GroundProbe is an Australian-based, global technology leader providing advanced hardware and software solutions to the mining and civil infrastructure industries.
GroundProbe has received several national and international recognition awards including one of Australia’s Most Innovative Companies.
It employs over 300 employees in offices across the globe and has customers in over 23 countries including top names Rio Tinto and Vale.
In their Product Development and GeoPhysics business divisions, work was project-based. However, the company did not have a formal project management tool to track project progress and project costs. A hotchpotch of spreadsheets, emails, messaging and verbal communications was becoming increasingly difficult to track what’s going on. Missed deadlines and cost overruns started to happen. And project managers and executive knew this only after the problem occurred. GroundProbe needed a solution that could provide complete visibility into their tasks, resources and costs.
Their main challenges included:
With the increased number of projects and the lack of a formal project management tool, there was simply no way to keep track of the progress and accountability. The attempt to manage work through emails, spreadsheets and internal messaging systems lead to information silos, with less control over the project delivery and ultimately leading to missed deadlines. This also resulted in delayed project delivery due to conflicting dates and timelines.
Without a formal tool, GroundProbe could not confirm that the tasks were being done when required and within the stipulated time periods. It was also impossible to gain an overview of all projects and the total cost of projects.
The staff did not track their time and management did not have a clear understanding of where their teams spent their time. The project managers at GroundProbe could not see if their teams were spending more than allocated time on activities and could not effectively plan and mitigate project slippage risks.
Without a formal project tool that could track costs and effectively plan resources, most of their projects were running over budget and was reflecting poorly on their project managers.
Employee leave and personal time-off (PTO) tracking
Tracking employee leave days and feeding it back into project plans for realistic finish dates was growing seemingly impossible by the day. There was a lot of manual overhead involved leading to human errors and inaccurate planning.
Tasked with the job of finding a Project Management and Timesheet tool that was low in cost, easy to use and easy to implement, the Business System team at GroundProbe evaluated several tools including Microsoft Project, Wrike, and SmartSheet, but faced challenges like complex implementation, high cost, limited capabilities and other limitations with the tools.
Why Celoxis ?
GroundProbe implemented Celoxis in mid 2009 for their project management and time tracking purposes.
Their main reasons for choosing Celoxis were:
- Celoxis was cloud-based and web-based solution and did not require a local desktop installation.
- With an eye to the future, GroundProbe found Celoxis’ sophisticated project management capabilities a great advantage for streamlining their project management processes.
- Celoxis gave GroundProbe teams an easy way to track their work.
- Celoxis’ reporting capabilities, outshone the other tools they were evaluating by a wide margin.
- The intuitive usability and the ease of roll-out meant that the teams at GroundProbe were up and running within a couple of days using the new system.
- Celoxis' Support team was very responsive when it came to answering their queries and solving any issues.
A Quote from the Interview
“The number one change for us is that we no longer need to look for where a project is located and pick up on its trails. Celoxis is a great tool to manage projects, costs, resources, time and progress. It is feature-rich, easy to implement and highly customizable. It’s reporting capabilities are superb and it’s customer support is simply exceptional.”
- Laura Yue, Business Analyst, GroundProbe
How Celoxis Solves Their Business Problems
Celoxis helped GroundProbe to improve visibility, consistency and predictability at various levels in their organization.
- They could easily track budgeted vs actual time for their projects. This helped project managers confirm tasks are being done when required and within the allocated time period.
- With Celoxis, GroundProbe could monitor project budgets and costs, in real-time and could spot budget risks as soon as they surface.
- Project managers could relay project progress to management, team members and clients.
- Team members could easily add their leaves and other non-working days into the system and this would automatically align their tasks in the project schedule.
- Teams, often working on multiple projects, could now exactly know what’s on their plates and could provide their managers with timely status updates and realistic finish dates.
- The timesheeting functionality allowed the staff to track to accurately track time at project-task level. This allowed for greater understanding and visibility of where individuals and groups spent their time.
- Celoxis made timesheet approvals easy and could demonstrate the team’s hard work and justify results.
- Using Manager and Executive Dashboards, they had a much better view on ongoing projects and could follow up in real time if they noticed any deviations.
- Using the Resource Load Chart, they could easily identify resource bottlenecks and could plan ahead with more predictability.
What They Like About Celoxis ?
When looking for a project management tool, the four top considerations for GroundProbe were that it had to be cloud-based to ensure access from everywhere, a good reporting capability, a low cost and an intuitive usability. Celoxis not only met these top considerations but also outranked the other tools GroundProbe was evaluating in functionality and value by a wide margin.
With Celoxis, it took GroundProbe only a couple of days to move all their projects and complete training for staff and project managers.
Key Celoxis features that GroundProbe is taking advantage of include:
Interactive Gantt and Automatic Scheduling
With the interactive Gantt chart and automatic scheduling, managers can visualize project plans and get realistic finish dates. The automatic scheduling recalculates the most likely completion date for all tasks and projects, taking into account each resource’s availability, vacations and other dependencies.
GroundProbe’s Product Development and GeoPhysics project managers and executives have their own dashboards, which provide at-a-glance visibility into project status, including early warning signs that a project may be headed off-track. Their teams also have their own dashboards to stay on top of their activities and utilize their time more efficiently. The team dashboard also provides tools for adding comments and updates to tasks and uploading files.
With Celoxis’ sophisticated RAG indicators, the project managers knew well in advance if tasks were at risk of time missing deadlines or exceeding costs.
Resource Load Chart
The interactive resource load chart provides a color-coded map of all resources and their activities. This helps GroundProbe managers to see where the resource bottlenecks are happening and to prevent overallocations across one or more projects.
The weekly timesheets enables the team to capture who worked on what activities each week, including any non-project activities like departmental meetings or trainings.
One-click Timesheet Approvals
This feature is a real timesaver for the project managers to instantly approve (or reject) all of their team’s time entries with a single click. This feature makes the drudgery task of approving timesheets quick, easy and simple.
Financial Reporting and Analytics
Using the out-of-the-box best practice financial reports, GroundProbe is able to get accurate data on their project costs in real-time and could easily identify and mitigate problems early.
This feature allows the staff to easily add their leaves and other non-working days without going to another system.
Improved project visibility
GroundProbe utilizes Celoxis as a management tool for projects and to scale their operations. Since they began using Celoxis, they have a better idea of what’s going on in the entire organization, have access to the relevant information needed to carry out their tasks and have clear timelines with milestones and deadlines.
Lowered operational costs
From a hotchpotch of spreadsheets, emails, messaging and verbal communications to using Celoxis as a single source of truth, Celoxis helped GroundProbe lower operational costs at various levels.
Streamlined work processes
Celoxis streamlined processes for GroundProbe and gave their teams a way to track their work. Now, their teams are able to quantify their hard work and properly budget for the future, and the executives have an improved understanding of how their teams function and its value to the business.
Improved on-time and on-cost delivery of projects
Using Celoxis GroundProbe was able to improve the on-time and on-budget delivery of their projects in a big way.
Lowest licensing costs
GroundProbe was able to get a full-blown project management system at the lowest possible cost in the marketplace.