How One Manufacturing Company Uses to Keep Traffic Moving

Managing Your Morning Commute

Ray Deer is a soft-spoken leader with a powerful job. As CTO of the entire technology division of Peek Traffic, he is responsible for overseeing the design and development an of urban traffic control products.

Put another way: he helps Americans drive safely.

Peek Traffic, a subsidiary of Signal Group Inc., builds a large portion of all U.S. traffic lights in addition to developing complex electronic traffic systems to detect, monitor and control traffic. Deer uses to track projects across their entire organization, with offices spanning 8 cities globally. His team performs multidisciplinary design and engineering work for the mechanical, software, electrical, and firmware development projects that design, manufacture and monitor roadside electronics that power your morning commute.

“We needed a product that was web-based and easy to use,” Deer says. As a PMP, Deer had been a Microsoft Project user for years, as well as using other project tools such as Excel. But to roll out to his team, Deer notes that MS Project was “terribly confusing to use, if you’re not a trained project manager. And even at that I would spend hours trying to understand why my timelines had shifted, due to their confusing algorithm.”

Deer needed a product that was “simpler to use” and that avoided the “terribly expensive” costs inherent in other products. Deer also needed a solution that he could share and collaborate on with his team.

“ was just a much more practical solution,” Ray says.

One way Deer uses is for time tracking and resource management. Ray found the timesheets “really easy to use.” His team spends, at a maximum, 10-15 minutes weekly doing timesheets and they really like that shows carryover from last week’s tasks, “so they’re just updating the tasks that are already there.”

Whereas some project leaders have difficulty getting teams to adopt timesheets, Deer says, “I didn’t get any push back. Basically, I conveyed the value of timesheets: that if you’re a hard worker, timesheets create a great record of your accomplishments.”

Deer knows something about what success looks like. He’s built a project management process to train and support his team (who on average has been with him for 12 years) in project management practices. The nice thing about, Deer says, is not only was there was “nothing to install”, it was easy for his team of project managers to use.

This way, Deer and his team can focus on what they do best: helping to get you where you need to go.