As an award-winning, fully integrated digital marketing and advertising agency, Sparxoo works with a wide range of clients with a wide range of needs. To continue the pioneering work, we need project management software tailored for creative collaboration. Our list of criteria includes a way to manage our day-to-day work for team members, a central hub for critical brand assets and project information, and a way to analyze progress in an easily digestible format for better insight into their business performance.
Since Sparxoo was looking for a platform that delivered these features, we found it in different technologies, but nothing that was an all-in-one solution. This required us to have multiple accounts, multiple tools, and ultimately more segmentation and red tape. The fragmented use of multiple instruments and platforms has had an impact on productivity and has made performance reporting difficult to measure accurately. We need a centralized software that combines project and business management, and when we could not find it, we created it ourselves.
CROW was developed by some of the innovative minds currently at Sparxoo. Two of the key developers for CROOW were former Sparxoo employees who had first-hand experience with the issues of other project management platforms. The CROOW team has identified that existing PM technologies are often super-specialized, created with a view to one individual end user, rather than working together for a team of different roles. CROOW is built to overcome these barriers and bring together appropriate functionality and staff. One tool, for the whole team.
Our team had CROOW along with a number of different divisions as test teams, starting with Sparxoo’s highly skilled developers focusing on the experience. We worked hand in hand with Alison Engelhardt, Director of Web and Mobile Development at Sparxoo, and met weekly to use tools, improved workflows, and other feedback she and her team had. Our perspective has steered us in the right direction when it comes to organizing our software. As a result, we developed CROOW unlike other PM tools, added workspaces for a new level of organization, more in-depth testing of new features, and faster updates and releases.
The way Sparxoo organizes brand projects is very different from the way we organize and manage website projects, and from how we manage teams. With CROOW, we wanted to give individual users the flexibility to set up a system tailored to the way you do business. CROOW offers the ability to structure projects organized in groups of deliverable types or in phases to make teamwork visible and easy to understand.
For many agencies, it is very important to be able to predict the workload for team members before and during the week, to measure bandwidth and performance. If you have a project management tool that can organize these elements into a single visual display, the agency can predict leadership when new projects can be signed and what resources are available to work on them.
Project management complies with business management
Strong project management benefits more than just account managers and agency leaders. Creative people get a central place to collect design changes and are able to share updates with clients and internal and external team members. Project management within an agency is about collaboration, so by having a direct line of communication for work from a client to the team, it also reduces the need for redundant emails or calls that all save time. The ability to work directly with clients and easily manage visibility has enabled us to tackle new clients and larger projects than ever before.
With the help of a strong project management tool, we can expand our impact and do more work over the past year. As an agency, we are always looking for ways to expand our services, and by staying CROOW organized, we can do it. The amount of time to plan a development project has decreased significantly with the use of the project builder template, which makes a big difference in efficiency. The visibility of our workload is also significantly higher.
“I can easily see 3-6 + weeks of work, which helped us both sell more projects in that time and allowed us to continue working and delivering numerous projects early,” he said. Alison Engelhardt, director of Web & Mobile said. Development at Sparxoo. “Before, I could only predict workload and visibility 1-2 weeks out, but with much less accuracy.”
Better visibility led to more accurate customer billing, which increased profitability for projects. With precise time tracking, there is less room for error and much more visibility of the working hours spent on projects. Sparxoo has a real-time assessment of the customer’s work, as opposed to the end of the quarter, which leaves room for under-invoicing.
CROOW enabled us to improve the visibility of the workload and increase the efficiency of the workflow with just one central tool. By Sparxoo, we’ve seen significant growth in our agency since we developed CROOW and recommend central project management for any agency wishing to expand their reach.