How Teamwork Projects Helps Agile Companies Work Smarter
For more than 20 years, novusweb® has been helping small-to-medium eCommerce merchants build and increase their online sales. Their expertise includes digital marketing, content development, product management, and omni-channel distribution. Bret Williams, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of novusweb in Texas (USA), uses Teamwork Projects to support the company’s Agile management style and help build workflows that track each task and subtask details in complex projects.
“We use Teamwork for just about every task in our organization, both for clients and internally. From long site development projects, to social media posts, everything is put into Teamwork Projects.”
As an agency with a long-standing reputation in delivering results for eCommerce clients, novusweb had used every project management software available and finally landed with Basecamp. While the program seemed to have the most accessible UI for clients, it lacked well-developed tools that Bret’s team needed to streamline their workflows and reduce non-billable hours. At the top of novusweb’s list of requirements was not a single specialized feature, but feature-rich, intuitive software that could adapt to their Agile team. After testing several apps, they found that waterfall systems were too time-consuming and costly in terms of billable hours, while task-based systems were too limited in features to allow for accountability and dependencies. Basecamp covered some of their needs, but they still felt constrained and wanted to find software that could help them track time and also manage tasks, dependencies, assignments, files and communication. Bret said he knew his team was asking a lot from one project management system, but he felt that a better solution had to exist. Their ideal system would also be simple for new clients to learn and update regularly. Basecamp was a good start, but it couldn’t serve as a hub for all of the different aspects that needed to be organized and administered.
“We needed a project management system that was robust enough for our internal purposes, while ‘friendly’ for our clients to use collaboratively. We wanted options, ones that didn’t require our clients to have a Project Management Professional Certification designation.”
The transition to Teamwork Projects went very smoothly, due to the Basecamp importer and the library of onboarding videos and help docs that Teamwork.com created for customers. Bret also found that novusweb’s Agile principles dovetailed easily with Teamwork Projects’ format, with very little training time needed for his team to become proficient. Today, the team relies on task lists to set up each marketing initiative, with tasks and subtasks for the individual tasks needed. Task list templates make this process easier by letting team members start new projects with just a few clicks. Changes and additions are easily be made to accommodate the different requirements each project brings. Clients are using and actually enjoying Teamwork Projects for its ability to see and organize all of the moving parts of the project in one platform. Not only can they get an instant update, but all of the necessary files and messages that used to live (or get misplaced) in different folders and apps are now all together.
“We believe in full transparency with our clients, and Teamwork Projects gives our clients a full view of all the activity we’ve completed. They can easily see the progress made in real time as well as provide approvals, upload assets, and respond to questions from our team.”
Having a central hub for each project has also improved relationships with remote developers. Collaboration now happens in real time on documents, with messaging, and within Board View for tasks, which lets everyone adjust tasks quickly in real time.
“Board View allows us to interactively manage project tasks with our team without the constant adjustments that waterfall methodologies require. Everyone feels like they’re more informed and on track without having a lot of person-to-person check-ins.”
More than two years after signing on with Teamwork Projects, Bret says that their workflows are significantly easier and more error-resistant. Not only is this making team interactions more effective, it’s reducing the amount of work that needs to be redone.
“We know that Teamwork Projects has changed the way we do business. It is helping us improve resource allocation, capture more tasks (and business) from our clients, and eliminate mistakes that were unavoidable with other systems.”
The benefits were especially clear to novusweb over the 2017 holiday season when the team was trying to manage holiday marketing campaigns for many of the company’s clients. Having detailed checklists and list templates ensured that they didn’t miss any important actions when their performance needed to be perfect. Each novusweb team member has their own favorite features that help them improve productivity, but the Kanban-style Board View has probably made the most impact for novusweb overall. As the team has become more familiar with Teamwork Projects, they rely on it more and more for setting their daily and weekly priorities as projects progress.
“Board View works really well with our Agile approach and internal processes. We don’t do actual Sprints of set durations, but we do work through projects in a Kanban way.”
The end result is that novusweb is able to deliver higher-quality projects with fewer changes and corrections, saving time and significantly reducing friction and bottlenecks.
“In our search for project management software that could handle complex task lists and our team’s Agile approach, we kept running into dead ends. Then we found Teamwork Projects, and it strikes the perfect balance.”