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How this government organization uses MindManager to increase efficiencies in urban planning projects

GPSEA LogoAs many customers likely know, MindManager is a tool that is commonly used for project management.  MindManager lets users easily capture, store and work with project information in a visual manner. By visually building project plans, and centralizing all required information from various sources into a single map, users are able to quickly and easily gain a holistic view of what needs to be done, when it needs to be completed, and quickly identify issues along the way.

One of our valued customers in France – Grand Paris Sud Est Avenir (GPSEA) – is actively using MindManager for this exact purpose: as a tool for complex project and information management. GPSEA is a regional-level government agency, located in a suburb just outside of Paris. Their mandate is to manage the urban planning, waste disposal, water and wastewater, libraries, pools, and economic development for a municipality of approximately 316,000 people. This a huge operation that requires the help of 1200 staff members, and a €175 million operating budget.

We recently had the privilege of sitting down with Oussama Lamouri, GPSEA’s Director of Operations, Planning and Economic Development. Lamouri is in charge of developing plans and projects that often integrate housing and public works, mass transit, zoning, and commercial development.

Here’s what he had to say about how the organization uses MindManager for project management.

The challenge with managing large-scale public projects

GPSEA was created in 2010, along with a number of other regional-level organizations, to manage the growth of communities around Paris. One of their core responsibilities is managing the urban planning for their suburb, as well as a broad range of public services. With a population over more than 300 thousand, this is quite a large undertaking, involving vast amounts of information and complex projects.

As a result of this mandate, GPSEA must continuously design, track and implement large scale projects across various sectors of the community. These projects are often very complex and involve the use of large amounts of community information, which is often stored in different databases and formats. To make matters more challenging, and because they are dealing with the livelihoods of an entire community, GPSEA must be constantly identifying and monitoring the impact of their new projects on everything from transit patterns and public utilities to housing.

How visualization helps bring clarity and consensus to projects

To manage and execute these complex projects, Lamouri and team at GPSEA adopted MindManager Enterprise as their tool of choice in 2016. To date, more than 60 people at GPSEA use MindManager on a daily basis, primarily for brainstorming activities and developing complex, multi-phased projects. This includes creating work breakdown structures and scheduling for each project. MindManager is also used to visually communicate critical paths toward project completion, keeping all project team members and stakeholders informed throughout the process.

Overall, MindManager is used by GPSEA to create a shared project vision, and single reference point for all team members involved in its execution. “MindManager’s graphic approach makes it easy for even those unfamiliar with the software to gain a deeper and more complete understanding of a project,” explains Lamouri. “Maps are a great way to rapidly communicate key data points. They’re more meaningful than paragraphs of text and more accessible than a sheaf of paper.”

The results of visually managing complex public projects

After almost three years of using MindManager to visualize and execute their project plans, GPSEA has saved a considerable amount of time on planning projects and workshops, and monitoring milestones and follow-up actions. Projects are now much more efficient because employees have easy access to all project actions, partners and milestones. This has resulted in an overall increase in team collaboration. Project teams now have a common understanding of the complex, multi-faceted tasks that they’re working on, enabling them to proactively find efficiencies and process improvements.

From a risk management perspective, Lamouri explains, MindManager has reduced the concern that key information related to a project will be overlooked or ignored due to overabundance or complexity. Instead, teams have ready access to all key data points associated with the project, allowing them to easily adapt to changing circumstances. This has contributed to an overall reduction in risk, and increased flexibility into how they execute projects and adapt to change.

Read more about GPSEA and MindManager

Interested in hearing more about how Oussama Lamouri and the GPSEA team use MindManager to manage their complex projects? Click here to read the full case study.

If you want to learn how your organization can take advantage of MindManager’s visual project management tools, then you may be interested in a free, 30-day trial. Click here to to get started.

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