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This is why Sydvatten calls INSIKT from twoday the "system of opportunities"


Sydvatten provides about a million residents of Skåne with a vital resource every day: drinking water. It is not a straightforward task. Therefore, the operation constantly works on stable and long-term planning.


Sydvatten supplies about one million people in Skåne with a vital resource every day: drinking water. It's not a straightforward task. That's why the organization constantly works on stable and long-term planning.

With such a crucial task of providing Sweden with drinking water, Sydvatten has an extra complex operation. They need to be operational 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Adjustments within the operation must be made in real-time, so it's essential to keep track of the activities to ensure 100% operational reliability.

Sydvatten is owned by 17 different municipalities in southern Sweden. As the company is municipally owned, it cannot generate a profit, making operational control and forecasting work even more critical. With around a hundred projects and a project portfolio of approximately four billion in today's currency value, there's a lot to keep track of.

"We are financed by fees and charges, so it's very important for us to always have a good balance. We must ensure that we do not charge too high fees while keeping an eye on our actual costs to constantly cover our expenses. In this way, forecasting becomes a very natural part of our work," explains Mikael Siding, project controller


The importance of aiming right

Mikael highlights how crucial it is to identify the intended function of the system. Who is the system supposed to assist, and what is the gain?

"Since it should be a support for the project manager, the focus in the setup should not be on finance or my needs but on how the system can help project managers. They are the ones entering information into the system that I then use, not the other way around. Of course, they can see a lot of financial information, but beyond that, information is what they input," explains Mikael.

To ensure that they are always aiming right, Sydvatten did an incredibly important thing: they involved end-users. Already during the implementation, three project managers were present to provide feedback and develop ideas. This has continued, and the further development of the system always starts from the users, as Mikael illustrates clearly.

"Resource planning is a very good example. Finance may have a need for time reporting, forecasting, and clarity and quality in the figures for internal time. However, the primary focus is not on that, but the primary focus is asking project managers to estimate the resources they need. How many electricians are needed during a specific period, and when do they need them? How much project management time will you need to invest per month to reach your goal?

"If we, through INSIKT and continuous forecasting, can shift a borrowing requirement of SEK 150 million within 30 days, we can save the annual cost of INSIKT."

Mikael Siding, Project Controller

Right person for the right task

Previously, this work was done by the project manager requesting resources in the form of a total amount, which could often be very loosely estimated. Now, this is instead specified in hours per role, which, in turn, automatically converts to money. This has made the project manager's work more intuitive, as they now only need to think in terms of resources and hours, something they have extremely good control over. Then the next person in line can take over.

Through the project manager's input, we get both cost and hours per resource. Then we can quickly make a reasonableness assessment and subsequently forward it to those responsible. We can then determine the intended cost and review whether we have the resources needed to succeed. So, just by letting the project manager fill in hours, we get so much more in return.

Sydvatten has also integrated its time reporting system with INSIKT, allowing project managers to quickly see if the outcome matches the planned values per role.

Mikael Siding

A project management with added value

The same approach exists in Sydvatten's project planning. There, project managers estimate how much each project will cost from start to finish. This estimate is broken down into activities, ranging from how much archaeology will be required to what machines need to be purchased and when these activities will be carried out.

Since we ask project managers to look at the project as a whole and then distribute costs over time, finance gets its pieces for financial statements. If a project manager puts in values for a project estimated to run over four years, finance suddenly has a part of the forecast or budget for those four years. 

This data also serves as a basis for other parts of the business, such as the procurement of consulting services. With the project managers' estimates in hand, those in charge can directly see what needs to be procured in the coming periods, which not only reduces stress but also increases efficiency. It also helps in the crucial borrowing work. Since Sydvatten has no surplus, all projects are carried out with borrowed money. Taking the right loan at the right time is something that can save large sums of money.

If, through INSIKT and ongoing forecasting, we can defer a borrowing need of SEK 150 million for 30 days, we can cover the annual cost of INSIKT, Mikael says with a big smile on his face.