- With strictly established room templates, IT-Consult Halle creates clear structures, optimizes work routines, and makes homogeneous processes possible
- Excel spreadsheets and emails were replaced by extensive, customizable project rooms, including charts, Kanban board, communication, and polls
- The Project Portfolios allow the creation of monthly reports and status reports that can be shared with Shareholders with just a few clicks
- Stackfield's support reacts in a matter of minutes to employee concerns and sets high standards for the quality of customer services
About IT-Consult Halle GmbH
With a population of more than 240,000 inhabitants, Halle on the Saale is the biggest city of the German federal state Saxony-Anhalt. IT-Consult Halle (ITC) GmbH was founded in the year 2000 as a subsidiary company of the Stadtwerke Halle GmbH (the municipal utilities of the city of Halle) and is a reliable IT service provider, particularly for the city of Halle, their sister companies, and other institutions like local governments, state agencies, and federal agencies. As a public institution, ITC Halle offers various consulting and IT services. ITC Halle is an enabler for innovation and digital workflows. Today, Stackfield is used by 520 people in the group of companies owned by the Stadtwerke Halle GmbH.
For more than seven years, Elke Brendgen has been working for ITC Halle, of which for over two years as head of the area "Consulting and Project Management" where she is responsible for the administration of Stackfield.
Elke Brendgen – Head of the area covering consulting and project management
Tedious back and forth and time-consuming search work: Excel spreadsheets and email jungle
Before Elke Brendgen came across Stackfield, there was no such thing as project management tools at ITC Halle. Excel spreadsheets, once praised for being a versatile work tool, were used multi-functionally for the assigning of tasks, status reports, and project planning. The employees communicated via mail or phone. However, this arrangement was inefficient and the use of these means reached its limits the more tasks and topics were added. What once worked on a small scale proved to be more of an obstacle for the scale ITC Halle was now operating on. "Excel spreadsheets are simply not made for the coordination of tasks," Elke Brendgen emphasizes. They decided to introduce a digital tool that should replace the various Excel spreadsheets.
An unexpected turning point: The encounter with Stackfield
As a public institution, ITC Halle was forced to rely on market research, however, they came across Stackfield quite by chance via a customer contact. Once Elke Brendgen then started examining Stackfield, she quickly realized that she unintentionally managed to hit the bull's eye. The various possibilities of managing tasks in Stackfield sparked her interest and thus, the company quickly decided to trust the tool.
From Excel to Stackfield: Smooth transition thanks to Stackfield's room templates
After the final decision was made on Stackfield, Elke Brendgen initiated the testing phase. In the course of six to nine months, the optimal use of Stackfield was evaluated. Elke Brendgen recounts: "We tried out everything and had no pressure. We didn't need to desperately map a project or a bunch of tasks. [...] The testing phase helped us a lot in recognizing the potential of the tool.
Since the goal was primarily to transfer the Excel spreadsheets, Brendgen invested a lot of time to go into as much detail as possible about the various ways to store information: Which fields already existed in Stackfield, which fields are still missing and which ones should be added as custom fields? This way, over time each piece of information from the spreadsheets found its place on Stackfield.
"By now, the Excel spreadsheets don't exist anymore. All information from the spreadsheets and more is now on Stackfield and visible at one glance."
Especially Stackfield's room templates awakened Brendgen's interest and reminded her of the Excel spreadsheets. Thus, with their help, she built a well-thought-out structure on Stackfield that would also be obvious to other colleagues. "This way, my colleagues don't have to think about what is step 1 and what is step 15 every single time." The templates create clearness and eliminate unnecessary work.
Whenever new colleagues receive a Stackfield account, Elke Brendgen gives them an introduction to the tool. "I quickly explain the basic features, for example, how to access the user profile, how to switch between organizations, and how to add tasks and projects." Brendgen makes sure, that new colleagues find their way smoothly into the system and know how to work where.
Clarity without compromises: Focusing on work packages
Be it preparing an offer, procuring software, or extensive implementation projects: At ITC Halle each project and each task area, no matter the size or topic, receive their own room on Stackfield and thus, can be managed without any complications. The room is always adapted to the specific requirements to ensure that the information can be sorted and accessed in the best possible way. Not only do the views (Kanban board vs. list) and modules vary, but the task columns are also renamed and, if required, custom fields are created, to store, for example, commercial data.
The diverse and, above all, heterogeneous use of the modules makes each room unique and provides the teams with precisely those features that make sense for that task area. The module Discussions, for example, is used especially for committee work to conduct surveys in the team and the module Snippets is activated only in development.
Transparency and collaboration with Stackfield's feature variety
As a service provider for their sister companies ITC Halle struggled to organize themselves without a project management tool and to be transparent towards their customers. The current state of a project was stored in status reports and was not always directly obvious, and relevant information was added to the Excel spreadsheets and exchanged via email. However, with Stackfield ITC Halle managed to reform their customer communication.
Now, the customers are simply invited to the rooms directly, and the statuses are kept up-to-date inside the rooms and thus, can be accessed by every involved person with just a few clicks. All information stays visible at any time, for ITC Halle and its customers. Elke Brendgen praises: "This really helped us, especially regarding mutual acceptance. Wherever there is a service relationship, there are discrepancies. With Stackfield, we were able to defeat those. Every single one of us wants to bring the project forward and we see that it is a 'we' because we all work together on the same platform."
Elke Brendgen attaches particular importance to the intensive use of Stackfield by every college and the documentation of all work steps. She mentions "topic-related task protocols": Each task gets its own task card inside the Kanban Board, including description, due date, assigned person, etc. Subordinate work steps are recorded as subtasks within the card. This way, the team not only ensures more transparency but above all more flexibility.
"We're all doing the same thing and we also want that to be standardized. Certain things then simply have to be documented. If someone drops out on me, then I know that I can find their work on Stackfield and I am able to continue working on it. While this is still time-consuming since you are not immersed in the topic, it is easier because you can see certain communication and planned work steps. You know what needs to happen next and you can take it from there."
To be able to maintain transparency, especially towards the management, Elke Brendgen adds every project, even if it is just a 'pseudo project', as a project room to Stackfield. Via the project portfolio, she can then create user-defined monthly reports and status reports whenever necessary and forward them to all shareholders. This way, all sides, management, and team leaders, save a lot of time.
Stackfield as a pioneer in customer orientation
Especially as an IT service provider top-notch customer support is essential for ITC Halle and Stackfield exceeds Elke Brendgen's expectations here: "Stackfield's help features are absolutely incredible, especially their support. Whenever I have a problem or a question I always reach somebody through the chat. It feels like somebody is sitting there for 24 hours answering at crazy speed and amazing quality. This helped us immensely in establishing the software and enjoying working with it." This way, each employee can work with Stackfield on their own and when problems occur, they can check out the Learning Center.
"I like the product a lot. I like the business model a lot. The support does everything to make you feel comfortable, to make you like the product, to help you work with the product and I think that's great. Whenever you have a request, you are informed, kept up-to-date, and not too much – the dosis is perfect."
Conclusion of ITC Halle GmbH: "More municipalities should use Stackfield"
Recognizing workload, simplifying work, unifying standardizable processes, facilitating documentation, and "staying consistent and individual": Stackfield does more than their job and Elke Brendgen is proud of all the goals that ITC Halle was able to reach together with the tool. Today, Stackfield is strictly integrated into the day-to-day work of more than 600 employees at the company group.