How Whirlpool Gained Real-Time Visibility and Regional Alignment
A senior planning engineer for Whirlpool Corporation turned to Smartsheet to ensure that project managers, leadership, and all involved with the laundry and dryer portfolio were on the same page with visibility into their entire project pipeline.
- Enterprise (10,000+ employees)
- North America
- Portfolio Management
- Project Visibility
Our main client is the project manager and they are seeing a lot of benefits. They are engaged because they have the projects in their hands. The cross-functional leaders are happy, too, because they have great visibility and senior leadership is loving it because now, they know exactly how to help.
When you’re responsible for managing a large project portfolio of a global home appliance company—including approximately 400 individual projects across five worldwide regions—you need a comprehensive system to keep everything on track. That’s why Thiago Zapparoli, senior planning engineer for Whirlpool Corporation, turned to Smartsheet to ensure that project managers, leadership and all involved with the laundry and dryer portfolio he manages were “on the same page, all the time.”
The “same page” is a Smartsheet-powered tracker called the Portfolio Execution Management Matrix that aggregates all 400 projects in multiple regions, identifying responsibilities for each project and task; key performance indicators; open, completed, and delayed tasks; and more. “My idea in the beginning was, we need to provide a good and unique system for all project managers,” explains Zapparoli.
This innovative use of Smartsheet reflects an all-up view of an entire region, providing real-time visibility into the overall project status as well as the numerous tasks within each. The holistic tracker was first deployed in Brazil, transforming how the 10 project managers and cross-functional leaders in that region approach their daily work and stay in sync. “In April 2018, we started in the U.S. and we changed the game,” Zapparoli says.
With a goal of connecting all involved in “a unique and powerful sheet, providing benefits for everyone,” Smartsheet is delivering results for the world’s leading global manufacturer of major home appliances, including:
- Speed and ease of importing an existing pipeline of projects—taking just two days to launch a region
- Color coding that quickly identifies a project’s status at each step and where attention is needed
- Clear and accurate reporting for all levels—individuals, managers, and leadership
- Fast update requests, which enable project managers to be more efficient
- Seamless handoffs when employees are ill, on vacation, miss meetings, or leave the company.
After implementations in Brazil and the U.S., Zapparoli established Smartsheet trackers in the three remaining regions and has helped four other Whirlpool organizations deploy their own. The Smartsheet platform has been embraced by business users as well as management: In a recent user survey, 100 percent “agreed” that the Smartsheet tracker “is a good tool to track projects” and “helps show when the task should be done.” Survey comments also reinforce the solution’s success:
“Great visibility of the project pipeline,” “I really like the ability to organize and track that Smartsheet provides,” and “Having everything in one place and fast and easy to work is very helpful.”
For Zapparoli, the best outcome is that people are using the system. “You need to listen to your ‘client,’ because if they don’t see the benefits, or if the system disrupts their day-to-day work, they just stop using it,” he said. “Our main client is the project manager and they are seeing a lot of benefits. They are engaged because they have the projects in their hands. The cross-functional leaders are happy, too, because they have great visibility and senior leadership is loving it because now, they know exactly how to help.”