Automating our project onboarding process

We use quite a few web apps at Good Work to help simplify our day to day life. On the operations side, that’s Trello, Harvest and Forecast. We use Trello to visualize project flow, Harvest for time tracking and reporting, and Forecast for scheduling the team.

Here’s our process for onboarding a new project and how that works with the 3 systems above.

  1. A templated email goes out to our master queue list with the client name, project name, budget and any pre-project details we have about the job. This email comes from the project manager, and goes out to me and the bookkeeper.
  2. The project manager adds a card to the Planning column in our “Master Queue” Trello board with the details from the email. The project manager and myself are assigned to the card.
  3. I add the project to Harvest
  4. I add the project to Forecast and schedule it in with someone
  5. Lastly, I go to the card on the Trello board, add whoever is going to actually do the work, add a deadline and move the card to the “To do” column.

Once the project is complete, it goes to the “GTFO” column, but that’s for a different blog post.

It’s a good process, so I don’t want to change it, but it takes a minimum of 6 to 8 minutes to complete. A week or so ago I started thinking about how much time that actually is per year, gagged a little, and then started thinking about how we could automate this process to make things easier on ourselves.

First, I went into Harvest to see how many projects have come through the queue in 2016. For us, projects are anything from a 30 minute job on a legacy project to a full website redesign. They all start with the process mentioned above.

Just shy of 3 months into 2016 and that number is a shocking 175 projects. With some quick math we can assume that’s at least 70 hours per year. Woah! Time to whip something together.

I quickly scrapped together a prototype with Wufoo + Zapier that automates step 1 through 3 for us, and we’ve been using it for a few days now. It’s been a good way to help test out and realize how we’ll go about automating this whole process when making the real deal.

It’s always good practice to take a step back to see where you can save time and money by automating some of your repetitive, day to day tasks.

Now, what to do with all of this extra time?

More Articles

(Closed) Wanted: Studio Manager

Posted by Garrett

This position has been filled.Founded in early 2014, Good Work is an expert team of developers helping brands, design agencies and startups build things for web and mobile. We’re headquartered in Dallas, Texas with satellite offices across the UK. The job We’re on the lookout for a Studio Manager who wants to have a real impact on the success of all aspects of our business, and looks forward to… Read More »

(Closed) Wanted: Front-end web developer

Posted by Chris

This position has been filled.We’re looking for a smart, enthusiastic and seasoned front-end web developer to join our growing team. This is a remote position (unless you’re in Dallas, TX). Good Work is an expert team of developers helping companies build things for web and mobile. We’re incredibly detail oriented, and take pride in our ability to execute the most subtle details of our client’s… Read More »

Technical SEO checklist

Posted by Garrett

As the web grows in complexity, Technical SEO becomes more and more relevant. Everything from site speed to security, to overall website usability across a multitude of platforms is relevant in modern day SEO. Technical SEO is the optimization work that needs to be done outside of content, link building and outreach. It’s the strong foundation that gives your content the ability to rank well in… Read More »

The first Good Bracket

Posted by Garrett

Earlier this month we created our first annual Good Bracket   —   a March Madness starter kit for facilitating your design agency’s office pool. We sent the kit out to about 50 design agencies around the nation; a handful of current clients along with a very select group of agencies we could see ourselves working with in the future. The idea came about over a cup of coffee the Monday morning… Read More »

View All Articles

Envelope Icon

Join Our Newsletter

We don’t send them often, but you’ll want in on this action when we do.

Every day we help design agencies like yours develop and maintain digital projects of all shapes and sizes.

Schedule a call with Garrett