Johnson & Johnson drastically speeds up content review with Smartsheet

Major healthcare company Johnson & Johnson needed to streamline the review process of its educational content. After tracking each stage of the review in Smartsheet, the company became more productive and saved 39 days in the process.

Avg. read time: 4 min

faster review process


saved for project completion


  • Life Sciences

Organization Size

  • Enterprise (10,000+)


  • North America

“Smartsheet helps me avert crises and speed up the content review process. We used to take 72 days to complete everything, but we now take only 32 days on average.”

Colleen Hulshof

Editorial Compliance Specialist, Global Learning & Development at Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision

For the last 130 years, Johnson & Johnson has been bringing innovative ideas, products, and services to advance people’s health and well-being. As a diversified healthcare company, it specializes in everything from medical devices to pharmaceuticals and over-the-counter drugs. Operating with more than 134,000 employees at 265 companies across 60 countries, Johnson & Johnson’s goal is to positively impact human health through innovation. 

Each piece of educational content that Johnson & Johnson creates for consumers or doctors needs to go through a stringent legal, regulatory, and medical review process governed by the Food and Drugs Administration of the United States of America. Colleen Hulshof, the Editorial Compliance Specialist for Global Learning & Development at Johnson & Johnson Surgical Vision, is the person responsible for managing the review process. 

When Hulshof took over the position, she was tasked to identify and manage roadblocks in the review process and meet company deadlines.

“I needed a tracking mechanism for what I do,” says Hulshof. “I wanted to easily analyze the time it took for every stage of the review process and see the reason for any delays.” 

Setting up a one-stop shop

Six months ago, Hulshof decided to turn to Smartsheet to keep track of the content review process. “I came across Smartsheet when another colleague used it for project management,” she says. “I thought it looked very exciting, I called it a ‘spreadsheet on steroids’ as it has so much more capabilities. I found everything there—information, comments, and attachments. I soon signed up for the ENGAGE 2022 customer conference where I learnt how to utilize Smartsheet to be more efficient.” 

Hulshof started by retrieving information about the educational content from authors and loading all the details into Smartsheet, everything from the target audience to the products identified and the story behind them. From here, Hulshof could easily track the due dates for each section of the review process, sending notes to the respective medical, legal, and regulatory reviewers if there were any delays. To ensure everyone stayed informed, all subject matter experts received automated notifications for each stage of the review process. 

Visibility and control

The result was a holistic sheet where Hulshof could gain clarity on how each stage of the review process was going and speed things up if necessary.

“One of the great things about Smartsheet is that you can really get visibility on who is doing what and work toward a resolution,” she says. “I like that it’s a one-stop shop, a single source of truth. And automation is definitely my favorite part of the process, enabling me to save time.”

With more clarity and control over the review process, Johnson & Johnson has eliminated delays.

“Smartsheet helps me avert crises and speed up the review process,” says Hulshof. “We used to take 72 days to complete everything, but we now take only an average of 32 days.”

For example, the initial review now takes 4 days less and the revision and resubmission of materials is completed 30 days faster. 

Setting an example

With increased efficiency, Hulshof’s team has also gained the trust and respect of other departments. “I have received so many internal awards—four or five in the last six months alone,” says Hulshof. “Everyone in our organization is so pleased that the content is being reviewed more efficiently.” 

Moving forward, Johnson & Johnson will share the insights gleaned from the solution with the wider organization. “Smartsheet enables me to be more granular in tracking any roadblocks and challenges,” says Hulshof. “We want to provide our findings to other stakeholders like the vendors and coordinators. Everybody has a stake in this complex review process and they should have clarity on what works and what doesn’t. I always sing Smartsheet’s praises and encourage everyone to jump on board because it’ll get them where they need to go.”