May 7, 2018

More Work, But Same Headcount? How Craftsy Managed It.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with your workload, you won’t be surprised by the Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2017-2018. It shows budgets are receding for the first time in three years. Yet analysts are bullish, advising clients to help their teams by determining the most cost-effective way to bridge resource gaps.

Craftsy, the educational website known for bringing creativity to life, is way ahead of them.

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In front of the camera, Craftsy helps passionate makers learn new skills and create projects they love. Yet behind the scenes, the company’s rapid growth led to production team challenges. In 2011, the company delivered approximately one to five online classes per week.

When manual processes made it difficult for employees to track and manage the tasks required to complete more projects on time and on budget, Craftsy didn’t immediately hire more staff, it deployed better technology.

“Information was getting lost in emails and it was becoming more difficult to know the status of what was happening,” explains Maggie Hart, production supervisor at Craftsy.

"Reporting was also a challenge. Because knowledge was in people’s heads and reporting was spotty, it was difficult for the production team to make data-driven decisions. We needed a better way to communicate and report."

Managing the Doubling of Production with the Work Management Solution

After evaluating several tools, Craftsy chose Workfront. Today, Craftsy’s production, creative, marketing, and e-commerce teams rely on the work management solution to coordinate learning projects—from video shoots to pre-and post-production activities.

Resource planning and project tracking simplified the management of tasks and increased the quality of production as the number of Craftsy projects increased.

The Craftsy production team now organizes and produces 5 – 10 educational video shoots in six different studios every week, double the number the team was handling before Workfront.

4 Takeaways from Craftsy’s Experience

So how are organizations like Craftsy doing more work with the same number of employees—and most important, can yours?

The answer is yes, and here’s how:

  1. Provide complete visibility into tasks and projects – Email is an inefficient way to keep track of work. Spreadsheets only provide snapshots in time. When employees can see all of the projects and schedules assigned to them in one place, they don’t spend time trying to decide what to prioritize. A work management solution reduces manual, administrative tasks, giving employees more time to be creative and complete higher-value work.
  2. Eliminate status and update meetings – A weekly meeting to keep cross-functional teams on the same page is often time wasted. Individuals can stay informed through a work management solution that includes standardized project templates—where communication updates and issues are tracked in near real time. Using one system not only saves cycles but elevates the importance of meetings because they move from routine to strategic discussion forums.   
  3. Standardize reporting Some teams spend a lot of time reporting; others spend almost none because it takes too long. The time (and staff) it takes to deliver even a basic report (e.g., number of projects, hours spent, etc.) can negatively impact productivity. Forget a more complex one. A work management solution automates reporting—giving managers data to assess how productive resources are across the company and speeding the time it takes to make data-driven decisions from hours to seconds.
  4. Increase accountability – It’s easy to see who is most productive and where bottlenecks are when you deploy a work management solution. All employees can be working from the moment they log in because all of their tasks are outlined on a custom dashboard. Electronic time sheets can also help to improve accountability, as well as efficiency since people may not be aware of how much time they are spending on certain tasks.

What are some of the things your organization is doing or the solutions your organization is providing to help you get more done?

Join the conversation at #Workfront.

To learn how you can use a project management solution to help your team, download our free guide "How to Centralize Projects in One Solution."

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