The Top 7 Ways Customers Use AchieveIt: How Your Competitors are Succeeding with Specialized Plan Tracking Software
What if you could run your entire operation with just one tool?
If you’ve been asking the question, “What can AchieveIt do for me?” then this article is for you. Every day we are surprised with new, innovative ways that customers leverage AchieveIt.
Did you know that AchieveIt isn’t just for strategic planning and strategy execution?
AchieveIt is a powerful and versatile platform that can help streamline processes, increase productivity, and manage plans and initiatives more effectively. With the AchieveIt platform, you can do things like set goals for new initiatives or monitor progress on existing ones to see how effective they are in real-time.
Our customers use AchieveIt to track and monitor a variety of projects and plans. Using our platform, one of the largest utility companies in the country reduces risk and keeps 1500 employees safe. A healthcare system uses AchieveIt to monitor critical KPIs across geographic regions – and within each department. Others level up the execution of operational plans, track activity across large project portfolios, and monitor process improvement and cost reduction initiatives.
Here are the top 7 most common ways customers use AchieveIt.
- Organizational Strategic Planning
- Departmental and Service-Line Plans
- Operational Execution
- Risk Management
- Portfolio Management
- Project and Initiative Management
- Process Improvement and Cost Reduction
1. Organizational Strategic Planning
How do I know if my team is on track for the future?
Planning an organization’s strategic course can be difficult; no one wants to get lost. But tracking your organizational plan in Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint or Word becomes unwieldy and inefficient – it quickly loses its luster when input from a variety of managers and directors is required. Tracking efforts manually with other tools becomes impossible: you’re unable to see at a glance how up-to-date that information may be, what context might surround any given initiative…you just don’t have all the answers anymore because manual tracking leaves too many things out in the cold!
Once an organization reaches this point, they’re a great candidate for immediate improvement with AchieveIt.
Here’s what John Fox, IT Director at Mazzella Companies, said, “We can show how easy it is for our company to get insights and information that isn’t just related to one plan, or one project, or one department. Now, we can cut across the organization and be split up in ways that maybe they haven’t thought about or realized that they were mssing in the first place.”
Another leader, an Executive Director of Strategic Execution said, “With AchieveIt, we can see in real-time how the staff and teams in all three divisions are making progress—or not— toward reaching goals.”
Candice Williams, Strategy Officer at Development Bank of Jamaica, said, “On a scale of effectiveness, our process went from 1 to 10. It is so much easier! Every strategic meeting we go into now is more efficient and informative and our reporting takes so much less time. We’re always looking for other opportunities to upload plans in AchieveIt and whenever we meet with our counterparts in other Government agencies we tell them they should be using it.”
Development Bank of Jamaica Customer Story
Download this customer story to better understand how a bank developed venture capital in Jamaica with AchieveIt
2. Departmental and Service-Line Plans
If an organization doesn’t have a centralized, enterprise-level strategic plan then individual departments will often develop their own plans. AchieveIt’s software helps these disparate departmental plans come together in one central location where they can work collaboratively across the entire company rather than duplicate each other’s efforts. We’ve had several customers realize that multiple groups are all working on similar initiatives and duplicating tasks – this is prevented by having everything within a single place for people to access so there’s no confusion or wasted time spent trying to figure out what another group is doing!
Let’s review an example of a customer using AchieveIt for Departmental planning. AchieveIt gave the managers and teams the opportunity to transform their performance data and activity into actionable insights. This kind of capability would be challenging for any company, but especially so for a complex organization that spans multiple locations, geographies, business models, and brands.
When asked to describe AchieveIt, their Project Management Office Leader said, “It allows us to see how all the various departments are working and how they can work together more seamlessly. We can often see problems individual departments may not see on their own. Then we can alert them and check if support is needed to help solve the issue.”
Another customer, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, was struggling to keep service-line plans aligned with the wider institute’s plan. Data was scattered across spreadsheets, emails, and presentation decks, creating hours of time-consuming manual work for the strategy team. Now, everyone understands how their work is impacting the overall success of the hospital. With more motivated employees, execution is on the rise – enabling completion of strategic initiatives like rolling out new medicine programs.
