Xencor’s solution brings prioritization and team collaboration to another level
Xencor relies on Smartsheet to deal with interdependent, cross-functional teams and fast-paced environment. When an employee needed to stay organized, she created a solution that saves time and helps advance her career. Now a template for all to use, Individual Task Management is available for download in the Smartsheet Template Gallery.
time saved daily
“I can easily filter at-risk tasks, prioritize and visualize my progress which has saved around 10% of my day.”
Senior Manager of Program Leadership, Xencor
Xencor is a biotech company based in Southern California designing biotherapeutic drugs using cutting-edge protein engineering technologies that could potentially improve the lives of patients with cancer and autoimmune diseases. Along with their pharmaceutical partners, more than 20 drug candidates with Xencor’s technologies are in clinical testing, and many more are in preclinical development.
One key ingredient of Xencor’s success is the company culture and its passion for efficiency. “We recognize that everybody has a full calendar,” explains Julie Silverio, Senior Manager of Program Leadership at Xencor. “We try to do anything we can to reduce the amount of time spent in meetings or give each other the chance to focus.” To keep things running smoothly, Xencor has been relying on Smartsheet for the past few years. “We love dashboards, reports and calendars to help keep us organized,” adds Silverio. “Smartsheet is being used by the entire organization. Our research department uses the Control Center tool to manage projects and they get tremendous use out of it. Our clinical trial managers use it to track study timelines and oversee what’s going on with patients enrolled in our clinical studies.”
Taking efficiency one step further
Julie decided to turn to Smartsheet once again to come up with a solution to keep up with growing teams, multiple functional groups and high-stakes projects.
“It can be overwhelming to deal with several hundred subtasks,” she recalls. “I needed an easier way to prioritize, stay organized and make sure I didn’t miss key information or due dates.”
Silverio started looking for inspiration in the Smartsheet Template Gallery and other resources. “I use everything Smartsheet has to offer to take full advantage of the solution,” she says. “Help articles, Smartsheet University, the community—which I find especially helpful when remembering formulas and syntax—and webinars. So, I poked around in the Template Gallery to see if there was a solution to my problem. But I realized that I needed to go an extra step to help me really communicate things in a more flexible manner.” This time, Silverio decided to build a solution herself and help other teams across the Smartsheet community by participating in the Smartsheet ENGAGE’22 Template Contest. “The contest is a good opportunity to flex our Smartsheet muscles and share with others what we’ve been working on.”
Using the powerful core capabilities of Smartsheet sheets, reports, and dashboards, Silverio engineered a solution-turned-template that enables individuals to enhance how tasks are planned, managed, and visualized. The following columns help users keep track of the tasks: points of contact and notes on how they like to work, task priority, health, date, metrics, status, and predecessor and successor columns to see how everything is related. Users rely on automated alerts for critical tasks and can generate reports and sheet summaries to gain a complete picture.
“It’s so simple to see how many tasks I have planned and how many are at risk,” explains Silverio. “I know that a lot of people are intimidated by formulas but once you get used to the syntax, it’s an exciting way to summarise all the information in one place. Sheet summary is really powerful, and we definitely need to start implementing it more and teach everyone how to use it. Overall, Smartsheet has really helped by providing so many solutions that I could put together to fit my needs.”
Before introducing the solution to her organization and the contest, Silverio has been relying on it to keep herself organized and efficient. “We work cross-functionally with a lot of people, groups and projects, and now I know exactly where everything stands,” she explains. “I can easily filter at-risk tasks, prioritize, and visualize my progress. Most importantly, around 10% of my day has been saved thanks to prioritising and organized notetaking.”
As evidence of its success, all seven template contest judges determined Silverio’s solution stood out and would help other users empower the workplace in a simple and effective way. Silverio’s work to turn her proven and effective solution into a meaningful template for all to use was recognized when she won best-solution for the contest’s list or unstructured work management category. The Individual Task Management template is now available for users to download in the Smartsheet Template Gallery.
Enhancing skills and capabilities
Using the solution has also enabled Silverio to communicate more efficiently with her colleagues. “Now that I know how long an average task takes, I can always give people a good estimate and set realistic expectations for future tasks,” she explains. “It has also become much more straightforward to communicate my progress with my boss—I can just pull up my dashboard to show her what I’m working on. Smartsheet has definitely helped me with interpersonal work relationships.”
Finally, the solution has empowered Silverio to stay motivated and advance her capabilities. “I can now clearly see my strengths and weaknesses or the time it takes me to perform different tasks,” she says.
“It gives me the opportunity to spot areas of improvement and accelerate my career growth. What’s more, keeping track of everything I’m accomplishing really helps me stay motivated.”
As Xencor continues to integrate Smartsheet into its internal processes and bring more automation to keep company information up to date, Silverio is getting ready to introduce her solution—now one of four contest-winning templates published in the Template Gallery—to her team. “Sometimes you share your creation with the community but you never know if anyone’s going to use it,” she adds. “I’m really glad to hear that this template will potentially continue helping other teams in the coming years.”