Success Story: HTW Berlin

The school builds an easy-to-administer intranet and improves team collaboration with Zenkit Base

The University of Applied Sciences (Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin – HTW Berlin) was founded in 1994 in Berlin. Currently, the organization has around a thousand employees, with 200 of them working closely with Zenkit Suite products on a daily basis. One of them is Ralf Weller, the Head of IT, who will lead us deeper into their day-to-day work at HTW Berlin in this customer success story.

Before we begin, here’s a note from Ralf about Zenkit products and the Axonic team:

“The international team at Axonic has proven a product suite “Made in Germany” can be developed that meets all requirements in terms of availability, GDPR (Europe’s new data privacy and security law) conformity, openness to development update and ensures large parts of digital sovereignty for the customer. The support is so close to the customer because the Axonic team also uses its own products and tools.”

If you want to learn how the Zenkit Suite helps HTW Berlin successfully collaborate, communicate, and manage multiple projects, you’ve come to the right place!

Berlin, Germany


1.5 years using Zenkit Projects, Base, To Do and Zenchat

IProject Management, Team Communication, and Knowledgement Management

© HTW Berlin/Alexander Rentsch

“The Zenkit Suite makes internal and external collaboration in HTW Berlin effective.”

Being the head of IT at HTW Berlin, Ralf Weller was able to give us a glimpse into a typical workflow in his department. The HTW Berlin technical team operated and maintained most of the computing center’s technical systems, including cooling technology, UPS/batteries, emergency power generators, and a fire prevention system, in collaboration with external service providers. Since these works also have a significant impact on the operation of their internal data center, the IT team works closely with the data center as well.

Everyone has probably experienced the difficulty of working and getting everyone on the same page, especially when there are a large number of members involved. Several Zenkit Suite products, including Zenkit Projects and Zenkit To Do, were introduced to ensure effective communication among all parties while coordinating appointments and maintenance work. Zenkit Projects, for example, is used to plan and manage projects such as the upcoming replacement of the fire prevention system. At the same time, if desired, one could simply work from the Zenkit To Do list. The Zenkit Suite has given each team member the freedom to work as they see fit based on their roles and needs

© HTW Berlin/Alexander Rentsch

Another example Ralf provided was the use case of improved resource planning. Using Zenkit, HTW Berlin has developed and mapped a phase model successfully, initially in Zenkit Base and later connected to Zenkit Projects.

The phase model describes their project process onboarding, consisting of project entry, creation of project outlines, verification of resource requirements and prioritization of projects running in parallel. Concrete project planning such as time and task planning begins only after the approval of a project, which is the last process step. In other words, the Zenkit Suite enables them to depict a complete project management process.

This model allows not only the clustering of projects according to the business areas of the university, but also a visualization and control of the digital transformation of important business processes. Currently, the model is actively developed and driven forward by decision-makers (i.e. the university management board), IT management, and by the respective project management during implementation.

“The Zenkit Suite helps HTW Berlin to build a phase model with complete project management processes.”

© HTW Berlin/Alexander Rentsch

“The implementation of Zenkit has brought about benefits for both individuals and the entire team.”

Since the implementation of Zenkit around one and half years ago, Ralf and other members at HTW Berlin have figured out various benefits, both individually and collaboratively. First of all, they realized the digital competence of employees has been improved because employees get the opportunity to acquire digital skills through the use of Zenkit tools that support collaboration. Moreover, Ralf pointed out that the Zenkit Suite provides a useful and powerful centralized workspace for the crucial project management processes, which fosters clarity for team collaboration as well as prevents data loss or miscommunication of vital organizational information. For example, using Zenkit, they could combine schedules from various projects and the central HTW Berlin calendar, allowing everyone to stay on top of all appointments and milestones. Meanwhile, documents from all projects and the central HTW Berlin wiki have been well organized and merged, making it easy for users to find all relevant documents whenever and wherever they work.

Last but not least, there is transparency and adaptability. It is very simple to create decision-making templates with clarity by combining a wide range of information from projects and day-to-day business, as well as displaying them in different views based on the needs in Zenkit. Ralf informed us that HTW Berlin can quickly perform both retrospective and prospective evaluations or simulations by generating different perspectives or views in a single database.

Finally, according to Ralf, one can generate a high level of transparency by using tolls that are actually simple and flexible. At HTW Berlin, for example, flexible reports are provided to each user group, and enormous transparency can be achieved thanks to Zenkit’s ability to view the same data with a variety of different views. Kanban, Mind Map, Table, and Gantt Charts are just a few of the many useful and powerful views used at HTW Berlin.

“Zenkit helps to generate a high level of organizational transparency, leading to a more effective and clearer decision-making process.”

Download PDF