Here at SME Water, we have a core value of “Partner”. We believe in working closely with others and building strong relationships, and this approach guides how we do business with everyone involved in our company – be it our clients, our employees, or fellow industry providers. We make an effort to foster these connections by organising industry user groups, technical lead forums, and sharing our thoughts through newsletters and blogs. This helps us align our goals and objectives with the people we collaborate with.
But, when it comes to actually achieving these goals and making our projects successful, it’s of central importance that our project management and delivery methods promote effective teamwork and keep that spirit of collaboration going throughout the entire process, from start to finish and beyond.
In this blog, I’ll chat about how we are embedding Miro into our business to bring stakeholders together for thinking, planning and executing, focusing on how we use it for the successful management and delivery of projects for our clients.
For those of you that haven’t heard or are yet to be graced with an intro to our SME Miro boards during a project, then in essence it is an online whiteboard platform. A seemingly endless digital canvas that enables you to work together remotely, or in person, and has various features to ensure the session can be adapted to suit the aims and requirements of the people involved. This includes more structured templates such as kanban boards, gantt charts and matrixes through to fully customisable shapes, free-text, drawing and sticky notes to be as versatile as necessary.
It is accessible and easy for external stakeholders to pick up and join in, promotes visual and real-time collaboration during meetings and workshops and, importantly, it becomes an accessible repository or storyboard of all those creative sessions that have been conducted.
In addition, it comes with the ability to embed documents and all the necessary security flexibility to either share the board publicly or to specific named users and organisations.
We all know the importance of effective project management for achieving a successful project but with the complexities of the modern working world it felt necessary for our project management efforts to adapt. Each of our projects with clients now has a dedicated Miro board that encompasses the following:
Miro’s user-friendly interface allows our teams and clients to work collaboratively together, particularly during the project start-up sessions where we set out, collectively, the aims and objectives of the project and agree the roles and responsibilities of the project team. We conduct workshops to creatively map out the key stakeholders of the project and formulate the appropriate engagement plans to assist in the delivery of the project.
Additional workshops can be conducted throughout the project for tackling problems, generating user-stories, apply creative thinking and carry out further stakeholder engagement activities. All of which can be conducted on the same board and the outputs be accessed readily throughout the project.
We deliver a visual and detailed delivery plan for each project on Miro, with appropriate stage gates and milestones depicted to show the client and teams involved the progress being made and the route to project delivery. By colour coding tasks and milestones to show who is responsible and implementing interactive sticky notes we flag up risks, highlight decisions and promote comments as the project develops. This brings a fresh lease of life into the progress reporting of projects with clients and enables asynchronous working as people can access the plan at any point to review or add notes and keep abreast of developments.
We include a Kanban board for the tracking of specific tasks outside of the core delivery items and milestones that helps to keep a tab on actions which can be assigned to relevant stakeholders with deadlines/due dates set etc. All of which can be reviewed by project members at any time or during dedicated project standup and sessions.
Project Health Dashboard
Each management board will include an overall project health dashboard which includes a RAG status and commentary on key areas of the project, including Delivery, Benefits and Deliverables, Finance and Stakeholder engagement. This helps to summarise all aspects of the project and the Miro board.
All these project components and workshop outputs are available on the one board which helps to track the journey of the project and provide a one-stop shop of all the key deliverables and insights from the project. Gone are the days of clicking though sharepoint folder structures to dig out results or searching through emails for previous meeting minutes and outputs, it’s all there displayed on a visual, interactive board.
Overall, embedding Miro into the processes at SME Water has certainly enhanced our ways of working and assists our project delivery approach. Whether we are managing complex projects with various stakeholders or conducting creative workshops for specific tasks, it provides a plethora of versatile tools and features to make the work more productive and engaging for all involved.
We ourselves are still at the early stages of utilising Miro and will be continuing to explore and learn new ways it can support us in delivering successful projects and ensure collaboration and creativity is at the heart of it.