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Leaving Behind The Technological Barriers of Project Management

One of the biggest responsibilities Matthew White, Director of Programs at the Zygo Corporation, faces on a daily basis is the overseeing of extreme precision optical components from the early stages of development to the moment they are purchased by a customer.

As anyone with a background in project development knows, projects—especially in their early stages—undergo numerous iterations before reaching the final product. All the while, it’s the responsibility of people like Mr. White, to ensure important steps of the development process do not fall behind.

But the responsibility does not fall on Mr. White’s hands alone; in fact, his team consists of a number of Project Managers, Product Operators and Engineers that are in constant communication as they prepare their product for market.

Ensuring that every member of the team is on task and in the know with the latest project developments has been a priority for Mr. White since he took on the position in early 2016. Prior to assuming the role of Director of Programs, project management was handled primarily through the use of online spreadsheets; an element of the development process that was less efficient than you may assume:

“Before I took on the role [Director of Programs], our projects were primarily tracked using some form of online spreadsheet. It was a little bit difficult to understand how far along we were in the development process because people would rarely post updates to the spreadsheets themselves, leading to some communication errors. Whether it be forgetting to update something or the software not syncing properly, in the end it just wasn’t something that worked for me.”

Looking for an alternative solution for tracking project management milestones, Mr. White contacted the team at Magnatag Visible Systems to help find the best-suited tool for the Project Management team. Tasked with finding something that was not only visually engaging, but also built to manage a number of developing projects; the Magnatag Sales team recommended the StatusTracker magnetic dry erase system.

The Project StepTracker system provides users with a large-scale overview of the entire project development process, using color-coded magnets to indicate whether or not a milestone has been met.

In the case of Mr. White’s Project StepTracker, Projects run from top to bottom of the board with individual milestones running horizontally across.

“I actually have my Project StepTracker hanging above my desk. It’s a permanent reminder of how we’re progressing on a project. I’ll have team members come in and out during meetings and take a look at how we’re progressing. Right now, we have a whole lot of green and yellow magnets running from left to right so I know what our current status is.”

With the Project Steptracker outlining the development cycle from start to finish, Mr. White believes that project development and communication will be streamlined as his team heads into the new year.


Visit our website to learn more about our Project Steptracker whiteboard systems.

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