Infostud is responsible for a family of useful websites which everyone in Serbia knows about — for everything from finding jobs and student information to automobiles and travel. Their total monthly traffic exceeds 10 million visits. And they use Active Collab.
We started using Active Collab 2.0 in 2010. The team behind the Putovanja.info website tested it first, and after the positive experience everyone else at Infostud started to use Active Collab.
We installed Active Collab on our server and customized it to suit our needs.
Before that, we used a task manager that only had basic options such as setting up a task and receiving email notification when a change occurs; but it couldn’t respond to our organizational needs: every IT company needs to monitor a large number of projects, big and small, and a simple task manager just isn’t enough.
With Active Collab, it was easy to keep up with the progress of each project:
- what work is in progress,
- when will it be completed,
- how much time was spent,
- what’s the completion percentage,
- what’s the status and priority of each task.
In 2011, our IT department was split into development (where we did new projects) and maintenance. For each major development project, we opened up a new project in Active Collab. For ongoing maintenance, one project has been opened for every business where we added maintenance tasks (like bug fixes, on-the-go changes, etc).
We were able to keep track of how much time was spent on each project, how many tasks and bug fixes were closed — we had a complete communication related to the project in one place. We finished over 70 projects.
Active Collab also proved to be useful for working with external partners, since it’s possible to give them limited access to projects on which we work together, while keeping internal projects private.
Active Collab helped us communicate clearly and complete projects that involved many participants and external partners.
What we found useful:
- email notifications,
- saving all project-related documents in the Files menu,
- monitoring the time spent on a specific task or a milestone,
- there’s no need for special training: new employees can use it right away because it’s intuitive and logical.
When we switched to Scrum, we kept using Active Collab and adjusted it to our new workflow: milestones were sprints, tasks were stories, and for assessment of story points we used the Estimate field.
For several years, we used only Active Collab, but with the implementation of agile methodologies some teams switched to other tools as well (tools specifically designed to deal with Scrum). Infostud now has over 100 employees and each development team uses a tool that suits them the best.
We now use Active Collab mainly for operations of the central sector, such as administration, accounting, human resources, purchase etc.
It helped us stay organized in the past, and it still does now.