1. Stirling Council Smartsheet training


    “The Smartsheet familiarization training covers all the key aspects to get you up and running and able to see how it comes together.”

    Gary Rooney Accountant Stirling Council


    Smartsheet – One Day Smartsheet familiarization and training course


  2. Even Disasters require a planned response – using Smartsheet


    Excellent day of Smartsheet training with a knowledgeable and patient trainer who was flexible and accommodating with our various needs and requests.  If we repeat for more staff we will definitely ask PPS to come back!”   

    Adrian Walker Executive Board Support Officer Disasters Emergency Committee

    Smartsheet – One Day Smartsheet familiarization and training course


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

    1025483_pb 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:download

    “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 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

  4. Optimizing planning for Vaultex IT


    Vaultex is the UK’s leading cash processor who deliver best-in-class integrated cash management for their customers. Retailers and other businesses rely on Vaultex to count their cash with the highest level of accuracy and settle their customer accounts as swiftly as possible. Vaultex store cash in highly secure environments before returning it to circulation.

    Working to standards set by the Bank of England and the Note Circulation Scheme, Vaultex deliver leading cash management services for their customers. Vaultex continue to expand their product portfolio to create value for customers, delivering new services from coin extraction to an end-to-end managed service.

    PPS Project Plan Services were approached by Vaultex in spring 2015 to assist them with their existing configuration of Microsoft Project Server and the associated business processes to support optimized planning and resource management.

    This is what Chris Wilson, Head of Change at Vaultex had to say..

    “After joining Vaultex as Head of Change, I inherited a MS Project Server 2010 environment that had been in place for approximately three years, and was being universally used by all project managers to store plans. However, it became quickly apparent that the collaborative aspects of projects were not served well by the way Project Server was being used, and almost no value was being derived from linking plans together as part of programmes, or collaborating around the sharing of resources in the Resource Pool. More worryingly, beyond just one or two individuals who knew the potential of application, the perceptions of its usefulness were very low, and Project Managers saw the application as a hindrance to performing their jobs. Vaultex had tried and failed to improve the configuration and use of the application on three previous occasions, but mainly due to the partner companies worked with, little headway was made.

    What stood out about Project Plan Services was just how well they understood that the key factor in success was the ability to take the whole organisation along on the journey, and that it was much more than just a technical task. I worked closely with Project Plan Services to shape a plan that consisted of technical elements, and also a range of other aspects including process, organisational, training, and Change Management. Over a three month period from a standing start, it became evident that success was going to be achieved working under PPS’s guidance, and the majority of the plan was delivered after six months.

    The end result has been exceptional, and Project Plan Services has delivered a range of elements including:

    • Programme Management capability where plans inter-link, and Programme Managers can see key dependencies
    • A shared resource pool of matrix staff where every line manager understands what their staff are working on, what they should be working on, and what spare capacity they have
    • A highly configurable set of resource and plan reports that are detailed, but intuitive and easy to use
    • Improved templates planning and reporting templates
    • A range of custom views
    • An optimal security model
    • Embedded cost modelling that is driven by all plans
    • Holiday Calendars
    • A whole set of user guides, tailored to different groups in the organisation

    Vaultex has a highly complex and busy set of projects that sit in a number of different portfolios. After our engagement from Project Plan Services, we are in a much better position to run efficient and effective projects, and we now have a MS Project Server installation that works for us, rather than being a hindrance. I could not recommend PPS more highly.”

    To learn more about Microsoft Project Server click here or contact us.


  5. PPS work together with Tremark to optimise business data processes

    Project Plan Services (PPS) have been working with Tremark Associates of Leeds to help optimise their current database solution which comprises a bespoke Microsoft application together with data captured from mobile agents out on the ground using Smartsheet.   The work has been ongoing for a year and the next phase is to further streamline data processes via the use of custom built Smartsheet Application Integrations (APIs) which will provide time saving benefits to the system users.

    Mark Hodgson, Managing Director of Tremark describes below the working relationship with PPS….


  6. Smartsheet streamlines international training

    MGI logoMary Gober International (MGI) help organisations actively and rapidly improve performance.  With bases in the UK, Australia, the Middle East and the United States, they work with clients around the world to deliver tailored solutions inspired by the work of Mary Gober.

    “MGI were using Excel spreadsheets to drive many core processes & reporting within the business.  This was becoming unsustainable as the business grew. Particular issues were with resource scheduling & revenue forecasting.

    We needed practical advice on how to set up & configure Smartsheet for use by MGI.

    We wanted an expert based in the UK who could understand the requirements quickly & guide us towards the most pragmatic solutions. PPS assisted with Smartsheet configuration, developing specific templates/reports & training.