They shared with us that, “It’s so difficult for hospitals to keep up with how they’re doing because they’re using manual tools and processes. AchieveIt, through automating those processes and making it very easy to focus on their initiatives, ensures that those important items continue to be worked on throughout the course of a year.”
With regards to departmental plans, Gayle Blevins, Manager of Global Clinical Trial Support at Smith and Nephew said, “People are now seeing things that are visibly out there. We have the communication lines open between the different departments. They’re actually communicating more about, ‘This is really how the process works.’ People are having those conversations and figuring out solutions that they never would’ve gotten if they didn’t know this.”
3. Operational Execution
Planning is the key to success for any company; large or small. Ideally, strategic initiatives are broken into projects or goals that are tracked in an operations plan. The strategic plan manages the vision for the future, while the operational plan runs the day-to-day of the business.
The process of strategic and operational planning, if done well, can create a vision that leads you through difficult times with more clarity than before. It also creates an environment in which your employees are much more likely to thrive because they have a sense of purpose behind their day-to-day activities at work–projects aren’t just tasks delegated by managers anymore but instead opportunities for growth provided by those who care about them most.
These plans also often live in Excel documents with hundreds of rows. Operational projects are often tracked on a monthly basis, and many of them have more binary tracking measures than strategic initiatives; either the operational project was completed, or it wasn’t.
One AchieveIt customer, a large public university, needed a way for its six medical campuses and many employees to easily report on more than 20 new initiatives as part of a $75 million grant opportunity. They leverage AchieveIt to balance the tactical, operational items to achieve their grant, alongside their long-term initiatives present in their strategic plan.
Another AchieveIt customer, Robert W. Baird, a large financial services firm, needed visibility into tracking and monitoring key projects and processes across their Operations team. SharePoint and Excel spreadsheets were not cutting it. They turned to AchieveIt to obtain a single source of truth, steady reporting, and consistent progress updates. Now, the team is able to make more effective decisions, as well as take on additional work. Knowing messaging and data is accurate, the team is better able to build confidence amongst not only their team but the rest of the organization.
Their VP of Strategic Change Program Management said, “Implementing AchieveIt was probably my biggest accomplishment in my role to date. People are now seeing the benefit, which is really growing the confidence of the team. They are finally understanding what is happening, and we have that open dialog we didn’t have before. It has allows us to think differently.”
Robert W. Baird Customer Story
Download this customer story to better understand how a financial institution gained accountability and transparency on their projects with AchieveIt.
4. Risk Management
Organizations in highly regulated industries, such as utility providers, are required to track a variety of risk mitigation and compliance plans. For example: if your business deals with the public or has records that should be stored for at least seven years this may include filing incident reports detailing backup power systems and recovery procedures after storms; keeping environmental regulatory documents on file so they can’t get lost during office moves; locking up hazardous materials when not being used–the list goes on!
As one of our customers said, “When I saw AchieveIt, I realized it was perfect. We can directly map our existing risk management plans into the open platform exactly how we want them. We can set up accountabilities and automatic reminders for project owners to record their updates, so we don’t have to use ‘people hours’ to badger team members for updates – calling, emailing, or compiling PowerPoints or Word Documents.”
Many companies have clear risk and compliance plans, but lack an easy, quick, efficient way to track improvement and mitigation activities. Every audit typically creates a long to-do list of items that need to be completed ASAP, and AchieveIt can help track that information. In the words of our customer Dina, a Program Director for Performance Improvement, “We really appreciate the consistency across how we are documenting. I actually can’t wait for CMS Surveyors to come and ask about our projects. I’ll literally open AchieveIt and say, ‘What would you want to see? Take your pick.’ It’s revolutionary.”
5. Portfolio Management
Imagine being able to see how your company’s projects are doing at a glance. AchieveIt makes this possible by tracking the progress of all departments, across regions and subsidiaries in one place!
