Europaschule Utbremen: Reducing Project Admin by 70% and Meeting Duration by 90%.











Use Case

Project Management

Europaschule Utbremen: Leading the way in vocational training.

Step into the vibrant halls of Europaschule Utbremen, where innovation meets education. Nestled within its walls are 1,850 students, guided by a team of 155 dedicated teachers with expertise in four key subject areas: information technology, business, natural sciences, and foreign languages.

At the heart of this forward-thinking institution is economics and project management expert, Malte Menzel. Malte spearheads curriculum innovations and school-wide development initiatives, and is dedicated to ensuring students’ learning extends beyond the textbooks. For this, he needs the best possible tools of the trade. Since 2021, MeisterTask has been an essential part of the school’s tech stack, and is used by teachers and students alike in the organization and management of complex and ambitious projects.

“Connecting the theoretical framework with the practical aspects of the subject is essential for our students, and having a digital tool like MeisterTask is crucial in making this connection. It’s the best solution for us, helping prepare our students for the real world.”

Malte Menzel

Teacher of economics, project management, and IT, subject spokesperson for economics, and member of the school management team, Europaschule Utbremen

However, it wasn’t always such smooth sailing. Before introducing MeisterTask, finicky and inflexible processes were hindering progress and taking time away from what mattered: learning!

The challenge: Students’ potential limited by rigid project management.

The school’s faculty has long been immersed in teaching project management across various domains, spanning both business and IT, actively engaging students in the process.

“Each year, middle school students studying IT have to complete a vocational project. Similarly, high school graduates on the business studies course have to complete a project as part of their final evaluation.”

These projects are no small feat. They’re expected to be complex undertakings which include real-world challenges.

“Our students have embarked on numerous ambitious ventures, from organizing a DKMS charity run to hosting a career information day and even orchestrating a benefit concert featuring two bands in the city.”

Traditionally, students relied on cumbersome methods like creating work breakdown structures in Microsoft Word or Excel, sometimes venturing into Microsoft Project when time allowed for teacher-led training sessions. Malte says:

“Managing project work packages in Word documents proved to be a headache, with information scattered across multiple files, resulting in a tangled web of data that ultimately slowed us down.”

Malte explains how this old-school, rigid project management approach lead to significant issues:

“Students lacked a holistic project overview, which made accurate and informed project planning difficult. And, because they didn’t have the full picture, they struggled to understand the larger purpose of their tasks.”

It wasn’t just the students who were at a disadvantage.

 “For teachers, the lack of transparency into how the project developed and who contributed to which parts made grading a challenge. There was no way to track problems that arose during the project or how they were resolved, unless they were documented in the meeting minutes – which wasn’t always the case. Ensuring individual grades were awarded fairly required a lot of manual effort and attention to detail.”

The Solution: Simple, transparent project management with MeisterTask.

After bumping into a former student – who was shocked to discover the school was still stuck using Word and Excel for project management – Malte decided to instigate a change. The former student was using Trello in their workplace, and highlighted the benefits of having a simple tool which supports Kanban methodology. Malte explains:

 “I looked into all the available Kanban tools out there, which is where I first came across MeisterTask. This was 10 years ago now – when I presented MeisterTask to the faculty, everyone was in favor of trying it out. The challenge was, we were using desktop computers. There were no laptops or iPads then. We had to book extra computer rooms so that the students could work with the tool.”

At that time, making the switch to a digital project management tool was too complex, and so the project was put on hold. Years later, when laptops and iPads became widely available at the school, Malte initiated the project again, trying out Trello and Asana first – before coming back to MeisterTask.

 “Trello was too limited for our needs. It wasn’t optimized for file storage and if students uploaded something there, it was difficult to find it later. And we quickly realized that Asana wasn’t right for us either because it was too complex.”

For Malte, it was essential that their new project management tool was easy to use, so it could be implemented quickly. Security was also an important consideration. The school is subject to the Bremen Senatorial Authority, which requires strict security compliance. U.S. based tools, for example, are not permitted to be used by the school as they often fall below European security standards. MeisterTask – with its GDPR certification and rigorous security features – was therefore an obvious choice.

 “My colleagues were up and running with MeisterTask after just 45 minutes of training – even my less tech-savvy colleagues found it easy to understand. And the students got to grips with it even quicker. MeisterTask strikes exactly the right balance between functionality and ease of use.”

MeisterTask was a big help for one particular student venture: staging a musical. Using MeisterTask to manage the project, the students were able to plan and organize the performance, bringing together actors, musicians and singers from an English partner school. Over 400 visitors were invited over 4 dates – so there was a lot to organize.

 “We had a relatively large number of tasks to complete outside of school, such as making arrangements directly at the venue or visiting the instrument rental shop. The students were able to manage their tasks on-site via the MeisterTask app, which was a big advantage.”

Project information, files and photos were linked in tasks, so students could always easily find and share everything in the follow-up meetings with the teachers. This new process was much more flexible and efficient.

The school currently uses 20 business licenses for the teaching staff, which are shared internally. Malte says:

 “I can deactivate licenses for colleagues who have just completed projects and reassign them to others. As budget is always a consideration in the education sector, this cost-effective way of working is incredibly helpful. It’s one of the many reasons I chose MeisterTask.”

For the students, the free basic version of MeisterTask, which includes 3 projects, is sufficient.

 “Although our students only need one project for their assignment, they often use the remaining two for organizing their coursework, or even personal projects – and we encourage it. Many students continue using MeisterTask when they start their careers.”

The Outcome: Project admin reduced by 70%, meeting duration slashed by 90%.

Today, Malte and his colleagues, alongside their students, navigate school projects with ease and transparency.

 “Project details are no longer a mystery. Each student is accountable for their contributions and this is clearly documented in the tool for the teachers to review. Grading has become much easier as a result.”

Post-project feedback echoes this sentiment, with both teachers and students praising MeisterTask’s simplicity and usability.

 “We’re seeing consistently positive results. My colleagues keep telling me that MeisterTask makes their day-to-day work so much smoother.”

For Malte, the value lies in the transparency that now exists throughout the entire project process.

 “MeisterTask is a safety net for the teachers. We can keep track of students’ project progress and intervene promptly if needed, or even just offer support and guidance to help them succeed.”

A huge advantage of MeisterTask for Malte is the amount of time it saves both the teachers and students. Malte shares:

 “Project meetings used to take a long time, often running for up to two hours. It was the main way we shared information. Now we have MeisterTask, I only need a 10-minute meeting with each group as I always have the project overview to hand.”

With MeisterTask, project meetings now only take 10 minutes.

Time spent on project organization has also decreased significantly.

“MeisterTask has reduced the time required for organizational training and project support by more than half, allowing us to focus on meaningful work.”

Malte’s advice to anyone considering using MeisterTask at their organization:

“There is no comparable tool on the market that allows you to manage projects so easily and efficiently. I highly recommend it.”

Your Best Projects Are Yet To Come.

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