Hunze & Aa's water board

Waterschap Hunze en Aa's deals with the water in north-east Groningen and north-east Drenthe on a daily basis. Hunze en Aa's provides clean and sufficient water in canals, lakes and ditches. For strong dykes that protect against flooding. And for waterways that are easy to navigate. This takes into account the various interests of nature, agriculture and recreation within its service area. The Hunze en Aa's water board has about 340 employees. They work at the head office and laboratory in Veendam and at various outdoor locations. The Hunze and Aa's water board is organised into four departments, namely;

  • Clean water (SW),
  • Safe and Sufficient Water (VVW),
  • Personnel, finance and operations (PFB) and
  • Policy, Projects and Laboratory (BPL).

Some key figures from Hunze and Aa's:

  • Budget 2020 : €93 million
  • Surface area : 213,000 hectares
  • Population : 424,000
  • Length of sea wall : 28 kilometres
  • Canal dykes : 795 kilometres
  • Length of canals and ditches : 3,525 kilometres
  • Ground : 252
  • Weirs : 1,628
  • Locks : 47
  • Sewage treatment plants : 13


Hunze & Aa's has a dated financial system running on-premise and would like to move to an up-to-date transactional system for a professional, project-oriented and budget-driven organisation. This new system must fit within the current IT landscape (infrastructure and applications) and support a migration to the cloud. Naturally, it must meet the needs of the various user groups as much as possible and deliver a more effective and efficient financial system. To this end, Hunze & Aa's will have to invite tenders, following the rules of a European tender.

Hunze & Aa's asked Improven to support them in drawing up the tender documents, monitoring the planning and determining the tender strategy. All this in collaboration with the project manager, who will be responsible for implementing the new financial system.

Our approach

Our proposed approach has 3 main steps, see below in Figure 1, including planning over time. This will be further elaborated below.

Figure 1. Our proposed phased approach.

1. Content preparation & tender drafting

This phase includes a kick-off meeting with the client, incl. going through and fine-tuning expectations and approach. The various stakeholders of the new system and the resulting project groups and participants are also determined. The tender process is planned in time, taking into account the availability of the project participants and the obligations with regard to the legal tender process. Furthermore, the Use Cases are drawn up in various project groups, the programme of requirements and wishes are determined, the planning and also a risk analysis is carried out. All this is laid down in the tender guidelines.

2. Placing of tender, note of information and tenders
The final tender instructions will be published on the tender system relevant to Hunze & Aa's (CTM), after which interested parties will have time to ask questions about them via the information note. After the official deadline for asking questions, time is granted for the submission of tenders. This schedule is monitored and tenders are shared with project members after the deadline.

3. Selection & weighting, demos and awarding

The tenders are further reviewed and individually assessed and weighted based on the components, for which he/she is responsible (e.g. Use Cases per project group). Following this, assessment sessions are set up, to arrive at a joint assessment with relevant substantiation. Based on the joint scores, it is determined who will/will not be invited to a demonstration session and corresponding interview. Furthermore, based on the overall assessment of the offeror, an intention to award will be issued. Taking into account the legal deadline for objections, a final award can then be made for the new financial system.


Boskalis selected a new pool planning system in a relatively short period of time. The selection process had the following results:

  • A System Requirements Analysis (SRA), based on the desired processes and solutions to the current bottlenecks from a process analysis. In addition to the functional, the SRA includes the technical and security aspects for the selection, as coordinated with Boskalis IT's information architects.
  • demo scripts based on the SRA and desired processes with coordination with key-users
  • RFP and SRA answers summary including initial price comparison.
  • Scripts for a proof of concept
  • The final report with justification of the final choice and advice for the follow-up trajectory