SharePoint introduction at SAERTEX multiCom realised completely online

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Agile Work, Microsoft SharePoint, Modern Work, Project Management

With agile project management and technical know-how, noventum supported the internationally successful producer of technical textiles in the implementation of its new SharePoint.

SAERTEX GmbH & Co KG and its subsidiary SAERTEX multiCom GmbH produce technical textiles in Saerbeck, Westphalia, and in a number of locations worldwide. In order to improve cooperation within the group, SAERTEX multiCom initiated the creation of an intranet based on the latest Microsoft SharePoint technology. In the future, all locations and departments of the parent company and subsidiaries will gradually work together on the intranet. In 2022, the Saerbeck-based company successfully implemented the pilot project and opened up new ways of communication and data sharing for its employees. Some departments of the parent company SAERTEX were already involved in the SharePoint set-up from the beginning.

noventum consultants and SAERTEX employees met in person for the first time after the completion of the fully online project.

The SAERTEX group employs more than 1,600 people worldwide, 250 of whom work for SAERTEX multiCom. Daniel Hatke (Strategy & Processes SAERTEX multiCom) led the project, overall IT manager Ingo Tegeder and SAERTEX multiCom managing director Kai Diecks also participated, underlining the importance of the project.

noventum consulting supported the SharePoint project with a mixed team of Microsoft experts, Dina Sibai as agile project manager and Kai Gräwe as technology expert.

SharePoint online technology is the contemporary tool for collaboration in the company

With a new intranet and document management system based on Microsoft SharePoint Online technology, SAERTEX multiCom is pushing ahead with its digitalisation strategy. The goals for SharePoint use were derived from this digitisation strategy:

  • Reduction of redundant data
  • Optimisation of communication
  • Transparency
  • Decentralised control
  • Networking of systems --> no isolated solutions
    • Strengthen employees in their daily work
    • Build digital skills for employees
    • Creating the prerequisite for workflows
    • Contribute to value creation through digitalisation

In the first stage, the intranet for SAERTEX multiCom was set up. The location in the USA was taken along as a technical test balloon in order to test and secure the future worldwide use of SharePoint.

The "SAERTEX multiCom Intranet" project was successfully completed in September 2022. In the meantime, all areas of SAERTEX multiCom at the Saerbeck site are represented on the intranet and SAERTEX is also active with many areas. SAERTEX multiCom is currently preparing the groundwork for the international rollout so that further locations can be added. Further expansion stages are planned for the future, which the company will implement with its own forces.

The project

The Corona Epidemic set a very tight framework for the project, but in the end it paid off as a good learning effect. Meetings, training sessions and other meetings took place exclusively digitally. Only at the end of the project did the core team meet the noventum consultants in person to celebrate the successful cooperation.

 

noventum project manager Dina Sibai has something to gain from this approach under difficult conditions. "In our projects, we have repeatedly experienced that even coordination-intensive cooperation can be carried out purely digitally and without any loss of quality. The tools are available, we have a tried and tested concept and our clients are also at home in digital communication! In the end, there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings, but it also saves both sides time and resources." [another report on a complete noventum remote consulting project in nc360°]

The work was based on the agile project organisation according to Scrum, which involved working in sprints with planning, reviews and retrospectives. After the detailed initial workshop, the noventum process model was inspired by Microsoft SharePoint.

The core task of the project was to set up SharePoint. Getting to know and using other Microsoft-based applications such as OneDrive or Teams complemented the solution approach for future collaboration in the company and were, in a way, a by-product of the project.

Pilot groups and key users

For a later rollout throughout the company, noventum and SAERTEX multiCom developed an introduction guide and a training concept including checklists for setting up SharePoint pages. This concept was then tested in several pilot groups. Through training, the various groups were enabled to participate in the ongoing project. The guidelines for the training courses were drawn up jointly by the Saerbeck team and noventum. Thus, Daniel Hatke, who was mainly responsible for the project, came up with the idea of the guiding principle: "SharePoint for everyone, Teams for us (e.g. in the team) and OneDrive for me" in relation to the specification of when which tool should be used.  For all the possibilities that M365 offers, clear rules and structures are essential for efficient company-wide use.

