Marketing Project Management For Universities

University of Kentucky HealthCare

"Project Insight has helped our department's reputation and status. We are definitely more trusted, because we know where everything is. There's no longer a feeling of being overwhelmed, and people know when they give us a job that it's going to get finished."
- Graphics Manager

Main Challenges

The Graphics Services group within UK HealthCare supports the larger organization with a wide variety of advertising and marketing projects. The graphics manager explained, "We're the keepers of the brand. We create all of the collateral material and oversee the agency that UK HealthCare uses." Describing the scope and intensity of the group's work, he said, "We're a very, very busy department. We do about 60 projects a month, and we have at any given time about 150 active projects in various stages of approval."

  • Creative staff constantly interrupted with status questions
  • Inability to report ad hoc on the status of a given project
  • Some tasks on projects "lost" or slipped through the cracks
  • Lack of a unified, up-to-date view on one or many projects
  • Approval process was complex and time consuming
  • No way to enable collaboration

Prior to the adoption of Project Insight, UK HealthCare's Graphics Services group struggled to track progress on projects in a way that could help them collaborate with other departments. In addition, the group was distracted many times a day from creative and other project tasks by staff from outside the department requesting status updates. The graphics manager said, "We were managing our projects by spreadsheet. I'll tell you that I've been managing departments like this for about 25 years and I've tried various different management tools, and collaboration pieces, and they've all eventually failed."

I've tried various different management tools, and collaboration pieces, and they've all eventually failed." Describing the process of getting projects completed, he said, "In the healthcare industry, the approval process takes a lot longer because of liability issues, and information and legal requirements change so quickly." A number of very busy employees were part of the approval process, and worked offsite at any of several hospitals belonging to UK HealthCare. "So it was a very complex process to get the approvals finished, and you can imagine with that number of projects and that number of loose ends that it was hard for anybody to get their hands around the whole thing."

In addition, the graphics manager explained, "Collaboration was tough. Before Project Insight, one person had a spreadsheet of all of the projects, and he tried to keep it in his head as to what stages various tasks were in. 'I'm going to put this on hold so I can get a new photograph,' or 'So-and-so has problems with the copy. We have to vet this copy, I'll get back with you." Then you forget and the person circles back around asking, ‘How come my project's late? Where is it?' or ‘I can't get anything out of you guys.' You can imagine that with 20 people trying to juggle this many projects, there really was no central place that captured the nuances of every job."

Why Project Insight

UK HealthCare needed a project management solution that would provide:

  • A way to support true collaboration
  • Instant and unified, "self-service" views and reports of project and task status
  • Central repository for documents, images, proofs, and other project materials
  • Streamlined approval process

When the graphics manager joined UK HealthCare's Graphics Services group, management had already signed up for Project Insight, which offered solutions for all of their requirements. However, it had not yet been implemented, so he took on the role of Project Insight champion at the same time as he was learning about the company and his new role. "I was lucky to have a manager that was really supportive," he said. "Project Insight is customizable and flexible enough that it adapted to our needs. That way we weren't relying on something out of the box to have set features that matched our workflow."

The Results

  • Easy to give project stakeholders instant access to information without research on the part of the creative team
  • Provides a central place for project status information as well as documents and other electronic project materials
  • Dramatically simplifies the approval process
  • Enables collaboration within the creative team and the organization as a whole

With support from upper management, the graphics manager implemented the use of Project Insight throughout Graphics Services and other departments with project stakeholders. He said, "We're able to take Project Insight and create custom fields, and make it perform the way we need it to. It does that beautifully now." Graphics Services has found that they spend a great deal less time answering questions about task and project status and process.

The manager said, "For me, it is peace of mind. Anybody can look at any time and see the complete status of a project. No more lost projects. Everybody is really good about putting in comments about nuances of the job. For me as a manager, I can go in at any time and hit one button. I've saved the reports. I know everything that's happening on a service line, or everything that a particular designer is working on, and I know what state the job is in. In my first year I didn't know how many projects we completed. Now I know that we've hit a 30% increase in workload over what we did the previous year, and I can tell you that we do an average of 66 jobs a month, and an average of 150 active at any time." In addition, Graphics Services is being regarded in a new way. The graphics manager said, "Project Insight has helped our department's reputation and status. We are definitely more trusted, because we know where everything is. There's no longer a feeling of being overwhelmed. And people know when they give us a job it's going to get finished."

Summarizing his experience with Metafuse, the company behind Project Insight, he said, "Being in graphic design, we're heavily into using applications and computers, and we have to talk with companies all the time for support. We love the company and everything, but I will tell you, I have never, ever had better support than I have from Metafuse."