So we discovered SCRUM
One day I was listening at a case study at the technology park held by a friend of mine ( thank you Jugoslav ) where he introduced us to SCRUM. He said they used it in a production environment for a while with great results.
Scrum is an agile framework for completing complex projects. Scrum originally was formalized for software development projects, but works well for any complex, innovative scope of work.This looked really promising, I thought, so I started thinking how to incorporate those principles in the business platform we were developing at the time. I knew we would not do it by the book, I knew that we were not ready to do all the SCRUM routine including ScrumMasters, Sprints and stuff. But still I think that the Waterfall method is great and braking each task into separate activities is a must in an efficient project management environment. So I came up with an interesting approach to task and project management which combines classic techniques like GANTT charts for complex projects, users and resource management approaches and some agile project management techniques taken from SCRUM.
Our own solution
The end result was a simple on-line project management module which is integrated with our CRM and available to all employees. The real revelation came when I gave access to the project management platform to all our employees. Suddenly everyone was involved in the creation and management of projects, tasks, activities, support tickets etc. This decentralization ment that we no longer needed a dedicated project management because everyone in the company took care of managing their own work. Suddenly everyone knew what they needed to do to complete a task and everyone was feeling better about their work, because everyone knew what they were working on all the time.
Here are the results
And so did I, finally I had a deep insight into everyones work and I was able to see the big picture for the first time ever. After about 3 months of implementing the new project management module into the company the results were stunning. We managed to cut unfinished projects by 50% ( I remember going from 30 to 15 open projects ) and we were able to invoice our customers around 30% more billable hours.
In the past 3 years we registered over 7700 individual activities in our task management application, each activity has a description, an owner, a client, an expected duration and the time spent on that activity. In a team of 10 people this means on average 3 activities per person per day. At an average of 2h 15min per activity, we managed to delegate around 6h 45min of work per person per day. I also know we managed to bill on average over 8 hours of work per person per day, this means we were able to bring productivity quite high. So far so good, but what is next.
We will take the same lesions learned in the previews years inside our company and make them available to everyone within Beezway, so I hope that many more people will be able to benefit from our findings. Task management should be at the core of every business so it will be at the core of Beezway to.