Hey there! I’m Julie, Dauntless' resident time guru.
I suppose in most other agencies my title would be Project Manager, but here at Dauntless, we do things differently.
All companies come with a unique working culture and ethos. And given the breadth of Project Management tools out there, finding the right tool that meshed with our company’s unique workflow and processes didn’t seem like a tall order. At least at first. It really did seem like an easy and straightforward objective, but after months of research and setting up countless trial accounts, I’m happy to conclude that nothing is further from the truth. In fact, only a few such tools – or really, one – actually offered all the functionalities our team was desperately looking for.
When I myself joined Dauntless, the crew was using a tool called Teamwork, which had proven its worth in the past, but lost its value once the agency started growing. Although it’s very user friendly, and allows us to manage tasks at a very detailed level, its time tracking functionality is very basic. It doesn’t give any insight into staff utilisation and financials either. We tried to bridge this gap by integrating Teamwork with the time tracking software called Harvest – which the team loved by the way – but unfortunately the integration lacked the depth we required, and didn’t give us the information we crucially needed.
So over a period of three months we tried out a myriad of PM tools, but none of them seemed worth the investment. For starters, the software was always too complicated to work with. Furthermore, every single user interface we encountered looked like an Excel spreadsheet, which would have caused a major uproar amongst our creatives – not worth it! On top of that, none of the tools produced Gantt charts, or supported any granularity. Alternatively, they were simply too rigid, and would have forced us to completely adjust our workflow and process to gel with their respective functionalities.
One programme that did exceed our expectations is 10,000ft. The UI looks very slick; it’s easy to use; it even provides great insight into project financials and progress, thanks to their use of eye-catching graphics and diagrams. However, after some testing we realised it only supports three task layers – which really isn’t all that much. So I’m sure you can imagine our disappointment when we discovered such a big limitation. At this stage, going back to the drawing board was tough.
Success (thank you, Lord)!
In a last attempt – by this point, I must admit we had almost lost all hope – we contacted Mavenlink. They signed us up for a demo and within 30 minutes, everything changed. We knew that this software would change the future of Dauntless. Mavenlink is highly versatile, offers many functionalities that other PM tools lack in one way or another, and is flexible enough to fit around our existing and ever-changing processes. Even though we’ve only been using Mavenlink for a solid three months now – and are still figuring things out as we go – we can already see the fruits of our planning and decision making. Now, this could be where I tell you all about it…
But I think I’ll leave that for another blog post!