A fast food company needs to implement a new point-of-sale system in all of their 6,000+ stores. So starts process vs project management.
The solution needs to coordinate hundreds of franchises, thousands of stores, and a multitude of collaborating participants to successfully complete each implementation of process vs project management.
The number of tasks to be scheduled and tracked is extensive, from coordinating multiple vendors and contractors, ordering and shipping equipment, training employees and integrating the help desk. Some tasks can occur in parallel, while other tasks are interrelated and need to follow a specific sequence. All tasks are deadline-related, and if one step gets held up, it puts all other steps in the process on hold – even those steps that could be completed independently of the currently stalled step.
The management of the point-of-sale integration project started out as a single spreadsheet and rapidly grew into a hodgepodge of many interrelated spreadsheets that were emailed around for data entry, cut-and-pasted, manually consolidated, and otherwise used well beyond the intended capabilities. It included:
1. A Master Spreadsheet
- Contains 68 columns
- Pulls data from 15 different “input files” which are updated on a weekly or daily basis
- Input files are updated by different departments (IT, Help Desk, Training, Operations, HR, and others)
2. The Master Schedule is refreshed weekly
- Six “output” files pull data from master schedule
- One file is distributed internally and five files are separated and sent to the appropriate vendors
Typical problems included:
- Heavily reliance on email.
- Important information falling through the cracks.
- Redundant messages/notifications.
- Flooded inboxes.
- Redundant processes.
- Difficulty finding information in Excel.
- No checks and balances system for missing information prior to install.
- No easy way to provide an overview of the project’s progress.
- Manual scheduling.
- Manual workflow management.
- No integration with other teams and departments.
- Error-prone and time-consuming cutting and pasting spreadsheets.
- Missed sending of notifications and updates.
- Slow speed of huge spreadsheets.
- No central repository of information.
- Need for backups and disaster recovery.
The Work-Relay Process and Project Management solution includes the following:
- A centralized database provides a single, non-redundant source of truth, eliminating the cutting and pasting of spreadsheets, and manages an unlimited amount of data.
- Automated monitoring provides complete visibility over the implantation process for all involved, and a dashboard provides a snapshot of current status.
- Workflow eliminates lag time between tasks, and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.
- Automated notifications and updates reduces lag time and cycle time.
- Guaranteed performance and uptime.
- Automated integration.
- Eliminated need for backups and disaster recovery.
- Chatter allows all parties, both inside and outside the organization, to communicate in real-time, significantly reducing email traffic and speeding up problem resolution.
- Chatter allows a knowledge base to be built organically, reducing the time required for future installation.
- Mobile enablement allows technicians to complete checklists and register and assign issues immediately.
- Reporting and analytics are used to determine violations of SLA’s, bottlenecks, and comparative performance among vendors.
- A complete Work-Relay solution was built and deployed in six weeks.
- The solution effectively addressed all the problems identified above.
- No additional resources needed to be hired to complete the project in time.
- The project was completed six months earlier than planned.
- Beginning with 100+ users, it will eventually scale across the extended enterprise.
With the execution of the point-of-sale management technology implementation project, the organization planted the seed for a comprehensive, enterprise-wide self-service database that can be used by anyone in the organization to build solutions for their needs. This has led to multiple departments taking advantage of the database and Work-Relay has been used to handle everything from change management to kitchen implement management. As more users get on to the platform, the network effect has kicked in, and the company has been able to start using Chatter as an effective enterprise social network. Now they no longer wonder about process vs project management.
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