Severa Sponsors Electric Car Venture eCars

Severa PSA system eases everyday project manager tasks and communications

The eCars Now! venture aims to mass produce electric cars that are at par in both price and performance to existing petroleum operated cars. To reach this point, 500 cars need to be pre-ordered. In the first quarter of 2009, eCars reached this milestone. “Already by March we had interest from 600 consumers”, said Janne Kjellman, the Project Manager of the first eCorolla. eCorolla is the name of the electric car produced by eCars – Now project. eCorrollas are conventional cars that are modified by replacing the petroleum engine and its parts with electric technology. Severa Corp, a Finnish based global provider of project management solutions got involved with the eCar Now project. Severa provides its web-based automation tool to manage projects, customers, time tracking and billing features. Project planning, resourcing and following is made possible in real-time. According to Project Manager Janne Kjellman, “a professional services automation system is invaluable in a project that’s implemented purely by voluntary workers.”

eCars – Now! is a volunteer based project that brings together a wide variety of professionals. A non-profit organization entails challenges to project management because of project professionals` remote work and dispersed work times.

“Project management for a venture on this scale is more challenging than normally. The members of the project are geographically dispersed all over Finland. They don’t meet face-to-face and have irregular work times. With Severa, project participants can follow the proceeding of different tasks and the project manager stays abreast of the situation,” said Kjellman. “Without Severa, the start-up and planning project phases would not have proceeded as smoothly.”

“Communicating with distributed teams of volunteers can be really challenging”, noted Kjellman. “Severa is extremely easy to use and thanks to the system, we started to manage the project immediately. We were able to instantly collect all necessary project information into one place, and then make it accessible to every member of the team.”

This kind of non-profit projects can benefit of using Severa in many ways. For successful communication it is essential to have contact information and history as well as all up to date documents stored in one place that is accessible to everyone. Team and resource calendars help sharing project deadlines and other information like work progress, notifications or contact requests. With Severa the Project portfolio management is efficient and accurate – project manager has a tool starting from budgeting and scheduling until work flow management and data exports available online 24/7.

During the last year, the market has continued to show favour towards the use and deployment of electric vehicles. The eCars venture has already proved that consumers are interested in buying electric cars as long as they are at par both in price and performance to existing petrol operated family cars. For Severa it is a great pleasure to be involved in a project that has such an important environmental goal.

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Text: Karoliina Caforio

Pictures: Henry Palonen