Expedite Project Completion for Health System Marketing

ThedaCare

"We had no consistent methods for managing projects, so each project was managed differently. Project Insight project management software provides checkpoints to ensure we do everything the same way using data our previous system couldn't capture."
- Marketing Communications Planner

Main Challenges

As ThedaCare grew and expanded, its original project tracking system became out of date. It offered limited capabilities, relying on email and a few programs and it saved everything to individuals' computers instead of to a centralized software program. As a result, there was no central repository that everyone could access. With no controls or templates, project managers were left to their own devices in managing their projects.

  • Lacked controls and templates, forcing project managers to improvise project management
  • Unable to capture all information in a central repository for accurate budgeting, forecasting and resource utilization
  • Inability to communicate with the entire team

Consequently, project managers were unable to capture all the information in one place that would allow them to accurately budget projects, make informed forecasts and maximize resource utilization. "There were no checkpoints to make sure project managers performed tasks the same way," said ThedaCare's Marketing Communications Planner. "We tried to keep all tasks and communications within the project itself, but that was very difficult since we didn't have the capability of communicating with the entire team. In short, there was no consistent project management."

Why Project Insight

Before establishing criteria for selecting project management software, ThedaCare carefully studied options to find the right solution. Their Plan Due Study Act (PDSA) evaluated current conditions, including what issues were causing problems.

  • Met all the requirements established by the project team survey
  • Made it easier for everyone to use, which improved productivity
  • Stored everything—documents, budgets, videos, marketing materials—within each project
  • Generated customized reports

"We surveyed our project teams and asked how often they used our current software solution," the Marketing Communications Planner stated. "We discovered that half the team members used the software 25% of the time. In addition, our cost analysis revealed we were wasting $5,000 a year paying for 50 licenses that a third of our team members never used." During the evaluation period the company set goals on how to improve the project management process, determined quality metrics and established a baseline of software requirements. The company evaluated six different solutions, which they pared down to three. "We created a matrix comparing software features based on priorities we got from a team survey. These priorities included project tracking, team notifications, project reminders, version control, resource dashboards, reports, budget tracking and more." The evaluation team reduced the selection to two vendor products and submitted the names to management with the recommendation to purchase Project Insight. The recommendation was accepted.

The Results

  • Creates a central repository where everything related to a project is stored
  • Facilitates faster approvals and rapid project completion
  • Provides a dashboard to track projects, budgets and resources in real time
  • Ensures all closing projects have budgets, which is essential for accurate forecasting

Project Insight, project management software, was implemented in July of 2013 and productivity quickly improved. "For example," the Marketing Communications Planner explained, "our old project system required writers to convert Microsoft Word documents into PDFs. The documents were reconverted to Word for edits. Now we open Word documents, track changes and save the newest version within the project." "Our antiquated approval process required us to physically take a piece of paper to the project manager that included all written and design changes.

Project Insight's software streamlined the process. Now project managers get alerts of files coming in for their approval." The project management solution established a central repository where everything related to a project—documents, revisions, videos, demos, images—is all stored together within the project. This not only speeds up the process, it results in some projects being completed ahead of schedule. "The dashboard is also very helpful," said ThedaCare's Marketing Communications Planner. "We can see if tasks were updated internally or externally in real time. We can see what's been approved, what's on budget and what isn't, and how resources are allocated. We can check if a project is running on time and delivered on time. We can determine if a project was over or under budget and how many hours were put in managing the project." Previously, not all projects had assigned budgets.

Now 100% of all closing projects have budgets assigned. This is essential for accurate budget forecasting because in the future, project managers can see what was budgeted on similar projects, how much was actually spent and learn from the experience. "My colleagues tease me about being the Project Insight police," laughs the Marketing Communications Planner, "It's been a great tool. Sure, we've had some growing pains, but the software's flexibility allows us to make changes and adjustments as well as customize it. It's pretty awesome."