Enabling Business and IT alignment through Enterprise Project Management

SESVanderHave is the global market leader in the sugar beet seed industry. Each year, SESVanderHave processes and sells one and a half million units of sugar beet seed. Each unit containing one hundred thousand seeds, in the recognized blue color of SESVanderHave (except for the USA, where the SESVanderHave seeds are pink). These seeds are sold and sown in over fifty countries worldwide.

To achieve this, SESVanderHave has a network of businesses and local agents all over the world. Three high-tech, state-of-the-art factories in Tienen (Belgium), Gogoliv (the Ukraine), and Alexeyevka (Russia) process the majority of the seeds.

The Challenges

The ICT department of SESVanderHave supports all software applications and processes for the business. Nearly all development is in-house. A lot of applications are business critical while facing a fast paced business evolution process. When Eric Van de Broeck (ICT Manager at SESVanderHave ) contacted the RealDolmen EPM Team, he was facing an number of challenges:

  • A large backlog of changes with constantly changing business priorities
  • Unclear priorities and deadlines especially cross-departmental
  • Ineffective planning and estimation
  • Lack of engagement and collaboration between various departments
  • Requests for support or change were not streamlined
  • Slow time to market, long wait cycles to get work completed

The aim for the EPM implementation was clear:

  • Set up a demand management process with clear priorities
  • Define an agile organizational process to help the ICT team respond to the emerging changes
  • Use that agility to reduce the time to market
  • Set up the relevant tooling platform to support the process

Together with Eric, we adopted a bottom up approach to implement the new strategy.

Starting with the ICT team, we were convinced that changing their way of working in an agile way of working would serve as a showcase for the rest of the organization.

People - Agile coaching

The Scrum framework is a software development method based on iterative and incremental development. It promotes adaptive planning, quick responses to change and continuous improvement as well as close cooperation between developers and business (client and stakeholders).

By defining new roles, training the teams and coaching the people on the job, the ICT teams were able to adapt to the agile framework in a short period of time. Using the continuous improvement pillars of scrum (inspect and adapt) we were able to improve the internal planning and follow up of the ICT portfolio.

Together with Eric Van de Broeck, we decided to show the improvements we achieved to the business:

  • Better estimations and commitments to deadlines
  • A structured approach
  • Better collaboration within the teams

By doing so, business stakeholders were triggered, enabling the momentum to start the organizational change.

Enabling Business and IT alignment through Enterprise Project Management

Processes - Scaling Agile

The biggest challenge for ICT was to cope with all the emerging changes and requests coming from all parts of the business. The original situation looked like this:

Requests were coming from all over and were not structured, classified nor prioritized. In order for ICT to be able to create a realistic planning, we had to help the business get organized.

The original situation

Once the planning forums were in place, the immediate effect was clear:

  • We were able to create 1 request backlog
  • It was agreed upon by everyone (the IT and business stakeholders)
  • The agreed priorities were clear for all stakeholders
  • The speed of delivery was visible to all

Additionally, the planning forums offered a collaboration moment for cross-department insights, which was a first. In doing so, business stakeholders could collaborate on an ICT request and reduce the cost of development, which was an additional plus for the organizational process.

Tools - Demand Management and Project Follow up

People were trained and processes were showing their added value. We now had to set up the proper tooling platform to support both of them.

Starting from the demand management process, we were able to categorize the prioritized requests that were coming in. Some were changes or issues to the existing applications, others were new requests or even completely new projects.

All incoming requests were documented and validated on a single registration page.

After registration and validation, the categorization was used to either send changes and issues related to existing applications to System Center Service Manager and new changes and projects to MS Project Server. This was enabled through a SharePoint page. Both tools were setup and configured by the RealDolmen EPM team to support the agile methods we were now using.

Tools - Demand Management and Project Follow up


Having the people trained, the processes in place and the tools supporting the processes, we were able to measure the ROI.

The list of achievements after 6 months in Eric Van de Broeck’s words:

  • We created a flexible framework wherein new features can be added and tasks reprioritized without adversely affecting the project flow and team morale
  • We improved collaboration and enabled a clear and open communication between all stakeholders
  • We now have an improved follow-up of projects and changes through clear and transparent planning and status
  • We increased productivity and quality and realized a faster time to market

The RealDolmen EPM solution

The mission of the Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution is to increase the maturity and maximize the business value within a project organization, by introducing processes and best practices, providing training and coaching, and introducing an integrated tooling platform

Through training and coaching of PM(O)’s, defining an aligned and tailored methodology, setting up an efficient operational and collaboration process and implementing the right EPM tooling platform, RealDolmen’s EPM solution contributes to:

  • Business Agility
  • Aligned IT strategy to the business drivers and projects
  • Better portfolio and program selection and insights
  • Aligned and tailored project methodology per project type
  • Documentation, templates and guidelines for project resources. i.e. “the backpack approach”
  • Clear and enhanced operational flows
  • Clear roles and responsibilities and efficient collaboration
  • Trained and tooled project resources
  • Better planning, forecasting of resources and the complete project portfolio
  • Easier cost, budget and planning follow up
  • Aggregated and detailed reporting facilities

The value proposition of the EPM solution is a single source offering containing 4 building blocks (Assessments, coaching & training, PM(O) consultancy and tooling).

The first step is to provide insights in project delivery on 3 levels: people, processes and tools. Based on this assessment, a road map is defined where coaching, supporting processes and tools are set up to enable the creation of business value through the right selection of projects and the correct delivery method and control of these projects

Your Challenges, Our Values

More info: