Trafag Simplifies Complex, Global Projects With Smartsheet
Trafag needed a collaborative work management solution to improve visibility and accuracy across global projects. Using Smartsheet offered a single source of truth that improved transparency and operations.
- Construction/ Engineering
- Medium (50 - 999 employees)
- Project Visibility
Smartsheet provides us with an overview of resources and the status of our projects. Priorities can change rapidly and new opportunities arise, so we have to have the maximum transparency over the status of our projects. With Smartsheet everybody knows at any time where the project is, and everybody is on the boat in case something goes wrong.
Trafag is a Swiss-based engineering company and a leading international supplier of high-quality sensors and controls. The company operates in over 40 countries with six product lines and 30-plus development projects per year. The project planning process previously in place was very tedious and lacked the transparency needed to gain insight into the overall state of the company. To maintain efficient process management and a high-level outlook, Trafag needed an intuitive and clever work management platform.
They tried to adopt a project management tool, but it didn’t address their needs. “It either wasn’t working, or there was difficulty in operating the tool,” says Marzio Locatelli, Head of Project Management. He needed to find a better solution that could handle the company’s three main business goals.
Platform Benefits Wishlist
The solution had to provide visibility into project status for management to efficiently plot courses for 15-20 projects simultaneously in flight.
In addition, it needed to provide specific details, instead of high-level estimations, to support accuracy in the planning process. Lastly, the solution needed to provide a way to scale resources to fit project needs and adjust to shifting prioritization and deadlines.
The solution? Smartsheet, which delivered clear benefits to address the company’s objectives:
High-Level Status Overview
Because it’s intuitive, Smartsheet interfaced with other tools Trafag was using, creating total transparency into project plans and resources. For example, by importing data from Smartsheet into Meisterplan, the PMO has access to project details and could instantly see an overview of the status of critical projects and resources in a display graph. This provided quick identification of conflicts or challenges within the portfolio.
“The major improvement we got is transparency. Before I had a lot of questions: ‘How is this project doing?’; ‘What is the status?’; ‘When do we get prototypes?’; and so on. Right now, everybody can go online and check whatever they want to know from the project plans,” says Locatelli.
An Accurate Way to Plan Projects
Smartsheet offered precise roadmapping and project planning. “Our roadmap was just a picture in PowerPoint which was put together based on information that I got from the project managers,” says Locatelli. “I had to make an estimate based on what I knew about our projects and future projects. It was not very precise work and also very time consuming.”
Unfortunately, projects were often stopped or put on hold due to higher priority projects. ”I have to consider that in the planning and check the future consequences of the pause,” says Locatelli. “Using a combination of Smartsheet with Meisterplan enables me to accomplish this.”
Efficient Resource Management
Resource allocation had been a time-consuming task for Locatelli because he had to check the situation with several stakeholders, check the planning being done in Excel or other tools, and then make a summary out of all this information. “This method was prone to errors and not a sustainable planning method,” he says.
Smartsheet offered an efficient way to allocate resources. “We have 15-20 projects running at the same time,” says Locatelli.” The projects are between six months and three years. I plan resources in Smartsheet and Meisterplan based on phases of projects. I assign a person for a specific time, a month for example, not for a specific activity which provides a holistic view of my available resources and allows me to scale accordingly.”