Hi, I’m Sharné McDonald and I work at hi5 as a part of a five-strong remote team that’s developing a coworker review tool called hi5. My role at this Cape Town based company is a Happiness Hero, which means I handle Customer Support, Customer Success as well as Help documentation.
Hi5 and ActiveCollab
We started using ActiveCollab several years ago when the team size increased and everyone started working remotely. Nowadays it is our go to tool when it comes to collaborating and managing our tasks.
The main strength of ActiveCollab is introducing order in what otherwise could be interpreted as chaos. We are not relying on any specific project management methodology at the moment: we are going with the flow, but enjoying the structure we’re gradually developing. We did manage to shape our planning and delivering process through ActiveCollab’s tasks, subtasks, and time estimation, realizing that this approach simply works for us. Honestly, I don’t think we would be able to function as well as we do without it.
It turns out that structure is better when it comes to project management, which is why we use ActiveCollab for work, and Trello for everything else.
Additional side-benefit was actually a huge deal for us: even though all team members are from Cape Town, we decided to go remote, which was partially possible thanks to ActiveCollab. Not only have we increased our productivity and efficiency, but now we save up to 4 hours a day - simply by staying home and not commuting.
Hero’s Experience with ActiveCollab
My first experience with ActiveCollab (which company was using for 2 years at the time) was a bit overwhelming: during the onboarding conversation, the manager kept assigning me to tasks and projects, which later resulted in nearly hundred emails in my inbox. I was (as I already mentioned) overwhelmed, but the software itself is straightforward, so no one had to teach me how to use it. Nowadays, it is a completely different story. I love those emails, I love the summary-of-the-day email, and I love going through them - I don’t miss on anything, and I get to see what needs to be done.
How Happiness Hero Uses ActiveCollab
We’ve been handling different projects in ActiveCollab - Events, Customer Success, DisruptHR, Development, Ideas. Let me share one of ours project with you.
This project consists of several lists set chronologically. Purpose? To help me stay organized of course. For instance, the tasklist above shows everything I have to do for a company event. Each task is divided into subtasks, with a task due date actually being a top-of-the-list subtask due date. Whenever the subtask is due, I just change the due date for the next one and keep getting reminders to do it.
Let me give you an example: In this section, I’ve listed all the potential speakers (trust me on this one). If they don’t confirm they presence, I tick them so they are off my list. So in this case, completed task means that the speaker will NOT be attending.
Apart from highlighting tasks that we shouldn’t forget, my manager and I have been using high priority feature to create a task as a label. It’s like a marker which breaks the task list into two sections. Tiny, but extremely useful out of the box solution we came up with.
At the end of the day, it feels good to see what I’ve accomplished:
I love the Time Tracking option. It’s a great system because it allows us to document everything. In case someone else comes in to help or take over my tasks, they can pick up where I left off easily: ActiveCollab provides them an instant insight into everything that’s done and needs to be done.