(Dis)Order From Chaos

By Ann Murray, Director of Institutional Research, Laramie County Community College

The IR Office at Laramie County Community College needed a better way to receive and track ad hoc project requests and document how much staff time these project consume. (We had been using an Excel file that was usually out-of-date and a PDF project request form, entering the information from the request manually.) After looking at several software packages, we have adopted Smartsheet. It seemed to best fit our needs for several reasons.

  • It looks a lot like Excel, so it has been easy to learn. You can create different sheets for different kinds of information; we have one for ad hoc project requests and one for tracking staff time.
  • We were able to create an online project request form and have the information go directly into the ad hoc project request sheet, which means we will be saving some data-entry time.
  • We can attach documents to the sheets.
  • We can share sheets among staff members across the college.
  • We can create reports to show what staff members are spending their time on and how much time we spend on ad hoc or regular reporting, training, etc.
  • It’s relatively inexpensive (there are several pricing options).

We haven’t got it perfectly setup yet, but we’re making progress and it will help us streamline some things. If you need software to do formal Project Management, Smartsheet might not be for you. But if you’re trying to get a handle on all the things you do, check it out at smartsheet.com.

How do you organize your office work?