Pilot groups of the multiCom SharePoint project were:

  • the Strategy and Processes Department
  • the management
  • Marketing (also for SAERTEX)
  • IT (also for SAERTEX)

Key users who were particularly intensively involved in the current project were then identified from the pilot groups. With their experience, they are available as contact persons for later users and are multipliers for the project with their overview knowledge of procedures and tools.

The goal of decentralised distribution of content, responsibilities and know-how (key users) is being pushed for the entire area of M365 use. At SAERTEX multiCom, digitisation is not understood as a large-scale project shouldered solely by IT. The goal is the broad development of competencies and the participation of employees in order to create trust and acceptance. Embedded in an overarching strategy, many small approaches contribute to value creation.

"A project lasting several months and not even meeting in person? Go


Our new intranet has been live since 1 September. ... The agile project management enabled us to solve all tasks and problems without face-to-face meetings. Through a high frequency of joint result and problem reviews, we were able to keep up the pace and achieve remarkable results in a short time. ... Personal exchange is and remains important in every project! Interpersonal relations in particular can lose ground online. We have been able to prove that it is possible without it, especially in a digital project. ... Thanks to ... the strong partners Kai and Dina from noventum consulting GmbH, who closely supported us in achieving this great result!

Daniel Hatke //, Manager Strategy & Processes bei SAERTEX multiCom Group

Project steps in keywords

In principle, building a SharePoint is a joint project between the departments and IT, as it is not just about providing a technical solution. Departments present themselves and their work, provide documents and other information and inform about news in their area. For intuitive user guidance, uniformity of the pages in use and design is the guiding principle, but special requirements also demand individual features. The structure of the SAERTEX multiCom SharePoint followed these general principles and it is - like every SharePoint - in the end a good mixture of standards and exceptions.

  • At the start of the project, a tenant check was carried out and the general and security settings were checked.
  • The first step was the superordinate start page, from which further pages such as organisation, self-service and department pages can be accessed, subdivided according to affiliation. For very long texts (e.g. from IT), TOC (table of content) were integrated to facilitate readability.
  • A megamenue for navigation makes it easier for future users to decide whether to access SAERTEX or SAERTEX multiCom pages. With the increasing complexity of SharePoint, this point will become even more important in the future.
  • To avoid complicated authorisation structures (SharePoint allows access restrictions down to individual documents), the principle was implemented: everything that everyone is allowed to see goes into SharePoint, the rest into OneDrive or Teams.
  • When posting news, key users can determine whether it is also visible on the start page or only on their department page. This avoids "flooding" the start page with news.
  • The constant accompanying theme was multilingualism (as an option for international use) and a sustainable overall architecture for using SharePoint together with the parent company.
  • AD maintenance is always an important issue because the SharePoint pulls data from the AD. In most projects, the catch-up clean-up work on the AD is necessary.
  • When migrating the documents from the file server, the first step was to analyse the data to determine which documents should be transferred to which target system (SharePoint, Teams or personal OneDrive).
  • Each area was individually accompanied during the move to the new structures and solution spaces for individual needs were developed.

SharePoint projects - agile and motivating

The SharePoint introduction at SAERTEX multiCom stands in a whole series of similar projects that noventum consultants have accompanied in recent years. Due to the step-by-step set-up and the intensive participation of individual departments, which are the pioneers at the beginning, these projects are usually carried by great enthusiasm. The agile approach plays a special role here, notes Dina Sibai: "Employees build THEIR SharePoint and learn together how it works, what they want and how other colleagues can be inspired. The question "how can we improve our work?" is always in the background. This identification with our own company is always inspiring for us as consultants.




SAERTEX multiCom

With a turnover of around € 80 million and 875,000 running metres sold, SAERTEX multiCom® is a leader in the production of UV light-curing GRP pipe liners for the trenchless rehabilitation of sewers and supply lines. The range of services is complemented by a variety of services such as project management, application technology, training programmes, equipment rental solutions and a network of partners. More than 300 employees work at the three regional production sites in Saerbeck (DE), Huntersville, NC (US) and Pinghu (CN) as well as in the worldwide sales offices. As part of the SAERTEX® Group, SAERTEX multiCom® uses the company's in-house expertise to produce technical textiles from glass and carbon fibres for wind power, aviation and the automotive industry.




Dr Matthias Rensing
Editor/PR

noventum consulting GmbH
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