Project Management - How TimeTonic Facilitates Collaboration at GRDF in the midst of COVID Pandemic

« A collaborative tool that is easy to customize and simple to use like TimeTonic is very valuable because it allows us to work in a cross-functional way » 
TimeTonic Team
November 19, 2020
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Since its creation in 2008, GRDF (Gaz Réseau DistributionFrance) has been the main distributor of natural gas in France.

GRDF's communications department retained TimeTonic to plan all its operations (press, media, events, publications) both internally for the company's 11,000 employees and externally for the general public, customers and various stakeholders (local authorities, political decision-makers, partners, etc.).

The need for a new tool for cross-functional project management

The teams of the different areas of expertise are regularly called upon to work in project mode on the most important subjects, which also makes it necessary to monitor schedules and workloads across the board.

The current situation of the Communication Department in 2020 is marked by the crisis of COVID both internally and externally.

As Nathalie Vernois Frendo, GRDF's Deputy Director of Communications, explains, it was this project mode operation, current events and the need for remote collaboration that led them to look for a new tool:

" We needed a tool that was easy to use and accessible toeveryone. The concern was also to bring transversality, to inform the whole team about the projects so that they could have the opportunity to position themselves on certain subjects".

TimeTonic, the flexibility of the spreadsheet, the richness of visual management

After having tested several solutions GRDF turned to the TimeTonic solution, with the concern that the solution would bring real added value and would generate employee buy-in.

Allassane Timité, Head of MOA and tool piloting, confirms :

" We had tested several tools that were attractive at first glance, but which in the end did not meet our needs. All our colleagues were going back to the good old spreadsheet, with its shortcomings: no one had a complete view of what was planned!
That's why TimeTonic, which combines both the spreadsheet mode that everyone understands, and the different Kanban, Timeline, Calendar views, accessible with one click, was perfect for us .

According to Allassane Timité, what appealed in the TimeTonic solution was :

  • This operation takes the codes from the workbook and therefore from the spreadsheet, which allows a very quick appropriation by users who were previously working mainly with Excel.
  • User ergonomics made possible by the variety of views available (tables, sheets, planning, mapping), some of which are well adapted to project management (for example the Kanban view).
  • The ability to fill in the tool without connecting to it and its interface with Outlook: each TimeTonic notebook (management space) has its own email address, so it can be filled in simply by using this address as a recipient or as a copy.
  • mobile access, which is absolutely impossible with an Excel spreadsheet.
  • The ability to create dedicated areas per team while allowing management to have an overall view
  • A fully and easily customizable solution to meet its own needs.

A fully and easily customizable solution

A key factor in the successful deployment of TimeTonic was the agility to customize the structure of the data and the links between them, as easily as Excel and without any IT development, which was a key factor in the success of TimeTonic's deployment.

Nathalie Vernois Frendo :

" This facility to customize the tool is very appreciable, we can adapt it to needs related to our operation."

Allassane Timité, MOA and tools management manager :

" And to be able to customize TimeTonic, you don't have to be an expert, it's very valuable "

Dedicated areas for each team, an overview for management

One of TimeTonic's strong points is the ability to create management areas by user group, with specific views and access rights, while having a single common basis, thus maintaining a complete overview for management and avoiding loss of information and multiple re-entries.

Nathalie Vernois Frendo:

" On the management side, there is easy access and overall visibility which is really very effective. We can follow the projects through the tool".

TimeTonic, an indispensable tool

Nathalie Vernois Frendo :

"TimeTonic is a collaborative tool that is really easy to use, very precious for us now because it allows us to work in a transversal way" .

A tool that can be used as a link and a guiding thread at this very special time, especially during the weekly management conference calls.

Nathalie Vernois Frendo concludes:

" It's so nice that everyone can see all the projects and be able to position themselves on some of them if they want to ."
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