Project Management vs. Implementation, Not Apples to Apples

Asana, and Trello, and Monday, “Lions and Tigers and Bears, oh my!”. The project management app category has become very crowded; each one has its strengths yet, dare we say, they do a lot of the same things that can be done in Excel. They are subjectively prettier than a spreadsheet, yet they still require a lot of configuration based on each scenario.

How does Pacer fit into this category? There is some overlap related to task completion, but a project that is being scaled across your organization is no longer a project; it’s now an implementation. Implementations require orchestration.

Orchestration requires aggregated data and reporting, tied to your corporate structure, with multiple projects assigned to the same teams/properties, grouped by regions, brands, franchisee, etc. Orchestration requires time saving benefits for a faster deployment of tasks to numerous teams with the ability to change as you go. Orchestration redefines how we approach the execution of projects, programs, openings, and transitions across many locations.

While project management tools are abundant, there exists a distinct need for a solution that goes beyond, a tool that doesn't replace project or program management but enhances and enables their execution effortlessly across diverse geographies.

Pacer vs Project Management Apps

Effective implementation is more than just following a checklist or timeline. It's about orchestrating a symphony of tasks, people, and resources across various locations, ensuring harmony and precision.

Task Organization: Popular PM apps assign a different team of people to each project. But with implementations, the end goal is for multiple teams to be consistent, so Pacer establishes locations (or units/properties/teams) and projects are assigned to the location/team. This easily allows for the managers at the location/team to easily see all tasks, for all projects, that are assigned to it; and it allows PMs better reporting and escalation tools.

Scale Matters: Pacer seamlessly aligns with existing project and program management structures. It doesn't disrupt; it enhances, providing a layer of agility and adaptability crucial for managing complex projects spanning multiple locations. For example, your corporate team may have a series of tasks that need to be completed before the initiative is deployed to the field. These could include things like defining priorities, corporate approval, communication plan, and the build out of the action items each team/location will need to complete in order to achieve success. Even though it could be done in Pacer, prep-tasks are a good use case for a basic PM app. Once the project has been written out and planned, it is time to deploy to your teams. These implementation tasks would be actioned in Pacer.

Real-Time Visibility: All tools should provide you with real-time visibility into the status of tasks. Pacer offers this out-of-the-box, providing a comprehensive view of progress, bottlenecks, and successes aggregated together. Data that is dynamic and pre-sliced by discipline, department, region, etc. allows you to proactively act on teams who are falling behind and celebrate those who are on pace. In many other applications, you have to build your own graphs and reporting. As the company grows, the formulas in these graphs must be updated manually, time after time. Another feature that sets Pacer apart is that our graphs allow you to quickly click on each slice of a graph to drill down to see more information.

Customization for Complexity: No two projects are the same, especially when dealing with diverse locations. Pacer acknowledges this by offering customization options that align with the unique challenges of each implementation. Unlike other apps, Pacer provides a framework to build the attributes of your teams and locations. This makes reporting and assigning new projects to subsets of your organization a breeze.

Enhanced Collaboration: Implementation is a team effort, often dispersed across different regions. Pacer fosters collaboration and crowdsourcing by providing a centralized platform where teams can communicate, share insights, and collectively work towards successful execution. When many teams are working on the same task at the same time, their expertise and great ideas should be shared with everyone to increase productivity and effectiveness.

Appropriate Access Rights: Giving the right people the right information at the right time is more and more complex the larger the organization. Granting individuals access to projects or tasks one by one can be a tedious process in common PM apps. Pacer has built in roles to limit access (e.g. a GM can’t delete a task assigned to their location), or to grant a corporate colleague access to a dynamic group of locations (e.g. John has access to any location in Europe). Dashboards and reports take the individual’s role into account when presenting them with information - right info to the right person, clutter-free.

Simplicity leads to better Completion

Consider a scenario where a global brand is rolling out a new product or service across its myriad locations. Project managers coordinate timelines, program managers ensure alignment with strategic goals, and Pacer allows the final service or product to be effectively implemented across the portfolio.

Location leaders will end up with an easily executable list of tasks with all the supporting information they need to execute and can assign and delegate tasks at the location and easily see what and who is on track and who isn’t. The project leaders at the central location also get real-time analytics and reporting so your project goes live consistently, on time, and on budget.

Conclusion: Pacer as Your Implementation Ally

The project management “triangle” links Scope/Tasks, Time, and Cost. Popular PM apps are strong in making those connections. When your scope expands to needing the involvement of multiple, even hundreds of teams, the project becomes an implementation -- which needs orchestration beyond PM apps to communicate and validate at scale.

Pacer isn't here to replace project management tools; it's the missing piece in the puzzle of seamless implementation across diverse locations. As organizations continue to expand globally and undertake projects of increasing complexity, having a tool like Pacer becomes not just an advantage but a necessity. You can build the best new product or service, but if you can’t implement it at all your locations, ROI will be impacted by slow or incorrect execution.

In the realm of implementation, it's not about reinventing the wheel; it's about making the wheel turn smoother and faster. Pacer – your ally in making implementation across many locations not just manageable, but truly remarkable.