Written by Alice Jakins, Digital Traffic Manager at New Media Publishing
Dialogue, New Media Publishing’s digital arm, was formed to service existing digital platforms and to roll out new project work. With more and more work streaming in, we realised we needed a workflow solution to help us deliver work faster and within budget while maintaining quality standards.
First thing we did was to look for an online workflow tool that met most of our needs. I set up trial accounts on Producteev, MeisterTask, Trello, Asana and ActiveCollab to check out their features. The team had already worked a bit with Trello and Toggl to track time.
I then put together a feature matrix for all the different tools to compare things like monthly cost, accessibility (web, app, etc), timesheeting, task assignments, template creation, calendar timings, recurring tasks, moving tasks, reordering tasks, multiple assignees, due dates, file storage, deleting, archiving, commenting, reporting with export functionality, notification settings, cost estimates and workflow view.
ActiveCollab came up trumps, so I presented the feature matrix to the team and suggested we trial it. We’ve been active ever since.
From a process and productivity perspective, this is why I love ActiveCollab:
Reviewing resources – ActiveCollab’s workload reporting view shows you who’s busy on what and where you need to lighten or increase the workload – all at a glance. This can alert the scrum masters to possible bottlenecks and help them reallocate resources.
Tracking targets – We load all our quotes onto ActiveCollab as cost estimates. The cost estimate view shows how the business is performing in terms of targets. You can see sent estimates (pipeline), won estimates (done deals) and lost. Comparing lost to won determines a future metric.
Looking at project profitability – If your company bills projects by the hour, timesheets is a valuable feature that helps you estimate costs more accurately.
Reviewing project status – Our project managers use the notes section to include staging/test URLs and other crucial project details. The team members log their time, making it easy to check progress in terms of ‘hours estimated’ vs ‘hours logged’. Tasks are grouped into bite-sized chunks. You can also easily compare completed tasks and open tasks.
There are some extras we’d like to have, but the ActiveCollab support team is pretty good at responding and keeping us in the loop about upgrades, fixes and new features.