Global Master Data Analyst
At Prodactive Project Solutions, we love helping people achieve amazing things through Smartsheet and we love hearing their Smartsheet stories and sharing these to help inspire others as to what can be achieved. At Prodactive we think of these people as Smartsheet Superheroes...
We recently spoke to Michał Tomasz Magala, Global Master Data Analyst at Colgate-Palmolive in Poland; do read on as Michał tells us of his amazing journey into Smartsheet over the past three years and how he dreamt of the complex solution which had been evading him.
Hi Michał! Thanks for being our next Smartsheet Superhero ⚡. Can you share your introduction to Smartsheet?
When I joined Colgate-Palmolive, there was a big project to prepare a strategy for global project management when all regions needed to implement a standardised approach for new creating projects. For example, when new products were to be produced, everyone was creating projects in many ways, in Google sheets and MS Projects with no way of knowing who to email or ask questions. Smartsheet had been in place for a couple of years and wasn’t much used but was the obvious tool to standardise practices; I was tasked with implementing Smartsheet to the AEA region (AfricaEuroAsia) despite having no experience, so I had to dive in!
What was your journey like in mastering Smartsheet?
We all learn in different ways; I watched a 50-minute video on the art of the possible in Smartsheet and it didn’t ‘wow’ me, so I tried by myself, creating formulas and workflows, from there I created data meshes and data shuttles between files, just by trying and making mistakes.
I became obsessed with it, all day at work and at home in my free time. I did so much research as not everything is easy to resolve, you need time to think and work it out, understanding the complexity of what you need to accomplish before creating the solutions. But I kept going and think I’ve pretty much learned all the possibilities in Smartsheet.
So, did you manage to put the framework in place to standardise project management?
Yes, we managed to feed all the requirements from different divisions in one place with a single new project request form for the entire world. Depending on the division in Colgate, it is automatically split to the correct regional division’s tracker, then to the project tracker with different people and priorities assigned automatically within many different divisions.
What happened in your ‘aha’ Thomas Edison lightbulb moment?
Back in 2022, there was an important oral care global project in which the same file needed six or seven ways of numeration, there were so many permutations which were hard to achieve. I was thinking about it so hard that at home one day I fell asleep and dreamt of the solution. As soon as I woke up, I knew what to do! The complex solution took lots of work, ending with 15 hidden columns, I knew with Smartsheet it would possible even if there isn’t a direct route to success.
How did you contribute to the increased adoption of Smartsheet at Colgate-Palmolive?
I moved from Network Operations to Master Data Management and had to reduce the complexity of the solutions for my successor. I trained and showed him all I knew so that he could manage my projects – he was then tasked with creating KPIs and dashboards. Then I trained someone from the Mumbai team and in turn they have trained others. It is joked I am the ‘grandfather of Smartsheet-training’ at Colgate-Palmolive as the training is filtering down! If anyone has a challenge, they know to come to me.
I’ve just conducted a survey about how colleagues feel about Smartsheet, and the feedback has been really positive.
And how has Smartsheet helped Colgate-Palmolive in your opinion?
If a project before took 100 days to complete, it now takes 40 days as the processes are faster. We can track the average completion time for say, the artwork step by tracking dates on new projects and understand that they need 12 days instead of the allocated 10 days. Deadlines have been amended which aids the packaging teams with their planning.
Your dedication to Smartsheet seems remarkable. Can you elaborate on the impact it had on your professional life?
I’ve won two “You can make a difference” competitions for best practice, one for Q1 in 2022 and the second one for the whole year.
I’ve also received promotions having successfully implemented Smartsheet in many various areas such as Packaging, Marketing, Network Operations, Master Data etc. and have created over a hundred advanced files such as Customized Product tracker where I have over 90 workflows.
And what’s next in your Smartsheet journey?
AI is definitely next for me in 2024, I’m really curious to see how it can help with new solutions.
I’m also keen to come to Smartsheet ENGAGE (Europe) in London in May 2024 to feel the energy there, meeting and learning from other Smartsheet users.
And final words?
Don’t be afraid, I’ve learned how to use Smartsheet on my own without any guidelines, just by trying over and over to do things I was sure it was capable of, being an easy and user-friendly tool that can be learned by anyone! I've also found a lot of bugs and errors in my exploration of Smartsheet, which I've reported, and most are now fixed. I still have some more new ideas that can be improved in the future and so can't wait to see how we will create the future!
If this has inspired you, please do let Michał Magala know. Also please share this story with those you know have so much more potential to realise, but may not have the self-belief or support to do so. And with leaders in your organisations who say their people are their greatest assets... maybe it's time to get them a Smartsheet licence to see what they could achieve all round.
And if you know of a Smartsheet superhero you would like to nominate or to let us know your own story, please let us know via our Smartsheet Superhero nomination page.
At Prodactive Project Solutions we are driven by a collective passion to make a massive difference for our clients and unlock wasted time, resource, and capability. And develop Smartsheet Superheroes in the process... please do get in touch if you'd like to find out more about how we could help unlock potential in your organisation.