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Project Management in Action: Lumi Juice

Watch founder of Lumi Juice, Hillary Lewis, explain how she used project planning tools to help her plan out her project and deal with uncertainties.
Lumi Juice was founded in April 2013 in Charlottesville, Virgina by Hillary Lewis, an MBA student one month shy of graduating from the Darden School of Business. Lumi, which stands for, Love You mean it, was to be a new brand of 100% organic juice. Hillary’s objective was to get a product on the shelf of a major retailer as soon as possible with a limited budget and with a very limited In fact, two resource, two people. In the next video, you’re going to hear from Hilary about how she used project planning tools to help her plan out the project, and how it helped her deal with uncertainties and unknowns that developed as she progressed through the execution of her project.
I founded Lumi which stands for, Love You mean it. We manufacture 100% organic cold pressed juice and we use high pressure processing instead of heat pasteurization. Project management engineering, setting up a manufacturing facility. All of this was relatively new to me and I had to find a way to lay it out in a synthesized pattern in an effort to get it done as quickly as possible. The scope of the project was how did I, one, find a manufacturing space in Charlottesville, Virginia that could be easily changed into a food processing facility and two, how could I outfit it with all of the necessary equipment?
We had to focus on, all right, do we need electricity, do we need a juicer, do we need an operations manager, do we need an engineer, do we need to know how to palletize our boxes, we need boxes okay great. So we started talking about how we were going to palletize, as in, what was the design for stacking boxes on the pallet to ship. But we didn’t even know what our boxes were. Pieces that were kind of going into play. Things that we didn’t think about until we were all together going through all the steps and all the necessary inputs.
And that’s where MS Project Manager really came to play in helping me build out a manufacturing facility in under 10 weeks. Using MS Product Manager and having the gant chart, literally with me at all times I think I didn’t carry anything with me besides a pen and a gant chart for two months, not even. And would just tick off what I was doing and what I wasn’t doing correctly and so you start this whole project and it’s like oh great. My whole gant charts put together, it’s so beautiful. I know exactly what’s going to happen first and foremost.
And one of the things you learn along the way is that just because you’re ready to get it done and it’s ready to happen, doesn’t mean that your suppliers are ready, that the US government’s ready, that all of the other steps that you need to rely on to actually implement your project plan and in a succinct and on the time schedule that you want it to, doesn’t happen. At the end of the day I kept referring back to my gan chart and I still look at it and I think ok well what did I do, and how did I do it?
And really, I don’t see how I could have gotten everything done in the manner in which I needed to get it done and with the speed that it happened without using it as my initial framework and tools to execute upon. I’m not always the most organized person. And specifically not understanding really what needed to go into this facility. And as an entrepreneur, you are pulled in 70,000 directions at once and it’s incredibly important to prioritize. And the gant chart was instrumental in setting a critical path for me to realize the steps necessary to get to the end goal, which is putting juice on the shelf.

In the previous discussion question, you made suggestions for how Lewis (founder of Lumi Juice) can plan for risks that you previously identified and prioritized in this project. Now, watch as she explains how she used project planning tools to help her plan out her project and deal with uncertainties.

As you watch this video, think about what some of your key takeaways are for your own projects.

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Fundamentals of Project Planning and Management

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