Collaboration and Project Management for Universities

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Project Management UniversitiesEffective research through improved information management and document services Karolinska Institutet is a leading European medical university and known for its top-quality research activities. Karolinska institute is also the Nobel Prize awarding institution for Physiology or Medicine. Based in Sweden, the university conducts more than 40 percent of all academic medical research in Sweden. 80 Percent of institute’s activities consist of research. The university has 600 research group and around 2000 researchers. Most of the research is done by external funding. The CASCADE Network of Excellence is located at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm and works as the central point of coordination and integration of European research on the human health effects of chemical residues in food. CASCADE brings 24 research groups from nine EU member states together and the network is financed by the European Commission. CASCADE's activities aim to provide reliable state-of-the-art education, information, and spread of excellence in the area of health risk assessment of chemical residues and contaminants in the food to public organizations, European authorities and ultimately the whole European society including industrial end-users.

Challenge

The CASCADE Network of Excellence focuses in doing research on human health effects of chemical residues in food and drinking water and works to integrate key areas of European research in this field. CASCADE is a unique collaboration, where researchers in different fields work together for a more powerful and effective way of doing research. One of the biggest challenges is to coordinate between the different research groups effectively and pass the relevant and accurate information to these groups regularly as well as creating awareness about the research in the European Society. Currently there are 24 research groups working together from nine EU member states. One of the key elements in effective communication lies on the CASCADE website which has more than 700 published pages and sections with details about different areas of their research. CASCADE wanted an effective solution to transform its Website into an advanced information place to deliver the right content to the right audiences on a regular basis. Other than researchers, CASCADE’s target audience includes public organizations, European authorities and the whole European society including industrial end-users. Apart from the web content management system, CASCADE also wanted a sophisticated and secure document management system that can work as a central point of collaboration where more than 600 researchers from nine EU member states can share and manage their documents in an effective way. CASCADE also had challenges in organizing online meetings between the members and capturing the outcomes and linking to those meetings. The existing system that was used by CASCADE had enormous drawbacks when it comes to managing the content by non-technical persons, handling documents in high volumes in a secured way from different parts of the world and lacked the capability of to organize and capture the outcomes of the meetings.

Solution

Designtech’s ProjectCoordinator enables organizations to easily manage all their documents through the web browser and consists of several powerful features for document management and web content management, based on a state-of-the-art security system. ProjectCoordinator® comes with features like online document management and standardized information editing/sharing procedures, access rights management, provision for temporary participation of third parties, publish important documents on the web or the intranet, group emails, advanced search for file content, calendar for organizing meetings and capturing the outcomes , built-in workflow capabilities and content management with WYSIWYG interface. For CASCADE this was a perfect fit as it addressed all the key areas they were having issues. The web based document management system made it easier for researchers to collaborate from different parts of the world. Researchers could access the documents from anywhere and anytime or upload the files to the portal from anywhere. The rights management and enhanced security levels allowed users to share sensitive information without worrying about others accessing it. The ability to publish important documents within the intranet made it easy to share information among the researchers effectively. The online content management capability with WYSIWYG interface helped even non-technical users to easily manage the content on the Web Pages and publish it without any hassle on a regular basis. The in-built meeting calendar helped them to have a quick overview of the project meetings, create new meetings and invite attendants and export the meetings to Microsoft® Outlook® calendar.  With the new iCoordintaor Desktop, users could easily access the portal from their desktop environment, drag and drop files & folders and have seamless experience.

Implementation

Designtech has taken the task of implementing the document management and web content management system as a turn-key solution. The entire implementation was done remotely and without the need of any technical help from CASCADE. The tasks included among others setting up the server and installing ProjectCoordinator®, creating users and allocating access rights, directory structure management, replicating and re-designing the existing web pages. Within a short span of time Designtech were able to successfully implement the solution and CASCADE were able to use it instantly. Basic training of the system was done through online training and the entire system has been handed over to CASCADE for day to day operation. Currently there are more than 600 researchers collaborating through ProjectCoordinator® on a regular basis. The CASCADE web site powered by ProjectCoordinator’s content management tool has more than 700 published web pages and getting updated on a regular basis. The online calendar assists the members to coordinate and arrange meetings from different places and capture the outcomes more efficiently. “We are happy with the results. It is much easier for us to manage the content without going into too much technical detail. The reader benefits from viewing current, relevant and authoritative information published based on the research on human health effects of chemical residues in food. The researchers benefits from the ease of access and sharing their content without worrying about the security aspects”. Dr. Ingemar Pongratz, Vice-Coordinator, CASCADE Network of Excellence.

Case Study Snap Shot

The Challenge

  • Easily manage the vast content on the CASCADE website without any technical expertise
  • Keep the site up-to-date and do it regularly
  • Have the relevant information and create awareness about the research area
  • Collaborate between 24 research groups from 7 EU member states
  • Manage the documents from more than 600 users in a secure way
  • Anytime and anywhere access of documents
  • High volume content management with high performance
  • Organizing meetings among the members and capturing the outcome

The Solution

  • Website management with WYSIWYG interface
  • One click option to publish the latest content on the web
  • Web based document management
  • Easy publication of documents on the web as well as on the Intranet site
  • User based access control
  • Possibility of workflow implementation for effective document approval process

The result

  • Up-to-date website with relevant information for the target audience
  • Faster updation of web content
  • Effective collaboration between the researchers
  • Anywhere and anytime document/content access for users
  • Easy communication between the users
  • Seamless organization of meetings and follow ups

You can read and register for the trial version of the project management software and try out the features.