Idea Planet started their search for a reliable enterprise grade PM solution when the software they were using failed, leaving them without essential data. Stephanie Deits is the Director of Accounting and Corporate Operations at Idea Planet, a Dallas-based marketing innovations company. Idea Planet was founded in 2000 and provides consumer research, brand marketing, design, retail and manufacturing — all focused on bringing inspiration and innovation to business challenges.
Nightmare situation Before Teamwork, we were using basic tools that could not keep up with our needs. Every day we had to try and force that software to fit our model, which was just a train wreck. Idea Planet knew they needed to start a search for a project management solution when the basic tools they were using began slowing their process. They were holding things together using their server, Excel spreadsheets and email messages, but it was awkward and inconsistent. “We had no central location for all up-to-date project documents or past versions, so it was difficult to find what we needed, and there was no place to track schedules and establish the next steps for a project.” In an effort to simplify their tools and coordinate the team, they chose a popular project management software, but Idea Planet team members still had a difficult time establishing a central filing system, tracking tasks, and coordinating team-wide communication. Even though they now had a system, not all team members used it consistently, making tracking and scheduling very difficult. And then they hit a nightmare that no company wants to face: the software failed. “There was a massive data loss on this company’s end, and we had absolutely no follow-up or follow through from their technical and customer support team. We were left high and dry and lost a tremendous amount of work.” Following this disaster, management at Idea Planet established a select committee of team members to research possibilities for a replacement project management software that the company could trust. This team was given the responsibility to choose and implement new software with better security standards, and they were given specific criteria: We needed a project management system that was user-friendly and truly fit the unique needs of our company and business model. After our data loss, we also needed to know that this software was created by a company that would be our partner, not just our vendor. Most importantly, we needed to be confident that our data would remain secure and confidential. After in-depth investigation and review, this select team had another meeting to compare their notes, and the selection was easier than anticipated. “Even though we hadn’t consulted each other during our research, we all came to the table with Teamwork as our top choice. It was fairly easy for each of us to see how this software could offer us everything we needed for both security and functionality.” Waking up to the possibilities Switching to Teamwork was simple, due to the accessible UI and the team’s eagerness to have a secure, all-in-one solution for managing their documents, tasks and communication. Teamwork is very easy to learn, very intuitive and user friendly. Our team made much use of the video tutorials and webinars when we were first trained, but we haven’t had to rely on them since. The biggest advantage that Teamwork provides for Idea Planet is that the company has found a project management solution that caters to their exact needs. Not only is there a central location for project materials and information sharing, but with Teamwork, the ability to set milestones and link tasks to them keeps everyone accountable and on track. One of the team’s favorite features is Board View, which allows managers and team members to see tasks within each project and to move tasks along as they’re completed. This visual is providing clarity on responsibilities, which helps the entire team meet deadlines and stay on track because they can see how the entire project is progressing. “In running the day-to-day of the creative department, having this visual overview has been a great addition, and I’m enjoying learning how to use it and making it work for myself and the entire team.” Working like dream Teamwork has allowed Idea Planet to streamline process and improve workflow through the use of project and task list templates, the ability to set repeating tasks and assign multiple team members to tasks based on their job role. “Without Teamwork, the workflow and process we use would involve more manual input, which is time consuming. Teamwork’s reporting features also gives senior managers at Idea Planet a complete view of daily departmental priorities and ensures that these are accomplished” As well as improving process and workflow, switching to Teamwork has also eradicated one of Idea Planet’s biggest fears–data loss. As all data stored in Teamwork is hosted within Amazon’s Web Services (AWS), and all data is backed up twice daily. The software also offers the company peace of mind knowing that all their files are protected against accidental deletion—a concern of many in an environment where multiple users are using the same platform. I personally cannot put a dollar figure on the impact of Teamwork. To be able to track tasks, timelines, details and then have that information in report format to pull at a moment’s notice has made my job immeasurably more efficient. – Stephanie Deits, Director of Accounting and Corporate Operations