For the team at ThreeSixtyEight, using Teamwork to plan and deliver client work isn’t just a means to an end—it’s become integral to who they are as an agency.
That’s largely thanks to Kara Pitre, Director of Operations, and Bri Ehle, Senior Project Manager, both of whom have played a huge role in getting the ThreeSixtyEight team up and running under the same platform.
“We're really about creating experiences for our clients not only in the processes that we employ, but also for their clients and their customer base in the outcomes of the projects that we work on with them,” said Kara.
It’s that client-first mentality that has helped ThreeSixtyEight deliver innovative work that challenges the status quo since it was founded in 2016. With a mission to “help visionary brands create an uncommon future,” the full-service agency has created work for the Miami Dolphins, Louisiana Economic Development, and Unilever, to name a few. But getting there wasn’t always easy—especially when it came to using outdated, manual processes to juggle multiple clients with multiple projects.
The Baton Rouge-based agency has come a long way since its inception, especially when it comes to their project management systems and processes. For Kara, that shift has been particularly welcome, especially considering how much of her planning used to be done on sticky notes (yes, you read that correctly).
In fact, Kara used to handwrite her team’s schedules on a daily basis. “Someone told me the other day, ‘I wish you still did that.’” She laughs, "I'm very glad I don't."
Even though the company has been using Teamwork from the beginning, they hadn’t always taken advantage of the entire suite of the platform’s features. (Kara estimates they were only utilizing about 15% of Teamwork’s features early on). But as the agency grew and took on larger clients with larger projects, they knew they had to put more structure in place.
“We’ve always had Teamwork, but the way we were utilizing it is completely different to the way we’re using it now in order to best suit what our project structure is and what our teams want,” Kara said.
Back when the agency was still finding its legs, ThreeSixtyEight had primarily used Teamwork as a way to create and house projects; anything beyond that was mostly ad hoc. “We just weren’t exploring it enough,” Kara said. “The way we use it now is totally different.”
As Kara started to dig more into Teamwork, she began to see that their team wasn’t taking advantage of all it had to offer. In particular, she saw new opportunities for it to become the single source of truth for the entire team’s day-to-day project management.
Kara and Bri both had experiences at other agencies where processes were unclear, or worse, unorganized. Ensuring everyone at the agency knows how to properly use Teamwork is something they both continue to keep tabs on. “We all have to utilize it in the same way, otherwise we're creating lots of confusion, and we're also not putting out the best customer service for our clients,” Kara said.
Bri agrees. “We can't have one project manager using it one way and relaying how to use it to the team in one way that's drastically different from another,” she said. “We all need to be looking at people's schedules the exact same way.”
That means taking advantage of dashboards, project health reports, and especially hourly time tracking, to name just a few of the agency’s most used features. “We really want our team to log their time to a project, whether it's billable or non-billable, so that we can run clear profitability reports based on what we've quoted [our clients], and what we're going to receive in a contract amount,” Kara explained.
“One of the best parts about Teamwork is how everything comes together and you can really see everything, whether you want to see only your portfolio of projects, or you want to see the entire company's portfolio of projects,” Kara said. “There's all these different possibilities.”
Using Teamwork in a more robust way also had ramifications outside of ThreeSixtyEight’s client work. Getting the entire agency on the same page was also an important outcome of using the platform as efficiently as possible. “We couldn't just be writing down in our notebooks what people [within the agency] were doing,” Kara said. “We all needed to know that, because we all utilize the same team members.”
Because every person at ThreeSixtyEight uses Teamwork in some capacity (including the CEO), every new team member joining ThreeSixtyEight goes through a Teamwork onboarding session that outlines the basics of the platform, from tracking time to understanding how to interpret dashboards.
Bri and Kara also lead regular lunch-and-learns with their team to update them on new Teamwork features and enhancements that are relevant to their work. “It's a process of constant education,” Bri explains. “Anytime I find a shortcut or a little Easter egg in Teamwork, I'm sending it out to the team like, ‘Hey y'all, did you know you could use this? Did you know there's a Google Chrome extension? Did you know there's a desktop extension to log your time?’"
Even though training and updating their team on best practices in Teamwork may require more time and effort on both of their parts, the payoff in the long run—better organized projects resulting in better work and happier clients—is more than worth it.
“When you have people within the organization that are dedicated to understanding how all of the features work, it makes a huge difference,” Bri said. “If you don't have that person, it can be really easy to jump ship and go to another software and think, ‘Okay, maybe this one works better for us.’"
Keeping an entire agency on top of their client work certainly comes with its challenges. But for ThreeSixtyEight, it wouldn’t be possible without Teamwork. “We’ve gone from a place where Teamwork was something that some people used sometimes, to it being the single source of truth,” Bri said. “If somebody asks me a question, I'll say, ‘Have you looked in Teamwork first? It's in Teamwork.’ Whatever Teamwork says is our bible."
For both Bri and Kara, it all comes back to championing the platform for the rest of the team, helping them understand how to use it better and pointing them toward their favorite tips and tricks. Thanks to them, now everyone at ThreeSixtyEight uses Teamwork in a similar fashion, making their processes speedier and more efficient than ever.
“My job as the project manager is to make everybody else's lives easier,” Bri said. “I feel like any way I can do that in Teamwork just really better serves the whole team.”