Grant Management Solution, Enabling Visibility and Insight into the Grant Assignment, Renewal, Approval, and Utilization Process
Optimum Developed a Grant Management Solution, Enabling Visibility and Insight into the Grant Assignment, Renewal, Approval, and Utilization Process.
Optimum developed an automated and robust solution for a state sponsored Grant Management organization, responsible for managing grants at over 110 institutions, allowing visibility and insight into the grant assignment, renewal, approval, and utilization process.
About the Client
Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (THECB) works to promote access and affordability to higher education in the state of Texas.
Business Challenge and Project Background
Client engaged Optimum to build a Smartsheet-based Grant Management solution to streamline and automate their grant management processes. Prior to Optimum’s engagement, the client used a combination of Word documents, Excel sheets, and emails to collect grant information from institutions and built numerous Excel trackers to track institution submission status and confirm financial amounts. This required hours of manual work collecting, storing, and tracking information from the multitude of grantees. In order to provide responses to one-off requests regarding data, the client team had to manually create a report in Excel and manipulate the data to surface information.
Client sought a more efficient, centralized, and streamlined solution to managing and reporting on grant spending, renewals, and application statuses. The client also wanted an automated solution that minimized the chance for human errors and delays while standardizing their internal work processes, reporting, and communications across all Institutes and at the program level.
Optimum facilitated several workshops in order to understand client’s current processes, pain points, and future state requirements. Based on the information collected in the workshops, Optimum developed a tailored solution architecture and design that would help alleviate the manual effort required by client’s previous process. Once the solution and user interface designs were approved by the client, Optimum developed the solution and engaged the client throughout to ensure that the solution was meeting the business and users’ needs. The client engaged a few stakeholder institutions in testing the new solution to ensure it was appropriate for end users and would meet all the user requirements.
The solution aimed to streamline the grant submittal processes for institutions by implementing a series of Smartsheet forms, all easily accessible from a landing page dashboard. The solution also allowed all institutions to submit data to a centralized place, creating easy submission tracking and streamlined financial reporting. Optimum built reports based on the tracked data to logically surface and group relevant Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for various stakeholders. Optimum worked closely with the client to make updates based on internal and institutions’ feedback to further ensure user adoption.
Optimum then utilized the rapid-deployment and advanced automation capabilities of the Smartsheet platform to deliver and rollout a new robust Grant Management solution, fully meeting the Firm’s business user, reporting, and automation requirements.
As a result of building this grant management solution in Smartsheet, the client is now able to direct all institutions to a landing page dashboard where they can select the appropriate forms to fill out. All submitted information automatically directs to the appropriate tracker, making it simple to quickly deduce which institutions have not submitted information. All forms utilize data validation and have detailed directions incorporated directly into the form so that user error is significantly less likely. The customized reports allow the client teams to quickly synthesize data and respond to one-off stakeholder metrics requests and view necessary program KPIs. Overall, the solution has allowed for centralization of forms and data, making it much easier to access, collaborate, and utilize data in a meaningful way.
Optimum is a national Software Consulting firm, and a Smartsheet Platinum Partner, helping organizations accelerate efficiency and solve business challenges. We deliver robust software solutions and amazing client experiences!
As a Platinum, Certified Smartsheet Partner and Premier Microsoft Partner, our consultants define, automate, and optimize processes and implement advanced automation solutions to help clients achieve work efficiency and productivity. From development of customized templates and advanced dashboards and workflows to the full implementation and support of Smartsheet Control Center and other accelerators, our team helps clients maximize their ROI in Smartsheet and increase user adoption and productivity of their teams.
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