Tailored project management

'Waterwegen en Zeekanaal' (W&Z) aims to optimize the running of its projects over the long term in order to benefit both the quality of the result and efficiency.
Steven Bauwens

Strategic challenge

Approximately one thousand of Europe’s estimated 41,000 kilometres of waterways are located in Flanders. This means Flanders has one of the most extensive and close-knit waterway networks in the world. It represents a key benefit to the economy, recreation and the landscape that Waterwegen en Zeekanaal NV (W&Z) wishes to exploit to its full potential. W&Z is charged with managing the waterways in the west and centre of Flanders and a large portion of the terrain along these waterways.

The three regional departments are each implementing an array of infrastructural projects. The commercial department is concerned in matters such as the development of large projects involving a number of partners. ICT projects and strategic projects span across the entire organization. The types of projects and contexts in which they are carried out are particularly diverse.

W&Z aims to optimize the running of its projects over the long term in order to benefit both the quality of the result and efficiency.


Using a combination of interviews, brainstorming sessions, benchmarking, a ‘world café’ and a clear communication plan, Möbius created a vision that was supported by all relevant stakeholders within the organization (end of 2013).

A number of task forces transformed this vision into specific ways of working (processes, templates) and specific ICT tools to support this way of working (2014). The focus in this process was at 2 levels:

  1. The project management level: how do we want to manage projects?
  2. The portfolio management level: how do we choose which projects to implement and how do we organize the supervision of these projects at the different steering committee levels within the organization?

In 2015, Möbius launched the new portfolio approach by involving the entire organization, identifying candidate projects and making an inventory of ongoing projects. The various managers got behind the analysis and supervision processes.

Over 20 project managers committed to adopting the new ways of working. They gained valuable hands-on experience, assisted by focused training, coaching, peer support, project labs, etc. Using this experience, the way of working was streamlined and developed in preparation for a full launch of the new approach for all projects as from 2016.


The collaboration with Möbius has led W&Z to the following results: •

  • A uniform, supported method for project execution aligned with standard best practice tailored to suit the business.
  • Improved efficiency in project organization and superior project results.

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