Be Prepared! – Scout Association UK implement Smartsheet to manage projects

The Scout Association is a youth organisation that provides  activities to circa 450,000 young people (aged 6–25) in the UK with  over 122,000 adult volunteers which is more than one adult for each 4  young people. Its programs include Beaver Scouts (aged 6–8), Cub  Scouts (aged 8–10½), Scouts (aged 10½ -14), Explorer Scouts (aged  12–18) up to adult Network members (aged 18–25).

The Scout Association approached PPS Project Plan Services in 2015 to gain more understanding of the Smartsheet planning solution in order to see how it could assist with the planning and management of their diverse portfolio of projects which included IT, Property, Event management and Fund raising projects across the Association.

The challenges faced by The Scout Association (TSA) Project Management Office (PMO) included limited access to a common project scheduling tool.  Microsoft Project was used by a few specialists but was not widely available to those participating in projects. Different project reporting existed at various levels in the organisation and resulted in many “versions of the truth” concerning the status of projects. Poor collaboration was also evident between people involved in projects.

TSA explored SmartSheet as a potential Project Management tool and worked with PPS to Pilot and eventually purchase the enterprise version of SmartSheet.

Speaking about Smartsheet, Dirk Grobler, Head of TSA PMO and Senior Project Manager commented:

“Our implementation of SmartSheet has led to all staff now having access to a common project scheduling tool. SmartSheet is being used to schedule most projects and because it uses a spreadsheet-based user interface most people find it quite easy to use. Several people are now also starting to use SmartSheet for creating “other than” project management-related work scheduling and control solutions. Using the reporting functionality in SmartSheet we now are increasingly succeeding in basing all our project related reporting at various levels in the organisation on one version of the truth concerning status of projects. The online collaboration functionality embedded in SmartSheet has dramatically improved collaboration between people involved in projects – including collaboration with team members not based at TSA HQ and therefore not Charity having access to our internal network.

We found the support provided by SmartSheet effective and very responsive. SmartSheet is rapidly evolving and has been adding very useful functionality since we started using it a year ago.

We would recommend PPS to other organisations with similar challenges”

Dirk Grobler Head of the PMO & Senior Project Manager

The Scout Association

Sept 2016