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The Challenge

Herzing University had a problem, they were burning out their best employees and they did not know why. The Herzing leadership team lacked any sort of visibility into how their team was being allocated to projects across their organization. Moreover, they did not understand how their strategic objectives were connected to projects and how those projects were then mapped against people.

Herzing needed a digital solution that offered them simple visibility into their people's allocation to projects that also had the capability for intuitive time tracking and reporting.

The Solution

To begin, the Herzing team and myself started by creating a structure for how they organized and grouped projects and programs into strategic objectives. Then we created an Excel document to map out how people ideally should be allocated according to these strategic objectives. The Excel document helped us remain tool-agnostic while we built an understanding of the organization's capacity.

Figure 1

Excel Allocation Mapping per Project + per Strategic Initiative

Besides mapping people to projects, the Herzing University leadership team wanted to be able to map their projects and program groups towards their strategic priorities as an organization. The Herzing University CIO and I sat down to create a simple (Priority -> Program -> Project) hierarchy so we could eventually be assigning projects into groups with the use of Smartsheet's custom tags.

Figure 2

Strategic Priority, Program, & Project Hierarchy

After conducting a rigorous RFP, the Herzing team and I decided to use Smartsheet's Resource Management tool. Next, it was my task to help set up the solution with the custom project tagging and the team I had outlined beforehand. 

The result is a simple, easy-to-navigate resource view across the organization. Figure 3 showcases the custom views tied to strategic priorities. Additionally, Figure 4 showcases how I was able to set up a custom view that allowed managers to see how their direct reports were allocated to projects, helping the Herzing leadership team ensure they were not burning out their employees.  

Figure 3

Project Schedule with Custom Views

Figure 4

Manager Specific Schedule Views

Figure 5

GIF Walkthrough of the Final Solution

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