Larger organizations can use AchieveIt to track entire portfolios of projects, across regions, business units, subsidiaries, or departments. For these customers, AchieveIt provides an easy way to look across previously-siloed areas of activity, and easily see progress towards the most critical initiatives in each.
For example, before AchieveIt, a Program Manager of Strategy Management at a large healthcare system said, “Imagine – the Chief Strategy Officer would walk down the hall, and say ‘I need to know how we’re performing on all of our ambulatory strategies – in the next 45 minutes.’ And we couldn’t quickly and easily say, ‘Here’s how they’re performing.’” Now, she says, “[With AchieveIt], we’ve been able to track our performance like never before. Being able to actually see the numbers, and see not just how each hospital or region is performing, but how the health system as a whole is performing is incredible.”
6. Project and Initiative Management
Projects and initiatives can range greatly in size. An executive at a major coffee retailer shares, “Imagine – our operations engineer would update the project tracker with the full design details for one location. That’s a full page for one location – and then there’s 30 more coming down the pipe. And he has to find a vacuum cleaner that we can use in every retail location nationwide. We’ve got all these big and little things, and it’s all important work. Our teams out in the field rely on us to provide what they need to be successful and take care of our guests.”
So how do you track projects that are at the scale of launching a new brand and opening 30 new locations, while also finding vacuum cleaners and a new supplier for stir sticks? Initially, this customer used Microsoft Excel and PowerPoint, but, “It was just so cumbersome to manage. It’s safe to say my team LOVES AchieveIt. It has changed the way we work. When a new initiative comes up, everyone immediately says, ‘Put it in AchieveIt.’ It’s designed to help focus on the goals of this type of department. It’s simple to use and saves time.”
“The tool is all about helping people execute on their major goals and initiatives. Helping people do better, really making sure that they’re able to track and see their progress. Whether their goal is to save lives and/or improve revenue – all that can be done in AchieveIt, so we really strive to help people execute better on their strategies,” said Tara Rhodes, Director of Performance Excellence & Project Management at SSM Health.
Another AchieveIt customer, Strategies to Empower People, a for-profit organization, had to meet specific regulations and policies for the agency. All while trying to keep up with growing demand as the organization worked to gain more funding to create new services and programs. But now with AchieveIt implemented, they said, “There’s an automated email that’s sent out to different people and plan owners, to provide updates on their progress. It’s holding people accountable and automating that whole exchange that constantly happens via email between a manager… and all of the people that own initiatives they need to report to.”
Strategies to Empower People (S.T.E.P) Customer Story
Download this customer story to better understand how a social service for-profit monitored their internal KPIs, strategies, and funding.
7. Process Improvement and Cost Reduction
When it comes to successful businesses, the one thing that’s common is efficiency. Organizations are constantly looking for ways to operate more efficiently and with less cost. The outputs of these efforts often take the form of a process improvement or cost reduction plan which outlines projects and initiatives necessary change in an area – like how organizations can get improved customer service through better allocation of resources.
One of our customers tracks these projects in 90-day sprints. They identify 20-30 initiatives that can be completed in three months, then track the process of completion on a weekly basis. This keeps the initiatives top-of-mind for all the individuals involved and gives plenty of opportunities to get projects back on track if anything unexpected happens.
Another one of our customers was utilizing plans and spreadsheets the size of manuals created by planning consultants outside of the organization. If someone left the organization, newcomers wouldn’t know the background or where to start. Reporting, communication, and process between the hospital were ineffective and often difficult. Since implementation, they said, “Achievelt is driving better results for that future vision that we’re setting out on, and the direction we want to take our hospital. It’s ensuring that we get there and that we optimize the performance along the way.”
How Can We Help You?
Curious to see if AchieveIt could help you track and monitor your plans and projects? Sign up for a demo with a product specialist. We’ll learn more about your current processes, share a few quick facts about AchieveIt, and let you decide if you’d like to continue the conversation from there.
Ready to improve your plan execution?
Organizations of all types leverage AchieveIt to connect, manage, and execute their most important initiatives. Replace manual processes & siloed systems with interconnected plans in a single, automated platform.