As an agency, we deal with lots of projects and requests from clients on a day-to-day basis. As a production director, my main responsibility is to get organized, assign to team members their daily tasks. Additionally, I needed to make sure each project is executed as planned while maintaining a smooth communication between the project team members. In order to do that we use a few tools that help us keep everything in harmony.
Getting organized with tasks management
We love Trello when comes to micromanagement and assignment of tasks to team members. We create each project as a “Board” and we use lists to break the project in phases or services that apply. Such as design, development, SEO, testing etc. Under each list, we add the necessary tasks, assign team members on each and apply deadlines if applicable.
We leave comments to team members, add checklists and create labels on each card. Although we found it more efficient to keep it simple most of the times.
Trello is also very effective for more complex projects or retainers where our team has to handle many small day-to-day tasks. We give the client’s access to their board and they can create new tasks for us on their monthly list. When a task is done we move it to the “Done” list. So, at any time both clients and us can track the tasks assigned for each month.
But as Trello emphasizes on simplicity it lacks a few essential features. Such as viewing tasks by user and day which is essential to know your team member’s availability on a specific date range. This is where Teamweek comes in handy.
Becoming efficient with project scheduling
Teamweek’s timeline in one word is awesome! When scheduling a new project I always check Teamweek to see the team’s availability on a big visual image. We can easily spot each one’s availability for new tasks and schedule upcoming projects in seconds. Each team member checks their tasks and knows beforehand if they have to work harder as they have a tight schedule ahead.
As I mentioned the visual aspect is what makes Teamweek so great. Each team member has its own row with their photo or icon and each project its own colour. So you can easily track a project split between team members at a glimpse. With drag & drop, you can easily reschedule something and everyone gets the update automatically without the need of a refresh.
We are all a bit of workaholics and inspiration possess us wherever we are, office, home or holidays. So we need access to our projects and files anytime and anywhere. We find Dropbox a very convenient cloud storage solution. This keeps our sanity especially in the event of a hard disk failure everything is saved and accessible from other devices. The best of all though is sharing, as we share common assets and we can choose what is shared between whom. Another big feature we also love is file history. Every file on Dropbox has a history and you can revert to an older version at any time.
We deal with clients and associates in different timezones from all over the world including Malaysia, Abu Dhabi, Djibouti, Malta, Czech, UK, Ukraine and so on. Conference calls and email exchange are a big part of our daily life, even during non-working hours. Thus we need to keep ourselves organized with reminders, agendas and access to our emails from anywhere.
We’ve been using Office 365 for the last year and even if there is a cost per user involved, I believe it is worth every penny. Accessing my Calendar, emails and all licensed Office products from all my devices and even online, gives me the ability to be more productive and coordinate things anytime. I can even view shared calendars among my team members so I know their availability and invite them to attend a meeting. Skype is also a cost saver as we can have real-time chats or free calls. The chat history enables us to have everything written and it comes helpful when it comes to avoidance of misunderstandings. And that’s how a web design & development agency based in Cyprus can successfully undertake any project in any corner of the world.