DIRECTV uses Smartsheet to support strategic transformation by simplifying and centralizing Enterprise Project Management

DIRECTV uses Smartsheet to help the Transformation Office drive strategic initiatives that support the organization’s top priorities.

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are tracked end-to-end in a centralized view


  • Media and Production

Organization Size

  • Enterprise (10,000+)


  • North America

“We get asked regularly, sometimes daily, about a project’s status. Using Smartsheet, I can quickly create ad hoc reports and summarize a project in a dashboard so our executives can digest the data and make decisions.”

Amber Grossman

Director, Technical Project Management, DIRECTV

Millions of people rely on DIRECTV every day to watch sports and entertainment on their televisions, streaming devices, and mobile apps. The pay TV service provides hundreds of channels of subscription-based premium video and on-demand televised content via satellite or over an internet connection.

Under the direction of the Transformation Office, DIRECTV strives to achieve strategic transformation through projects and initiatives that support the organization’s strategic priorities.

“Base management is one of our major priorities. We’ve got millions of customers, so we’re constantly looking at ways to improve the service and offer more content,” said Amber Grossman, director of technical project management at DIRECTV. “Another major priority is gaining new customers, through new marketing campaigns and other initiatives.”

There are nearly 200 projects that directly align to the company’s strategic priorities and the Transformation Office uses Smartsheet to track the full lifecycle of each project. And the projects in that portfolio continue to expand, evolve, and close-out.

“With Smartsheet, we have a very robust project management tool that helps us manage a portfolio of strategic projects through the stage gates from inception all the way to implementation,” Grossman says.

Previously, projects were managed using a range of spreadsheets and other tools.

“There are a lot of software tools to help with task management, but it’s much more challenging to track KPIs and financial data effectively and link that data back to each project.”

Tracking Mission-Critical Projects from Start to Finish in Smartsheet

Managing projects of this size and impact is a complex process, with the inherently cross-functional nature of significant programs and initiatives. Smartsheet streamlines this by automating manual tasks and ensuring efficiency at each step along the way.

New ideas and problems surfaced by business owners come to the Transformation team where they define the problem statement, root cause and goal before the project is sent to the feasibility team that includes subject matter experts from stakeholders including IT, Engineering and Finance.

Once approved, each project goes through a governance process before reaching Grossman’s team for tracking. “Each project aligns to one of our company-wide strategic priorities,” she says. “For instance, of all the projects we’re currently tracking in Smartsheet, 15% are associated with our base management priority.”

After a project is formally approved and ready for tracking, the Transformation Office enters project data into a “work in progress” sheet in Smartsheet, where projects are aggregated. Each user then has their own Smartsheet homepage “dashboard” where they can maintain their specific initiatives. Project managers can also get an at-a-glance view of the status of a project, including information such as project owner contact information, deadlines, and updated financial data.

DIRECTV uses workflow automation in Smartsheet to trigger project approvals and alert different teams when information gets updated or a deadline has passed. “Smartsheet keeps all our projects moving forward across all stages,” says Grossman. The Transformation team also uses Data Shuttle by Smartsheet to offload project data between the company’s database system and Smartsheet. “We sometimes need to send unique project intake IDs to other teams, but we only need to move approved project data, for example,” says Grossman. Grossman also uses Smartsheet to automatically copy and paste KPI information between sheets.

A Centralized View of Nearly 200 Projects

DIRECTV is using Smartsheet to get a centralized picture of the status of nearly 200 projects at a glance, improving visibility for leaders and executives. Smartsheet also helps enroll project managers in larger efforts, by creating visibility into how their work supports strategic priorities.

“We get asked regularly, sometimes daily, about a project’s status,” says Grossman. “Using Smartsheet, I can quickly create ad hoc reports and summarize a project in a dashboard so our executives can digest the data and make decisions.” The Transformation team can also easily update projects as milestones change or new information is added. 

“Getting project updates into Smartsheet is a very simple process. Our team members don’t have to look at different documents or spreadsheets, because everything they need is captured in one place on the user dashboard.”

Fast Access to Financial Insights

Using Smartsheet, DIRECTV spends less time gathering financial data for different projects.

“Smartsheet has the capacity to automate formulas and calculations. I used to spend a lot of time filtering and exporting KPI data into reports to show monthly or yearly comparisons between targets and actual numbers. Now, I just cut and paste and export it, which saves me a lot of time,” says Grossman.

By automating formerly manual processes, DIRECTV leads have faster access to financial data and performance, helping optimize decision making for the company’s leadership teams.

DIRECTV is also relying on Smartsheet to keep projects moving forward and aligned closely with the company’s strategic priorities.

“Smartsheet helps us identify overperformers, dig into the why and, where possible, duplicate the success in other areas. Conversely, if the project isn’t on track, we can use Smartsheet to understand the project’s shortcomings and how can we solve the problem. We can easily pull information to show which projects are on the right track, and which ones need a little bit more attention,” says Grossman. 

“By keeping work on schedule, we can better meet our financial goals. Our customers benefit from that, because we can invest in additional features and content. Smartsheet’s capabilities, combined with the knowledge of our teams, helps us support our strategic objectives and positively impact our customers.”

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