About the Company
For project management, there are tons of software options available, some of which are too heavy-weight for teams tackling smaller, well-defined projects. When picking the right software for your team, one of the biggest challenges is striking the right balance in terms of the benefits versus the time spent setting it up and managing the tool. Although project management software by and large is meant to make managing project work easy, oftentimes the software is over-complicated and requires management itself. Knowing this, one client came to us hoping that OneDesk had a solution for their management needs that doesn’t require a large amount of time.
Our client is a real estate brokerage that runs a small ad and design agency within their company. The reason they came to us is that they were looking for a solution for managing the design requests that come in to their agency. These requests are often one-off projects that are small, quick, and easy to complete. Given their requirements, our client has identified that project management software would likely give them what they need in order to track this kind of work. However, most of the software on the market appears to require a lot of setup and input to make sense for them from a time perspective; the time it’d take to set up the work in the software would impede the actual design work requested. Another possible solution our client considered was a ticketing system where work could get assigned out and the status could be tracked in a simple pipeline.
Previous to using OneDesk, our client was using e-mail to capture and take in work. They had a dedicated e-mail address that was monitored by someone on their team, and whenever a new request was sent in, a note would be made and the work would be assigned to a designer. Although it got the job done, this process is manual, prone to error, and doesn’t provide any transparency into the status of the work. By moving this workflow into OneDesk, they can maintain their initial touchpoint with their customers via e-mail, but rely on OneDesk to do the rest of the heavy-lifting. OneDesk automatically sets up an e-mail address that turns any e-mails sent to it into tickets in the OneDesk system. From there, tickets can be triaged, reviewed, edited, and assigned out. OneDesk also allows for the creation of custom statuses so our client can then build workflows to accurately capture the lifecycle of each design request that they work on.
For managing and organizing the work requested by customers, we recommended that our client explore our hierarchical structure for work items. Even though our client noted that their design work often consists of small, one-off projects, we highlighted how they can use the OneDesk concepts of portfolios and projects to help them manage these requests. The concepts of projects and portfolios in OneDesk are just containers to hold tickets and—if our client were to track larger projects—project tasks. By using portfolios to represent their customers, they can group all requests from a particular customer together and easily review the past work that has been done. We also recommended that our client use projects to group tickets for the same product, which would further organize the work. Our client raised wanting the ability to hide completed tickets, and projects are one way to do so. By setting up projects for completed tickets, our client can then archive these projects. This keeps their current view tidy without forcing them to delete records of the work that has been done.
Automations & Custom Fields
Our client noted that what they disliked about so many other project management software was how much input was required of them and the time had to be sunk into the product. Although OneDesk doesn’t eliminate all input from our client, there are a number of automations that can be set up to maximize efficiency. Once our client has their workflow setup, they can capitalize on our workflow automations. One of OneDesk’s most powerful features, workflow automations are actions that happen based on a certain criteria being met. Combined with the custom fields our client can define for their ticket types, workflow automations can make work almost entirely self-managing. For example, for incoming design requests, an automation can detect if the person logging the work is from a particular company. Based on this information, the work can then be automatically moved into an appropriate project and even assigned to a particular designer. This alleviates much of the burden of managing work found in most other project management software.
Another product in the OneDesk suite of tools that our client is interested in is the customer portal. The customer portal is a way for our client to directly enable their customers to log design requests directly into the OneDesk system through a web portal. By having a customer portal, the work logged through there is visible to whoever first logged it and can be opened up to anyone in their organization. This gives high and appropriate visibility of the status of work to anyone involved. Alternatively, the customer portal can also be used as a knowledge base to which articles can be posted and shared with customers. By leveraging OneDesk’s existing ticketing system, tickets can easily be turned into articles in the knowledge base, and even benefit from the customizability options of standard OneDesk tickets. For example, tickets in OneDesk can have multimedia such as images and videos attached to them. This feature also applies for knowledge base articles, from which multimedia can be downloaded or viewed in the browser.
In terms of project management software, OneDesk stands above the rest in its flexibility and customizability. From the option of turning their customer portal into a knowledge base to multiple ways for requests to get logged in our system, OneDesk has a breadth of use cases covered in its core functionality. On top of the wide range of features to organize and manage work, OneDesk also is simple to set up and use. Along with the ability to build customizations to automatically manage work, it was clear to our client how OneDesk not only met their needs, but exceeded them.