Project Management for Manufacturing Industrial Parts

Control Devices, LLC

"The biggest benefit of Project Insight is the visibility. With Project Insight, we now have the data and ability to rank projects, manage our resources and better prioritize."
- Senior Project Manager

Main Challenges

We sat down with the Senior Project Manager of Control Devices, LLC, a manufacturing engineering company. Managing over 32 projects across large teams was no easy task without a project and portfolio management (PPM) tool in place. He shared what it was like managing their projects before Project Insight, their journey of choosing PI® and now their success.

What pains or problems were you facing that led you to look for a project management solution?

"We were struggling with managing our projects in Excel. When we were a small company, we managed, but as our company grew, it became too much [to manage]."

Multi-tasking between his engineering duties and now officially the senior project manager, one of his first tasks was to make the Excel process "more effective."

What was the business impact of this?

There were ongoing challenges with this process.

  • Lack of project visibility
  • Scattered project data
  • Overworked resources
  • Endless manual work

At this point, the Senior Project Manager started doing research knowing there was a better way to track and manage projects. Initially, he found several collaborative tools, but nothing that really matched their criteria.

Then he came across MS Project, only to find that it was a great tool, however, it was more of a data management tool and way too complex for the average user. They were looking for a team solution. A collaborative project management solution that was user friendly and easy to adopt.

Did you have leadership buy in?

"Yes, they pretty much gave me the free-reign to do the research and bring forward a proposal. This freedom made my job a lot easier."

Why Project Insight

What were PI's selling points?

"PI seemed to be cleaner, not as busy and cluttered. Easy to navigate and didn't load me down with options to swim through to figure out what I wanted. It met all of our requirements of course and the interface was great."

Some of these requirements included:

  • Usability
  • Flexibility
  • Project templates
  • Resource management
  • Expense tracking
  • Budgeting and costing
  • Reporting

Not having worked with a project management solution before, on a scale of 1 (hardest) to 10 (easiest) how easy was it?

"Understanding the basics was a 9 or 10 – very simple to figure out."

Can you share some of the primary ways that you use Project Insight?

  • Project Templates
    Created templates for general projects which are helpful and save time when generating new projects and we are able to tweak them as needed.
  • Intelligent Scheduling
    Provides a picture of the status report and the end date as of now – real time.
  • Baselines
    Baselines are used to capture and view the history of your project changes. These help the PMs determine project or resource delays and also provides the ability to report on data before and after the change.

The Results

From your perspective, what have been the top three benefits of using Project Insight?

1. Visibility
From top level funnel projects drilled down to projects being finished within the quarter.

2. Communication and Collaboration
"As a team we are more understanding of what it takes to manage and deliver projects company wide. This culture change has helped us improve our team collaboration and reduce the number of meetings."

"Before PI® the team spent countless hours in cumbersome meetings trying to update and keep up with the process of the projects and resources. Now, everyone can view project status, tasks and flows. The team has fewer meetings and more meaningful time to move their projects forward."

3. Benefit to Realization
"In the past we never did anything to evaluate project success, what worked, what didn't work, what project was more important – now we are able to pull that data."

This type of realization or 'lessons learned' is an import part of closing a project. It often helps project managers and the team identify areas of improvement and almost always contributes to better planning and forecasting for future projects.

Can you share a specific time when Project Insight made a real difference?

"Visibility is the biggest win!"

Saying 'yes' to every project without any knowledge of workloads or resources, or simply prioritizing the 'loudest screaming customer' has not proven to be very efficient in the long run for any organization.

Project Insight was able to help this team prioritize their projects accordingly considering workloads, resources, budget and cost. With Scorecards, the team can evaluate and rank projects based on a set of standard criteria.

In fact, they are now able to make more educated project decisions and provide this data to executives, stakeholders and/or customers to understand if and when a project is of lower value or the cost outweighs the benefit. This keeps everyone on the same page without jeopardizing business relationships.