We’re talking to our customers to find out more about their business and about how they use ProWorkflow. Today we’re catching up with Grant Fife from digital agency NV Interactive in Christchurch, New Zealand. NV Interactive are specialists in Digital Strategy and Website/Application Development. ProWorkflow has been in their tool kit since 2011. They also write some of the best support requests around – I personally love to find out more about trips to Paris in 2005
How did you manage work before ProWorkflow?
We used a resource and time management system designed specifically for Agencies. The system did some things well but did not provide the level of Project Management and flexibility we required.
What was it that you wanted from a project management tool?
With offices in three cities and the aim to grow internationally we needed a system that could grow with us. Detailed Project and Task management, ease of use (including time tracking) and the ability to separate office workloads and understand capacity across the company were very high on our agenda. It also had to look good and work well – because if it didn’t then it wouldn’t get used.
Did you look at any other project management systems?
In true IT fashion we created a set of mandatory requirements and set about comparing many of the top Project Management solutions available. We produced a short list of 12 and allocated points based on features, customization and price.
The short list of 12 soon became 4. A few software trials later and a clear favorite emerged with the best blend of features verses ease of use. ProWorkflow met all our requirements and the best news was that V8 was just around the corner – the icing on the cake.
What was it that made you choose PWF?
There are many great systems out there – some simple and some massively complex. However, for us it came down to the system that did a lot in a straightforward manner. As developers of web sites and applications we understand how difficult it is to make complex seem simple.
Then there is the customer service – fast and accurate responses with a smile and a laugh. Lara and Emma are standout performers and who else can say they have had software supplier CEO give them a call just to see how things are going or to respond to a query?
How did you manage the change to a new system?
After running a trial of ProWorkflow we were hooked. That trial became a paid subscription and it was rolled out to everyone. Our Project Managers received training and watched many of the help videos. Armed with that knowledge we then created an internal workflow procedure, assigned responsibilities and set them free.
Experience tells us that the pain of running the old and new systems side by side for a short time is far easier than living with the compromise of trying to migrate data from one product to the other. Set a cut-off date for the old system and bite the bullet. It’s far less painful than you think it will be.
It is simple to customize staff permissions so we were able to control how users interacted with PWF and remove the clutter for those who just need to get on with the job. A desktop widget or drag and drop time sheets were certainly a vast improvement and very well received. Now there is no excuse for time sheets not being up to date.
We believe it is really important to map out what you are going to do and understand how you are going to achieve it. But equally there is no such thing as a perfect migration. As time goes by we are always reviewing our processes and that includes how we use ProWorkflow. Luckily with custom fields, custom reports and a developer API we can change and grow when required.
How has ProWorkflow added value to your business?
One of the biggest issues we were facing was a dramatic increase in work – what a problem to have! The reality was that capacity planning and transparency throughout the company became a major issue with Account Managers vying for resource.
ProWorkflow gave easy access for staff to see workload. Now when an Account Manager is put on the spot in a meeting out comes the Smartphone and there are the answers.
Has ProWorkflow improved our business, profitability and resource planning? You bet. By how much? Well that’s a secret, but the ROI is a no-brainer and the boss is smiling.
How do you regard PWF in terms of its importance to the running of your business today?
PWF is a serious business tool to plan and run projects. It is the tool which our Project and Studio Managers live and breathe by.
The Day to Day…
What sort of work do you undertake?
We build bespoke and world class websites and applications – and we have the awards to back that statement up. Our work includes digital branding, information architecture and user experience design as well as web and mobile development, app development and online marketing. In short, we craft digital experiences.
What is the most common way you access ProWorkflow?
The majority of PWF access is via web browser on a PC or tablet. However, the ability to access PWF on a smartphone from anywhere certainly is a major advantage when a client asks the question “Can we make this impossible deadline?”
What benefits do you find from working in the cloud?
Access anywhere, anytime without having to install software or buy hardware. Our main office is in Christchurch, New Zealand and in 2011 we were rocked by devastating earthquakes which meant we got out with a few laptops and never went back in our office building again.
Because all our major services are cloud based not one website went down and no data was lost. Within days the Christchurch office was back up and running (from various homes throughout the city) and our other offices never skipped a beat and picked up our slack. You can only get that flexibility working in the cloud.
From your experience using ProWorkflow is there any advice you could give to other users?
Whether replacing an existing system or implementing a new solution the important thing is to decide how to get the best out of the software. Start with a trial, it costs nothing and takes very little effort. Once you are up and running click help and the solutions to all your initial queries are likely just a quick video overview away. Give yourself some time to really understand how it works and use real world data because it is in the real world where all those edge cases occur.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask questions because I don’t keep Lara, Emma, Julian and the PWF team busy enough on my own!
Cheers Grant, its great to get the insights from an award winning agency – looking forward to seeing more on the wall!
Disclaimer: I am a fan of some of NV’s sites