Point Jupiter is a software development and UX design agency, but they like to describe themselves as problem solvers, idea generators, testers and solution providers who are always bringing interesting insights to the table.
Although the agency has been in the digital business for a while (and has scored some big clients like Vodafone and McDonald’s), in 2018 they did a radical rethink of the organisation: Everybody packed their bags and went to a remote island (pictured below). There, away from everything, they rewrote their culture, mission, identity and future direction. The whole team was included in the process, and that was a key element of their recent success.
The Turning Point
The leadership team has years of experience, both as employees and founders of different agencies: Key principles for building Point Jupiter were mindset change, set of values and organisational structure. Not rebranding, new logo or a few good PR articles, says Vibor, Point Jupiter’s CEO.
With such an ambitious plan, they needed a tool that will fit their internal processes and long term growth strategy. The search was exhausting. They tried everything from Basecamp, Harvest, Teamwork to Hubspot.
Key challenges were keeping up with the sales pipeline, tracking project progress, and most importantly – finances. The company had two goals: First was to eliminate multiple tools, and the second was to understand how profitable they were.
With all that in mind, the switch to Productive was a no brainer: the management would have better insights across the board, and employees got a simple and intuitive tool to track time and collaborate.
Ready For The Change
A lot of companies are afraid of migrating to a new tool, but is that really so scary?
“Our transition was quite simple. We’ve had a dedicated person from Productive who answered all of our questions and helped us set up. They really get the agency business and gave us the advice we needed in our growth stage. That was by far the most unexpected thing about Productive, really a first-class user experience. “
So what about the two main goals?
I’m happy to say it took us just a few weeks to achieve both. We now track activities, logged hours and overall agility with Productive. It has even helped us simplify our invoicing process. As funny as it seems, we used to spend days on it, says Vibor.
However, the biggest benefit we got from implementing Productive is to-the-point and straightforward understanding of our business and project profitability, simple as that.
Powerful tools built into Productive are crucial for analyzing profitability, as Vibor explains: As a CEO, the most time-saving thing about Productive is seeing how healthy our business is. I don’t have to fill any spreadsheet to see if we’re on time or budget with our projects. Productive does it for me, and then I decide what to do with that information. On the profitability level of each project – Productive is second to none! I can spot a potential loss on a project on time and do something about it before we deliver it and ship it off to the client.
Getting Things Up And Running
Bare numbers only tell half of the story. It is also important to understand how Productive fits into the daily operations of an agency, since every member of the team is using it.
Our project manager tracks project progress and approves logged hours. The sales team checks the sales pipeline and makes sure we follow up. Finally, we as the leadership team sit down and go through the reports related to financial viability and profitability. It helps us inform our future decisions, and instead of trying to combine several spreadsheets, we can now see the progress and our financial health pretty much daily, says Vibor.
It’s no secret that the management usually makes the decision about implementing a new tool. Employees, on the other hand, are not always happy with the change because they need to learn how to use a new tool and make adjustments to their workflow.
This was Monia’s, UX designer’s experience with the transition: When I heard that we were going to use only one tool, I was a bit sceptical, says Monia, but adds that the transition was smooth, helped by familiarization and education provided by the Productive team.
I quickly learned how to navigate through the app and how to use all the tools I need to track my projects and tasks. This is one of the key benefits of Productive, says Monia, I can easily track my own productivity and see if projects are delivered on time. Also, if something is a bit behind schedule, I can quickly react and see what is going on. We can communicate between teams and with our project manager on a specific board and on multiple tasks. And emojis really brighten up the day, adds Monia.
The End Result
So how do you become a successful development agency? Vibor has shared a few tips:
Being able to continuously deliver great solutions to your clients. Doing it in a way that gives your employees fair financial rewards, achieving profitability and stability of the company. You shouldn’t ignore the fact that you need to attract, develop and grow the best people you can hire to be successful. That goes way beyond just a good salary – it is about excellent work-life balance, education, and the ability to grow both personally and professionally. As cliche as it sounds, people are the single most valuable resource you have. In a super-competitive industry like IT and software development, that is even more important!
Finally, which type of agency can benefit from Productive? Vibor concludes: Productive is versatile enough, and you can adjust it to your needs. Is software able to adjust to your process and support it or is it you who needs to change? With Productive, we didn’t need to change our process – instead – Productive helped us build and sustain our process and business and it continues to do so. And finally, and I can’t emphasize this enough – their support team is world-class!