InLoox at an environmental planning office:
From individual tasks to project management
At the environmental planning office of Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Maier, work is done with InLoox not only at the desk, but also during field appointments. While the environmental experts use the collaboration solution outside in nature for their work, for documentation purposes and for the quick exchange of information with colleagues, all data is merged on one platform at the office.
The environmental planning office of Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Maier prepares ecological expert opinions, takes on landscape conservation measures, accompanies construction projects and carries out species or environmental protection assessments. One of the most long-term projects is the ecological monitoring of Stuttgart 21. With his team of biologists and environmental specialists, Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Maier has made a name for himself in Baden-Württemberg - especially when it comes to species protection. The planning and functional control of environmental protection measures, the documentation of protected animal and plant species or the environmental control of construction projects are part of the daily business of the office. A major challenge in this work is to record and process the results from field work in a modern and digital way.
Meeting deadlines randomly
Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Maier: "Our work usually takes place outside and office work is therefore often perceived as a burden. It's also problematic that schedules and tasks are constantly changing, for example because of weather conditions or delays in a construction or development project." In addition, he says, it must be understood that bats, for example, can only be observed, counted and mapped at night, but subsequent documentation must be entered into the system at the office during the day. Dr. Maier knows that in these situations, there is a lot of overtime and a heavy workload. "Biologists regularly have a problem meeting deadlines, because external factors often take precedence and the equally important administrative tasks then end up at the back of the agenda," he says.
Maximum capacity reached
Due to the numerous postponements and the fact that it is a small team, the workload limits of Dr. Maier and his staff were reached at some point. In addition, the meetings and the exchange of information among each other were not effective either. As a result, they considered what needed to be changed in order to move from unsatisfactory "project work on demand" back to a normal work rhythm, successful projects and accurate, reliable documentation. It was quickly agreed that only a consistent move towards a digital but practical project management tool could provide a solution. During his research, Maier came across the Munich-based software manufacturer and recognized the potential of this platform for his eco-office. "It is always difficult to change habits and processes. There were also concerns about new technologies,“ Maier recalls.
Quick wins convince
The introduction of InLoox quickly resulted in concrete improvements and also relief for all employees. The very good integration with Outlook was of great advantage, which was also a major reason why Dr. Maier chose the solution. Especially when coordinating complex projects, positive effects can be observed quickly due to the fact that data can now be uploaded to the system very easily via an interface and is immediately available to all parties involved. "In our business, the smartphone is playing an increasingly important role as a "mobile desk,"" explains the environmental expert. For example, in environmental construction monitoring. Here, identified issues often have to be clarified with colleagues, the building owner or the responsible authorities. This has to happen quickly and be well documented, for example, when employees are on field appointments and discover that danger is imminent. "InLoox makes it very easy for us to store our data, which we have collected on the move with the InLoox Mobile App on site in nature, to share it with colleagues and to coordinate the next steps. We don't need mails anymore and that is a huge relief."
What used to be time-consuming and complicated is now much faster and, most importantly, available to everyone in the project. In the past, overtime was often worked off immediately after observations and monitoring, and colleagues had to wait with the evaluation until the person who had recorded the data on site was back again. Now, everything is stored directly in InLoox and everyone has access. This saves time, reduces misunderstandings and thus ensures better mapping quality, for example.
Now that the project management software has settled into the daily routine at the eco-office, new features are gradually being added and the solution's bandwidth is being further explored. Tasks are now structured and completed according to the Kanban method, which still gives Dr. Maier's employees the necessary freedom, but at the same time ensures that nothing is forgotten or lost. Reports and documentation are also being revised. In the past, there used to be difficulties, because the reports and documentation are the basis of the invoicing to the customers. Since the introduction of InLoox, many issues have resolved themselves and invoicing takes only a fraction of the time compared to the past.
For Dr. Maier, the Outlook integration is the crux of his project management solution, especially because e-mails can be stored directly in the project as documents. This means that all project documents and information are in one place. Looking for relevant information and with more than 1,000 projects in the background, he and his employees no longer need to work their way through a jumble of hundreds of e-mails. At the same time, this has boosted employee acceptance of the solution. And on his management page in InLoox, Dr. Maier always has a complete overview.
"Insights into the current state"
This is only possible because the team stores all relevant data in InLoox. Time tracking is now not only easier and more comprehensible - it is also much clearer to see which tasks take up a particularly large amount of time. This helps to prevent and counteract bottlenecks.
- "Using InLoox eases the phantom pain of looking at your overflowing email inbox, because the information is now stored directly in the project."
- "You can use InLoox in small areas and for manageable tasks at first. Then, when you expand the solution, you notice that projects can be planned more reliably, employees can be managed more easily, and deadlines can be met more predictably."
- "With InLoox, we were able to eliminate time wasters in documentation and through administrative tasks."
Dr. Klaus-Jürgen Maier, Owner of the environmental planning office carrying the same name
The work of the environmental specialists takes place predominantly outdoors and is highly dependent on weather conditions. For the biologists, meeting deadlines and documentation is often a challenge, as the external factors take precedence and the equally important administrative tasks end up at the back of the agenda. Due to the numerous postponements and the fact that it is a small team, the maximum capacity of Dr. Maier and his staff is reached at some point. In addition, the meetings and the exchange of information among each other were not effective either.
It was quickly agreed that only a consistent step in the direction of a digital but practical project management tool could provide a relief. During his research, Maier came across InLoox and recognized the potential of this platform for his eco-office.
Due to the Outlook integration and the fact that the data can now easily be uploaded to the system via an interface and is immediately available to all participants, positive effects were quickly observed. With the help of the InLoox Mobile App, the biologists now have their "mobile desk" with them on field missions. Data collected on site in nature can be stored on the go, shared with colleagues and the next steps can be coordinated. This leads to a significant reduction in email traffic and an accompanying reduction in the workload of the employees.