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The SharpCloud Blog

The SharpCloud team share their insights into visual roadmapping, dynamic presentations and the project planning process

Meet SharpCloud for Roadmapping Pathfinder, Lewis Choi, from Thermo Fisher  

"The ability to visualize real time updates and insights in a collaborative fashion, helps provide greater visibility and interaction to how the overall Portfolio is performing".

Lewis Choi - Senior Director IT, Thermo Fisher Scientific  

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Lewis talks about how...SharpCloud helps organize and visualize data that would normally be held and referenced in individual spreadsheets. Being dynamic and collaborative, it's most useful for those that have to manage a large portfolio of initiatives across multiple workstreams.

The business problem

Prior to my introduction to SharpCloud, we would plan the upcoming Roadmap for the year and track execution throughout the year, using Powerpoint and Excel. We had Pillars where we categorized Projects into and we tracked various aspects of our Project Portfolio through multiple versions of the Roadmap. This ultimately created problems around communicating any changes to the Roadmap and prioritization of new requests that would be introduced.

The fact that the Product Roadmap was dynamic, made it a challenge to use and communicate out to our business and IT partners consistently and efficiently. Work was being done in silos and cross-functional communication and collaboration was a struggle.

Why had other tools not solved this problem?

Other tools helped capture the necessary information, but they did not provide a good avenue for cross-functional sharing or effective version control. With many sources of change that could be introduced, it was difficult to track and provide updates that were accurate and up to date.

Portfolio Management Tools helped to consolidate projects and time tracking across the organization, but it did not have a great way to visibly show or report on the latest updates. Ultimately, there was no real tool for someone that was responsible to manage a Portfolio across many functions, to clearly communicate and share high level status of an overall roadmap.

How is SharpCloud solving the problem?

For those that can change their way of thinking and look at managing a roadmap of Initiatives collaboratively and with a mindset of real time updates rather than event driven updates, this has been fundamental in terms of creating and publishing that dynamic Roadmap that can flex and adjust throughout the year.

The ability for users to visualize real time updates and for senior leadership to have high level updates and insight at their fingertips, helps provide better transparency and improve visibility to how the overall Portfolio is doing, as well as individual projects.

What makes SharpCloud unique? 

SharpCloud helps to visualize data that would normally be held and referenced in spreadsheets or presentations. As you filter data for the right audience, you can help different user groups see what they need to, without cluttering their view with too much information. Being dynamic and customizable, it's most useful for those that have to manage a large portfolio of initiatives across multiple workstreams.

The ability to pre-set views and filters, and visualize the data, provides a single source of information that people can edit and view without having to worry about versions and auditing of data.

This flexibility offers opportunities to provide very different views that can segregate and bring data back together for the right purposes.

Benefits to you personally and to your organisation

I have used SharpCloud to manage multiple Roadmaps as well as in Acquisitions for the company where we had to manage multiple workstreams in a very short amount of time. It has been extremely helpful for me in situations where I have had to rely on people to manage themselves, as well as in programs that required deeper involvement.

I’ve also used SharpCloud to manage a Skills Matrix within my team, which combined the various aspects of skills with expertise levels, in order to help provide insight for staffing as opportunities arose. Within the organization, SharpCloud is being used for Roadmapping and Portfolio Management and more increasingly as an annual or multi-year planning tool for high level roadmapping and goal setting.

Quantifiable results

From an execution standpoint, there are many benefits we are seeing, such as saving time and improving efficiency.

We are still maturing in our use of the tool and trying to increase the uptake across the organisation and encourage people to manage their activities in a more visual and collaborative way.

I think the road ahead is very bright and can see absolute quantifiable results in the future, in terms of an increase in the execution of projects and the quality of prioritization, but at the moment that is a bit difficult to quantify.

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. is the world leader in serving science, with revenues of more than $20 billion and approximately 65,000 employees globally. Dedicated to improving the human condition through systems, consumables, and services for researchers, their mission is to enable their customers to make the world healthier, cleaner and safer. 

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