About Troup Bywaters + Anders
Troup Bywaters + Anders (TB+A) is a high-performing consulting building services engineering partnership that has been ‘bringing buildings to life’ since 1958. The business employs approximately 200 technical and administrative staff in eight design centres UK-wide. With sixty years of experience, TB+A has worked for a wide variety of clients, delivering exceptional environments across a diverse portfolio, from iconic landmark buildings and brands, world class hospitals and leisure retreats to private dwellings including the Shard, Arcadia Group HQ, Royal Papworth Hospital and Hotel du Vin, Edinburgh.
“Every project needs a detailed Project Plan,” explains Claire Bower, Head of IMS at TB+A. The Business Units were previously using hard copy Project Plans to record project information, with appendices attached. Claire continues: “With the Business Units completing project plans by hand, information was often missed, tracking was difficult, paper work was building up around the offices and the hard copy process was found to be out of date. The need to shift to an electronic solution was paramount – especially in terms of making the process easier, moving with the times and meeting management system and other compliance requirements.”
TB+A were effectively looking to automate their project plan process. They needed a professional project plan template that was user friendly, to capture, manage and store all project planning information in one place. “We had looked at designing a bespoke project plan solution,” Claire adds, “but this was proving too costly and complex to achieve.”
Trustmarque held in-depth discovery workshops around the existing Microsoft technology already in-house, as well as reviewing the current processes. The result of which was to propose the use of Microsoft technology to build an automated project plan tool. Using existing technology that the business had already paid for in terms of investment and licencing costs was a much more cost effective solution than going down the ‘bespoke build’ route.
Trustmarque also ran a Customer Immersion Experience to demonstrate the features and benefits of Microsoft Office 365 to the TB+A team and how they could streamline processes, increase collaboration and improve archiving with an automated project plan that used SharePoint workflows.
Claire continues: “Trustmarque developed an easy to use online form, accessible via the intranet for the Business Units to complete. If a project team member doesn’t fill in a particular section, they are prompted to review the document to ensure all detail is complete before submitting in order to create the project plan. This then generates the plan in electronic form, which can be saved and downloaded.
Once a project is created, Claire receives an automatically generated message so she is instantly aware what is happening across the business, making it easier for the plans to be tracked and monitored. This also helps to monitor which projects are being undertaken abroad, assisting TB+A in complying with anti-bribery legislation. Each project plan is clearly numbered and any gaps can be quickly spotted. The plans are now electronically accessible and are easily searchable.
“Trustmarque has extensive Microsoft expertise and really understand the Microsoft stack,” Claire explains. “They gave us step by step instructions on how we could set up the automated project planner and how it would work, which gave us great confidence in their ability to deliver. The use of existing technology in-house was a real benefit for us, as it meant we could control costs whilst getting a new, powerful online tool off the ground.”
All Business Units are now using the IMS Project Plan creator and on average, it generates around 30 project plans per week. “I’ve received really positive feedback from the Business Units so far and it is a massive improvement from the previous hard copy system we had in place,” concludes Claire. “Trustmarque are great communicators and their professionalism made the process really easy. The project plan tool was up and running in just over a week – we’re delighted with the solution.”
With this new, online, easy to use, manageable IMS Project Plan creator, TB+A can enjoy a number of benefits:
- Better visibility and forecasting
- Centralised data and improved archiving
- Meet compliance and data retention regulations
- Improve quality assurance
- Streamlined processes
- Increased collaboration and productivity