Lost, looking for answers, chasing people down for information – this was Jason Harfoot’s reality since he started working at DENSO over eighteen months ago. As the one and only technician in the Materials Engineering department, he had various requests from nine engineers coming his way. And, without a good way for the group to track all the projects and details for his tasks, there were some days he didn’t feel like he was contributing as much as he had to offer.
Then, DENSO launched Office 365.
With the launch of O365 came with many different productivity apps to explore. And, that’s exactly what the Materials Engineering team did, which led them to the Microsoft Planner app.
Planner app allows individuals or teams to capture tasks, update progress, and organize work visually. And, with the ability to add it to a Microsoft Teams channel, your team can easily chat about the progress, share files, assign tasks, and get updates on progress all in one spot.
The Materials Engineering group had some experienced O365 users, but none who had used Planner before.
“We continue to learn as we go. No idea is a bad idea,” said Amber Schultz, senior manager of Materials Engineering. “When we first started using it, there was a lot of trial and error. We looked at how everyone in the group was experimenting with it, how each engineer filled out the information, and discussed what worked and what didn’t. That led to our use guidelines and standards that we have today. It’s truly a collaborative effort, teaching one another and experimenting with everyone’s ideas.”
The team has tried a few different methods and platforms for tracking projects and requests for Jason in the past, all of which had their downfalls, further helping the team determine how to set-up their Planner app.
“Our original Excel sheet didn’t include enough information. It left me with so many questions. I’d have to track down the engineer who put in the request to better understand their needs which took a lot of time. It was frustrating for everyone,” said Jason.
The Excel sheet also wasn’t very portable. Having to share through a department drive or email made it difficult to know for sure if it was the most updated schedule. To help address some of these issues, the group then moved from Excel to an online platform. But, because of the sensitivity of their work, they weren’t comfortable putting a lot of details on a third-party, online platform. Again, leaving Jason without the information he needed to get the job done.
Using a Microsoft cloud app aligned with DENSO’s email, calendar, and collaboration tools addressed many of these concerns. Not only does it have the security that the team was looking for, it’s also available on mobile for quick on-the-go access.
According to Jason, “It has made things more pleasant at work. I don’t have to chase down answers to questions anymore. I know what my schedule looks like for the week, and am able to get more done. I feel like I’m contributing more to what MED does overall.”
Click here to watch a video of Amber explain how they set-up and use the Planner app.
For more information about Planner, including training guides, how-to videos and more, click here.
DENSO globally introduced Reborn 21, an initiative to help guide all of our efforts on actions that will help the company survive and thrive this year and beyond. Learn more about Reborn 21 and how teams are rebuilding quality and changing the way we work, here. All associates play an important role in helping the company survive and thrive – to share your story or ideas, email Communications@na.denso.com.