Projectplace creates a sense of order and control

“We found that cooperation improved shortly after both the marketing and traffic department and ICT switched to Projectplace.”
Dirk Verver, Purchasing Graphic Products and Support at Oxfam Novib

Oxfam Novib

A world free from poverty, with equal opportunities for all – this is what Oxfam strives daily to help achieve. The organisation’s activities include ensuring that people can earn a living for themselves by fair means, and lobbying politicians and businesses to make them aware of their responsibilities. It also asks Dutch people to make choices that benefit poor countries, such as buying fair trade products for which people in developing countries receive a good price.

Meticulous planning

Achieving these goals relies on good communication and cooperation from within Oxfam Novib, which is why the organisation has a comprehensive marketing and traffic team. They deal with lots of different projects which require communication measures, in the form of direct marketing campaigns or flyers, for instance. Setting up and maintaining all these projects involves meticulous planning.

The search for a solution

Dirk Verver, from Purchasing Graphic Products and Support, explains: “Until last year, in the traffic and marketing department we were using a project management solution that did not give us a clear overview of all the ongoing projects and their status. Given that a number of people are involved in each project, this is inefficient. It’s important for everyone involved to know when the deadlines are and who is working on what. So I set about finding a solution that better accommodates these needs, with well-designed visuals.”

Dirk’s search began on the Internet, where Projectplace was one of the solutions that caught his eye. Upon closer investigation, other solutions proved too limited, so he decided on this transparent and socially and visually oriented online cooperation tool. “Our staff have been enthusiastic about Projectplace right from the off. The tool is very user-friendly, which has meant that people were soon able to find their way around the projects”, says Verver.

Fundraising mailshots

“Designing, printing and distributing a fundraising mailshot is an example of the type of project we regularly undertake at Oxfam Novib. These projects always involve at least four internal departments in the task of gathering addresses, preparing the mailshot, supplying information, checking and correcting the mailshot, and so on. The activities and deadlines are detailed in Projectplace and it's easy to see who is dealing with what, as well as the status of a particular activity.”

Initially, only the marketing and traffic department used Projectplace for planning projects of this kind, but it was not long before they also introduced the ICT department to the cooperation tool. Unlike the traffic department, ICT deals with a lot of external employees, and Projectplace enables it to bring those employees together within a single space. The fact that all the communication takes place in just one “venue” is a big advantage for them.

Open and transparent cooperation

“We found that cooperation improved shortly after both the marketing and traffic department and ICT switched to Projectplace. Instead of employees corresponding by e-mail, they could use the communication functions offered by the tool to keep track of everything. This makes the cooperation open and transparent. Everybody can give their input on a particular solution and this sometimes takes you down unexpected avenues. For us, however, it is the social planning functions that have proved most effective in improving cooperation within Oxfam Novib. The automatic reminder, the visual timeline and the automatic reporting request are very popular. They’re easy to use and help people in the process – which saves time and improves efficiency.”