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Wolfenbüttel city takes a new approach to digital collaboration

4 min read

Highlights

  • Offices and departments design collaboration exactly according to their needs thanks to Stackfield's flexibility
  • Email traffic is noticeably reduced and communication takes place more targeted in one tool
  • Information is no longer spread across different locations and data carriers and can be accessed centrally in Stackfield with a few clicks

About the city of Wolfenbüttel

The district town of Wolfenbüttel, located in Lower Saxony in Germany, has over 50,000 inhabitants. It is home to an advanced technical college and a number of medium-sized companies. The City of Wolfenbüttel Group - i.e., the main administration and, with it, the city's subsidiaries, owner-operated companies, and holdings - performs enormously important tasks for coexistence in the city. Cara Kühn is the digitalization officer for the city administration and is responsible for the digitalization project management in the department "Organization".

The initial situation

As a digitalization officer, Cara Kühn pulls many strings together. She is promoting digitalization within the administration and is primarily responsible for topics such as eGovernment and the Online Access Act (OZG). The goal was to offer more and more online services to citizens, while at the same time improving digital collaboration within the administration itself. Until now, there was no such tool, only an intranet that was used purely as an information platform. Kühn explains how this also created the risk of "shadow IT" when, for example, employees downloaded free licenses from providers that had not been checked in advance. About a year ago, the building authority approached the digitalization officer with a specific request: A tool was needed that would enable collaboration with external partners - such as engineering firms - via which tasks could be managed and which would simultaneously map all communication.


Cara Kühn
Cara Kühn - Digitalization Officer of the City of Wolfenbüttel

Why Stackfield?

As in many other city administrations, a decisive criterion for the IT department was that the software could be operated "on-premise". This means having the software hosted on its own server by the city of Wolfenbüttel. Many providers that were available for selection at the time were eliminated at precisely this point, as they only offer their software as a cloud solution. Stackfield was different: The tool not only met the requirements for project management, task management, and communication, but thanks to on-premise also gave the opportunity to retain full control over the data - an unbeatable combination.

After the decision was made, Kühn first introduced the tool in the digitalization project team and in the building department, before it was subsequently rolled out in other administrative areas. The intention was not to simply announce Stackfield as "the" new tool for all employees, but rather to consciously opt for a more personal approach: The digitalization project team always suggested Stackfield to the offices whenever they were in an exchange on topics such as the Online Access Act or the document management system in use anyway - this way, the team was able to provide a better insight into the tool and report on its benefits. Today, Stackfield is used by many departments and offices of the city of Wolfenbüttel: from construction (structural engineering, civil engineering, urban development) to tourism to finance and culture (public library, museum).

„Launched as an administration-wide solution, Stackfield has woken up many departments. It shows what is possible with digital tools and what collaboration can look like in the future.“

Stackfield provides flexibility to every area of the city government

According to Kühn, work is now organized via room groups in Stackfield. This works for each individual area, i.e. an office or a department, as well as for cross-office topics, such as budget or school inspections. When it comes to the latter, the building construction office, the school office, and the safety specialist, among others, are members of the room group.

The offices create even more clarity for themselves by creating individual rooms in room groups depending on the subject area. For example, the digitalization project team in Stackfield has a closed room for weekly meetings and a project room for the "Introduction Service Portal Online Access Act (OZG)". Kühn emphasizes that Stackfield always offers the necessary flexibility: Each office can decide which modules are available in a room to make collaboration as easy and efficient as possible. Example: Is the Pages module needed to conduct polls and bundle discussions, or is a simple Kanban board in a room sufficient for task management? Each office can adjust the modules exactly to their own needs in Stackfield.

Targeted communication instead of confusing email traffic

Stackfield was and is the first digital tool that the city of Wolfenbüttel uses for digital collaboration. Consequently, this has also changed the nature of communication: There are noticeably fewer emails - a very important point for the digitalization officer. Instead, employees exchange information in Stackfield via the team chat, leave comments specifically on the tasks, and discuss informal topics quite simply via the group chat.

All information always at hand

Another advantage: All communication and information can be accessed centrally in Stackfield by all employees at any time. Previously, data was spread across multiple locations: Email program, document management system, folders on the drive, analog paper folders, and many more. Today, everyone knows which room or chat information belongs in and how to find it with just a few clicks. Everything can be "utilized", sorted, and prioritized immediately - without any complicated buffering.

„Stackfield is, in my eyes, the first system that really manages to reconcile everything.“

Support: Help within minutes

Kühn is also grateful for Stackfield's personal support. If questions do arise, the employees get back to her within a very short time. "The customer service is outstanding," praises Kühn. She is also proactively informed by the support when there are updates in the tool or new functions are available.

When asked what her conclusion has been since the launch of Stackfield, she replies:

„I don't know how we did all this stuff before Stackfield.“
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Cristian Mudure
About the Author:
Cristian Mudure is the Founder and CEO of Stackfield. He loves digital business models and spends his spare time on the tennis court.
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