The Ohio State University relies on Smartsheet to automate key processes and respond faster to customers

By using Smartsheet, The Ohio State University Facilities Information and Technology Services team simplifies project tracking, saves over 150 hours of administrative work annually, automates complex time tracking processes, and responds faster to customers.

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hours saved


  • Education

Organization Size

  • Enterprise (10,000+)


  • North America

“Smartsheet helps us be more responsive to our customers because we’re now much more aware of how long tasks have been sitting, so we resolve issues much faster. We know when certain requests are getting so far out of date that it might cause problems for customers.”

Joe Porostosky

Director of Facilities Information and Technology Services, The Ohio State University

The Ohio State University (OSU), founded in 1870, is a public land-grant research university located in Columbus, Ohio. OSU provides education to more than 67,000 students and has been ranked among the best public universities in the United States.

OSU’s Facilities Information and Technology Services department supports critical teams including architectural services, which manages floor plan data, building models, and Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which performs campus mapping, drone imagery, and application development. The department relies on Smartsheet for project management, task automation, and visibility for executives. “Smartsheet is a really powerful tool that gives people on different teams full visibility into their projects and makes it easy to understand the work being done and when it’s due,” says Joe Porostosky, Director of Facilities Information and Technology Services, The Ohio State University.

For many years, the Facilities Information and Technology Services department used a combination of email and spreadsheet software to track internal projects for multiple teams. “One of our challenges is that we have a lot of streams of information coming into our department from a lot of different places, because we serve the entire university,” Porostosky says. “As a manager, I had no real understanding of how much work was being accomplished. I would have other managers email me once a week to update me on the status of projects, which wasn’t efficient.” This presented problems when it came to tracking service level agreements (SLAs) for customers. “We have to finish work within a certain time period, but I didn’t have a unified view of all the different projects,” says Porostosky. “We might have been meeting SLAs, but I had no way of knowing for sure.”

Porostosky sought to solve the problem by finding a technology solution that offered a centralized view of projects.

Centralizing Key Processes and Simplifying Project Management with Smartsheet 

As Porostosky began evaluating new project management tools, he realized OSU already had internal licenses for Smartsheet. "After researching several potential solutions, I saw the potential Smartsheet had to solve some of our collaboration and project tracking issues." says Porostosky.

Porostosky initially built a solution in Smartsheet for tracking departmental projects and tasks for individual employees. “I tried to develop the simplest possible system for bringing in project data from all the different systems we had, while also enabling reporting across different types of tasks,” he says. “It gave us a good view into how many projects were in employees’ queues and what the status was for each project.” Over time, additional OSU departments, including security and medical center teams, began using Smartsheet for managing projects. Currently, more than 2,100 collaborators in more than 60 departments rely on Smartsheet to manage their daily work.

More recently, Porostosky and his team upgraded to the Smartsheet Advance Gold platform, which offers capabilities like centralized process management with Control Center and secures the sharing of project information for viewing and editing with Dynamic View. Smartsheet Advance also enables teams to connect to other critical internal business platforms through intelligent workflows and connectors.

“We’re already seeing value from Smartsheet Advance,” Porostosky says. “For example, we’re using Dynamic View to provide more detailed information to some of our customers without having to give them access to the underlying sheets.”

A Unified View of All Projects and Tasks 

With Smartsheet, the Facilities Information and Technology Services team has a centralized view of the status of all projects and individual tasks, giving Porostosky and other team members better visibility into the updated status of each project.

“Smartsheet solved our visibility and task management problems by bringing everything together in one place,” says Porostosky. “It brings clarity to our work, because each person knows exactly what they’re working on each day and can see which projects need prioritization or which ones are about to go past the deadline.” 

Porostosky is also saving over 150 hours of administrative work annually because he no longer spends time searching for project updates and sending emails to team members. “I now have the visibility I need into our work, because everything is in the dashboards in Smartsheet,” he says. “I get reports for each person and project, so if I do have a question about something, I can just bring it up at our Monday morning meeting. More important than the time savings is the fact that we’re all spending our time on the right tasks.”

A Better Ability to Respond to Customers

Because OSU has stronger project visibility, it can keep customers updated on the progress of work. “Smartsheet helps us be more responsive to our customers because we’re now much more aware of how long tasks have been sitting, so we resolve issues much faster. We know when certain requests are getting so far out of date that it might cause problems for customers,” says Porostosky.

Automation of a Complex Time Tracking Process 

The Facilities Information and Technology Services team is taking advantage of the automation in Smartsheet to streamline a time tracking procedure for students working with the team. “We want to track students’ time to determine how quickly they’re getting tasks completed so we could help them improve performance if necessary,” says Porostosky.

“Prior to Smartsheet, we would track students’ time in various spreadsheets and applications, which was difficult and complex. I would wait until the end of the summer to download all the data to come up with a metric for their performance. Now, instead of taking multiple days to pull that data together, I can do it in real time in Smartsheet. There is no work on our part”

Porostosky and his team are now exploring additional Smartsheet capabilities, such as the DataMesh app to more easily map Smartsheet data between large reports. Additionally, Porostosky is working with the OSU real estate team to use Smartsheet Control Center to manage large projects.

“That team requires at least 30 steps for every single project they do, so we’re going to hopefully help them make that process easier with Control Center,” says Porostosky. “Smartsheet helps us simplify processes and reduce the amount of manual work we do, and this is another good example of that.”