_Project management in a creative agency. Jira Software+add-ons
Marketing and Advertising
- Optimizing the environment for project management in a distributed model
- Automation of financial calculations
- Implementation of a report generation solution
- Scalable PMO environment
- Implementation of automatic project profitability calculations and currency conversion
- Implementation of a reporting system
Admind Branding&Communications is a creative agency that provides comprehensive services regarding identity and visual communication. The agency has 5 branches (Cracow, Amsterdam, Zurich, Odessa and Bangkok); the company handles projects for clients from all over the world. In 2022, it has won as many as 3 awards in the international IF Design Awards contest.
An infrastructure composed of the Jira Software system and apps for project management according to the company’s processes.
- Jira Software Data Center for 500 users
- ScriptRunner for Jira
- WorklogPro for Jira
- EazyBI for Jira
- Stagil Tables for Jira
How our cooperation started
Creativity requires agility and also good workflow so that all activities are carried out in a professional manner. Admind, as an agency focused on providing high-quality services, decided to get its internal processes organized as well. Its goal was to implement a project management environment that would be tailored to its specific needs and the workflow. Admind found TT PSC’s portfolio on the Internet and contacted Atlassian’s TT PSC department. Thus began a joint effort to meet the agency’s needs.
Our cooperation began with a detailed overview of the tasks that were to be centralized in the system so that the client could stop using distributed tools. The agency had not worked in Jira before, so we held a workshop to help participants see the way the application works and learn the tool-specific terminology used during requirements gathering. Following the 2-day session, TT PSC specialists developed documentation, which (after client approval) served as the basis for further activities and implementation.
Challenges and customer needs
Admind employs about 130 specialists, who carry out an average of 170-200 projects per month. Employees are divided into teams and assigned to Project Managers. PMs are tasked with creating a work schedule and distributing tasks to individuals on the team; the work is performed within weekly sprints. The company also hires external contractors for some tasks, who are also in contact with the Project Managers. Our task was not only to adapt the workflow to the agency’s needs, but also to frame the common activities between various projects and the cooperative work of people from different teams in the environment (this work model is sometimes referred to as a “cross-functional” team). The following were also extremely important:
- finding the optimal solution for operations in different currencies within a single project,
- developing an algorithm and automation for calculating the profitability of operations, considering external costs and employee rates,
- implementation of a mechanism for converting currencies according to current data.
The top goals were:
- project centralization;
- adequate reflection of the categories of activities in the system,
- collaboration across teams and projects *Admind operates in a distributed model, not just in Poland; a single environment is used by all employees regardless of their location.
- cost control (estimating the initial profitability and converting the final one to the currency of the contract),
Our first step was to define project categories (in close cooperation with Admind). There were 5 outputs we settled on:
Each of them has different information included and is used for different activities. With the “Team” and “Currencies” projects, the system recalculates the values necessary to estimate the profitability of a particular action and its final form. Naturally, the system counts the values automatically and also converts them into the corresponding currencies thanks to the synchronization of values along with currency tables, which are periodically refreshed and always up-to-date.
With the data contained in these projects, we can correctly recalculate the values necessary to figure project profitability in the Budget project.
For the client, reporting was a very important part of the environment – in order to provide the kind of capabilities the agency needed, we implemented the EazyBi add-on, which allows Admind to, among other things, view how many tasks it is running within specific categories of project activities.
We have also introduced the ability to monitor the status of the budget on an ongoing basis, where projects are carried out according to the quarterly or annual orders of the agency’s clients. The Project Manager also receives notifications regarding the percentage of utilization of orders. Each activity falling under a given order is linked to it. This creates a clear structure of the projects that are carried out under a given order. What’s more, the linked subtasks may be specified in a different currency than the overall, parent project.
Example: Assignment: visual communication of a conference in Norway, value €20,000. Task 1: Visual identity. Task 2: Graphic materials. Task 3: Advertising video. Should the agency print the materials in Poland, the costs of the projects will be presented in PLN, while the entire amount will be automatically added up and converted to EUR anyway, within the framework of the superior task that gathers the individual activities. People assigned to tasks enter the estimated and incurred costs in the form, which makes it easy to control expenses.
The agency benefited from exactly what it needed most: a user-friendly project management environment that meets the requirements of a team operating in the creative industry. The implemented solution was tailored to Admind’s needs also in terms of individual (custom) functionality which is the automatic counting of the budget of all tasks carried out within a single project, while converting it into a specific, overriding currency (subtasks can be carried out in different currencies). Admind’s international team can seamlessly collaborate with each other in “cross-project” activities. We have developed a cohesive ecosystem through the integration of various applications, allowing the client to operate faster, more efficiently and more conveniently.
An important aspect is the choice of the Data Center model when it comes to instance maintenance – this way the customer can further develop the working environment without any obstacles; it also ensures trouble-free operation of the system with minimal risk of failure (and having us around in case of any questions or problems! We provide services included technical support).
In a nutshell:
- A user-friendly project management environment that enables collaboration between people in different locations, from different teams.
- Adapting the functionality to meet the needs of the agency, of which the most important challenge was to implement automation of project profitability calculations and ongoing currency conversion according to the latest, up-to-date exchange rate tables.
- Reporting according to the needs of the creative agency.
- Ability to scale the environment with additional users and processes.
We also recommend
- Jira for marketingu – a tool for effective work and project management [BLOGPOST].
- Solutions for business teams implemented in Jira [DESCRIPTIONS]
- Project management in Jira – online or on-site training [OFFER].