ipsoCreative is a boutique web agency in Ohio (USA) that provides beautiful and effective web aesthetics, leading edge functionality on open source technology, and disciplined project management. They serve businesses and organizations through a full-service approach of custom website designs and popular open source content platforms like WordPress, Umbraco, and Magento. ipsoCreative also creates educational motion graphic videos and writes custom integrations between websites and POS systems, eCommerce gateways, inventory systems, or customer relationship management (CRM) systems.
In this case study, we talked to Vince Mancari, Project Manager for Web Design and Development. See how they used Teamwork Projects to build smart, adaptable task lists for every project and give their clients an excellent agency experience and result.

“Teamwork is vital to our ability to deliver on our expectations for creating high quality experiences for our clients. Practically, it makes our lives easier and more efficient in so many ways, and that is why we love Teamwork.

The Challenges

For the client-facing side of their business, ipsoCreative needed a productivity software solution that helped them communicate more effectively with discerning clients and deliver high-caliber results. Internally, they needed tools to manage several practical aspects of their business which are necessary for effective team functionality.
Their previous task management system, Basecamp, did not have the time tracking and billing features to manage their workload, and it was not ideal as a client interface. They also needed task dependency and reporting features that would take the guesswork out of workflows, enhance their team’s collaboration during each project, and allow clients and team members to communicate more effectively.

“To be honest, the web design industry doesn’t traditionally have a great reputation with meeting customer expectations for communication and delivering projects on time. Many of our clients have horror stories from their past experiences, and we want to be exceptional by setting clear expectations with clients and communicating with them effectively and transparently. We needed a better tool than Basecamp to make that possible.”

The ipsoCreative team was also hungry for a software solution that was more intuitive to use, both for themselves and for their clients. In Basecamp, not only were important features lacking, but it was difficult to determine how to to add documents and users so that everyone had access to accurate information–and knew exactly how to access it. Another issue was that project status reports had to be carefully pieced together by different team members and then relayed to clients via email.
The ipsoCreative team knew that with more user-friendly project management tools, their clients would have more confidence in the company’s work and eagerly return to work with them. Projects could be completed in less time and with a much higher level of client satisfaction.

“We’re borderline obsessive about visibility and communication with our clients. We wanted to make sure every internal user and client could see how their project was advancing and respond as needed.”

The Solution

Since making the switch to Teamwork Projects three years ago, complicated workarounds have been replaced with a single solution that offers clarity to every facet of the project. Clients can now follow each deadline, which is set as a milestone within Teamwork Projects, to see how their project is developing.
Within ipsoCreative, each of those milestones is tied to a task list with to-do lists and subtasks completely attached. Every team member can quickly find their next task for the the day or week and keep the project on track from the outset.

“We give clients access to Teamwork Projects on the first day of the project, at which point the project is already pre-loaded with all of the tasks and milestones required to get us from kick-off to project completion. Of course, things change and tasks are added, and Teamwork Projects handles this for us too!”

When it comes to communication with clients and the internal team alike, ipsoCreative relies on Teamwork Projects notifications and dashboard options to keep everyone on the same page and on deadline. All project stakeholders have access to all related project communications at all times, regardless of whether they were specifically mentioned in a thread or not. They also use the risks feature to help them proactively work together as a project team to avoid or mitigate issues that may arise.

“These features keep projects moving forward without a high degree of daily intervention from team leads. We love having the connection between task lists and milestones so we can maintain our standards for better workflows on our team and improved transparency with clients.”

The Benefits

Above all, Teamwork Projects has saved ipsoCreative clients and team members hours of time every week through simplified workflows. The software has made so many elements of communication and document storage intuitive, that the software almost disappears.
Notifications are sent immediately to clients’ email inboxes, so no one misses an update. No one spends time wondering where to place a new file and then wastes more time sending a mass email telling everyone where to find it–every file is instantly accessible.

“We never have to look for supporting materials anymore. With Teamwork Projects, files are always conveniently located in the Files tab regardless of where they were originally loaded, and links are easy to find under their own tab, too.”

Now that time tracking and billing are completely handled within the Teamwork app, time invested in producing estimates and invoices has been noticeably trimmed. Complicated spreadsheets and timesheets have been replaced with a few clicks and easy-to-read reports.
One of the team’s favorite features for handling changes and adjusting workflows is the linked deadlines between tasks and milestones. When one milestone is adjusted, all of the deadlines for each of the subordinate tasks is automatically adjusted, providing a bit of extra insurance that no detail is missed.

“When I move the date of a milestone, I can choose for that to have a cascading effect not only on the due dates of the other milestones, but also all of the connected tasks. Awesome feature!”

Both ipsoCreative team members and clients feel that Teamwork Projects has given them a better command of all aspects of their projects, including day-to-day communication, short- and long-term goals–and the little details that can steal away hours of time each week.

“We’re very pleased with Teamwork Projects, and we’ve recommended it to many friends–personal and professional. We’ve even hosted Teamwork tutorials for folks who are interested in learning more about Teamwork and how we use it. We’re raving fans!”