By Garrod Massey

Garrod Massey at work scheduling his team. 

Garrod Massey at work scheduling his team. 

In our ongoing efforts to utilize new technology, UCEC has recently started piloting a project management tool to track our jobs from start to finish. We found an amazing tool and have introduced it to our various teams.

Within the tool, we can track our projects in a multitude of ways, from jobs in progress to due dates to the owners of certain tasks. I particularly enjoy the progress bar that shows where one project is in relation to all of the others. At any given moment, I can see how many man hours I have available on the floor for a new task.

As Paula blogged about recently, we have a new system for handling documents that allows for our Management Team members to update documents in real time, using a secure Google Drive. Paired with our new project management tool, we can now simply “click” to add supporting documents to a project. Everything is truly in one place! There’s no more tracking down a supporting document or BOM; within the project, we can now add whatever documents we need.

Our various teams all have tasks in the software, and when they begin to work, their task is coded gray. This changes to gold once the colleague begins to work on the task. Finally, when complete, the task is changed to green. It’s so easy to see where a task is, and this helps tremendously with scheduling. For instance, let’s say I am planning to receive a handoff from Assembly to my team, Wiring. But when I log in to our project management tool, I can see that Zach in Assembly has the task coded red with a note that there’s a part delay. I definitely won’t get the handoff today. Without getting out of my chair, I simply shift the resources I had planned for the project elsewhere.

Another feature I really like in the tool is the ability to call someone’s attention to a comment I made using “@Name.” Also, we can share our “Client Roadmaps” with people outside of the organization. This way, a customer can drop in to their project from their office miles away and see how their project is going. Of course, we always welcome “in person” visits, but the Client Roadmap feature is pretty cool, too.

We’ll continue to trial the software, but it’s already a hit in my eyes. I benefit from the time management piece of things and from being able to streamline jobs. Also, it’s great to see where everyone else is on a project easily. I’m looking forward to seeing how the tool performs after we’ve been using it for six months, or more. I think it will continue to optimize and streamline our team performance, which ultimately benefits our customers.

Garrod is an Operations Support Manager for UCEC.

 

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