the time spent on specific tasks and the exact amounts, in francs, which has been used".

“We have total collaboration and team work: When you work with 10 external project team members (consultants), every hour counts. The information in Genius Project can be easily accessed and viewed by different team members. FER GE also uses the document management functions of Genius Project to manage their project documentation and makes use of the consolidated view of this information which lets senior level managers gauge the progress of several projects combined. Detailed reports indicate where projects are in their life cycle for easy review by senior management".

logo FER
Jean-Charles Finidori
IT Manager