    Implementation is ongoing, but the benefits will be:

    – The ability to share information easily, in real time
    – A much simpler & easier resource scheduling process
    – Entering data only once into Smartsheet & using the functionality to drive plans, reports etc., thereby eliminating non value adding activities
    – A revenue forecasting system that can be run in 5 minutes by anyone rather than 1 or 2 days by a specific person.

    Andrew Gerrish (AMG Projects)”


    Smartsheet – One Day Smartsheet familiarization and training course


  7. PPS help Anchor with Smartsheet Implementation for care home build programme


    Anchor Homes are England’s largest not-for-profit provider of housing and care for people over 55 and have an ambitious growth strategy and clear vision for the future. Anchor plan to develop around 2500 new units of accommodation over the next five years and believe their program of exciting and innovative new developments demonstrate commitment to meeting the changing aspirations of older people.

    “We have an extensive build programs with a lot of subject matter experts involved. Most colleagues don’t have access to or training on MS Project, so we needed a project tool that could:

    a) have multiple projects in one place

    b) involve little training

    c) be stored centrally and be live information

    d) highlight where tasks were out of their scheduled timescales (RAG system)

    e) allow for minimal maintenance.

    Project Plan Services helped develop, build, train and maintain the Smartsheet solution for us. We have multiple projects with 800+ lines for each so the creation of these was quite time consuming, which PPS helped to make easy. They are always at the end of the phone to help. Smartsheet has worked out to be exactly what we needed and is working well to manage our projects within the company.”

    Victoria Mager, Commissioning Manager

    Anchor Homes




  8. Helping to plan innovation on rails!


    In 1999 SET Ltd was formed to develop an innovative motor-in-wheel, the “Wheelmotor”, offering a host of improvements to the Light Rail and Tram Industries, including significant energy savings and true ‘low-floor’ designs to improve vehicle access. The project developed through the next decade spinning off a few products including rail tugs, and a prototype product retrofitted to a Blackpool tram. In parallel SET developed and sold various bespoke power electronic solutions including static frequency converters and induction heater power supplies.

    Following a significant management restructure SET is now reinvigorating its innovation activities and has relaunched the Wheelmotor project with a new set of objectives; supported by industry demand and government backing.

    In Summer 2014, PPS Project Plan Services were approached by SET Ltd for assistance with initial project planning for the Wheelmotor project and to help SET select and adopt a relevant planning tool to help track the project.

    Below, we asked for some feedback on the work carried out by PPS thus far..

    What were the Challenges? – “We are a new organisation bringing together team of people with diverse planning experiences and methodologies. Significant experience within the team in leading programmes, new product development and design but very little practical MS Project experience. No need/budget limitation for a full time project planner but need to get project plan established, operational and tracked. Unsure of how to get the best project planning toolset solution on SME version of office 365 ie Project Online

    How did PPS help? – “Investigation and recommendations of project planning toolsets available in support of office 365 including foresight of changes in offerings from Microsoft. Workshop on project planning methodologies, rationalising the existing experiences into a more common methodology. Then assistance in running a training session leading to the creation of some project plan content.”

    2014-09-11 13.09.16

    What have been the benefits of the services? -“Team alignment on planning and enthusiasm for more involvement in the plan….But it’s still early days and I may need further support as the programme develops”

    Would you recommend PPS again to other companies? – “Yes in a guiding and training role.  This was my requirement of PPS.”

    Neil Cooney, Project Manager


    Additionally one of SET engineer’s had this to say following the initial planning workshop –

    Excellent last few days, the processes adopted have really made logical sense and give us direction”

     Chris Gration Project Engineer SET




  9. PPS assist Lovair with Project control and reporting


    PPS have recent completed a project for Lovair, a global company with over 20 years of experience in supplying the construction industry and architectural practices with unique washroom fittings.

    PPS were approached by Lovair initially in relation to their interest in Smartsheet however after their requirements became more understood it was decided to deliver a bespoke app which enabled multiple data records to be assigned against individual projects.  The challenge for Lovair was to build a tracking mechanism for their portfolio of projects that would allow for multiple designs, product mixes and production effort timeslips to be associated with each piece of work.  The completed app included the ability for everyone involved in the project to view and work with the information through the web interface.  Sales-people , Designers, Production staff and Management can all collaborate within the solution.

    Murray Boyt of Lovair commented “We won’t see benefits immediately – it will be a couple of months before we get tangible benefits” but he said of PPS  “they are quick, helpful and understanding” and Lovair would recommend PPS again to other companies.


  10. Smartsheet in the Classroom!

    Feedback from one of our recent clients in the Education sector

     school-room-_2189680b I discovered Smartsheet on the internet and found it was the perfect tool to collect and collate key data in my school. PPS helped my understanding and development of the software from the beginning. They offered an extended trial, set up sheets and offered email and telephone advice as required. Payment was made easy and affordable. We now have a highly effective data gathering tool which all colleagues can access and contribute to. Many thanks for the excellent service.
    Senior Manager

    Stoke on Trent High School


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