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Will Jeffords

VP Finance/HR/PMO at Swampfox Technologies

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.


We have been speaking to Will Jeffords, BizOps Leader at Swampfox Technologies (advanced Contact Center software solutions) who, when looking a better Project Management tool, quickly discovered that Smartsheet was a potential-unlocking powerhouse across the business.


Hi Will! Thanks for being our next Smartsheet superhero ⚡.  Can you share your introduction to Smartsheet? 

Encountering Smartsheet in 2018, I was struck by its promise to import Excel sheets seamlessly, enabling quick creation of workflows, automations, reports, and dashboards. Diverging from PMO requirements, I tested it with a complex billing spreadsheet. In just 3 clicks, the transformation was jaw-dropping; everything was seamlessly integrated! 


Weeks later, I harnessed Intake Forms, Dashboards, Reports, Filters, and Automations, eliminating manual steps. Smartsheet became indispensable, unblocking crucial information for Account Managers, Project Managers, and more. Our revenue BizOps evolved, boasting a 5,000-row, 80-column Billing Smartsheet with 18 workflows. 


Transitioning to HR, I built a comprehensive HRM tool managing Recruiting, On/Off-boarding, Compensation, PTO/Leave, Benefits, Compliance, Census Reporting, and Resource Management. Dynamic Views ensure data privacy. The PMO swiftly moved project planning to Smartsheet, now transitioning to true PPM with Smartsheet Control Center, offering enhanced project visualization, pleasing stakeholders.

 

What was your journey like in mastering Smartsheet?

 I'm a work-in-progress, and my Smartsheet journey thrives on the incredible Smartsheet community. While Smartsheet provides excellent learning tools, the real acceleration comes from connecting with enthusiasts who generously share their experiences. Falling into the YouTube world of Smartsheet experts led me to Prodactive's Rich Coles and Phil Robbins. Their videos not only helped solve problems but also inspired me to push Smartsheet's capabilities further. 


Rich and Phil are not just community members; they've become friends and collaborators in various initiatives aimed at giving back. Engaging in programs like Smartsheet Mobilizers, the Early Adopter Program, and the Business Advisory Council, along with attending the Smartsheet Engage user conference, adds an extra layer to my community involvement, keeping me excited for future learning opportunities and problem-solving with these fantastic tools and people.


How did you contribute to the increased adoption of Smartsheet at Swampfox?

Iterative Smartsheet asset building is the fun part! Gathering workflow or process info, I think backward from the outcome and draft Dashboards, Reports, or Forms. Sharing drafts with stakeholders sparks discussions about their needs and processes, uncovering pain points. Whether through team initiatives or triggered by phrases like "I wish there was a way to..." or "It's such a pain to do this," the stealth draft Smartsheet solution gets raised eyebrows and boosts momentum. Streamlining mundane activities builds a fanbase, making the process engaging and organic.


And how has Smartsheet helped Swampfox in your opinion?

Smartsheet powers our operations with unparalleled efficiency and confidence. From streamlining recruitment and managing deferred revenue to tracking InfoSec compliance and driving our Product Development StageGate Process, Smartsheet significantly reduces time spent on various activities. The platform seamlessly integrates Holiday and PTO calendars across multiple countries, implements Employee Holiday Gift programs, and manages diverse customer engagements.


Smartsheet's role extends to elevating Leadership Team activities, enhancing weekly, quarterly, and annual meetings through Dashboards and a RAID (Risks, Actions, Issues, and Decisions) Log. We utilize Reports from PMO and Sales assets to maintain a high-level overview of business OKRs, reinforcing accountability, and aiding strategic prioritization. Smartsheet's advanced tools like Dynamic View, Data Shuttle, and Bridge contribute to a centralized single source of truth, marking a transformative impact on our holistic operations.


Your dedication to Smartsheet seems remarkable. Can you elaborate on the impact it had on your professional life?

Smartsheet not only transformed my role at Swampfox but also sparked a life-changing journey. Amid the Ukrainian invasion, I discovered Aid Ukraine Denmark on LinkedIn, an NGO aiding refugees. They sought help consolidating data. Could Smartsheet assist? Absolutely.


Fascinated by the Nordic region, I responded eagerly. A call to Copenhagen blossomed into ongoing projects with Aid Ukraine Denmark. This experience, alongside my passion for operations transformation, fuelled a dynamic journey. Grateful for Smartsheet's impact, I'm energized and thankful for the supportive community—a true superpower in my professional and humanitarian endeavours.


And what’s next in your Smartsheet journey?

Powering up! I’m working on solution certifications this year and all sorts of activities to just dive deeper into the community.


At Swampfox, we are going to look at extending the reach of the tools more into the sales and marketing functions with our CRM requirements. I’m also eager to flex Control Center into non-traditional applications that may be there outside of the typical PPM value set.

I’m also leaning on Rich Coles and Phil Robbins to get into the content creation world because it seems fun and exciting, but also to use my story and experiences to give back to the community that has afforded me so much goodness these past few years!


Any final words?

I’m clearly a champion of Smartsheet, but I really do love focusing on how it helps people work together ultimately. If anyone who reads this wants to join this journey – there is truly nothing I love more than learning with others who are passionate about transforming organizations. Please reach out to me on LinkedIn and let’s learn together!


 

If this has inspired you, please do let Will Jeffords 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.

Will Jeffords
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