Digital Agency Goes Agile with Jira Cloud and E7

  

Complex website redesign goals exceeded. Team productivity and client satisfaction increase.

Industry: Advertising & Marketing
Location: HQ in Southport, NC. Virtual - U.S. and Europe


"Before using Jira Cloud, we could never clearly explain to clients why a website redesign would take so long. Now we confidently show them what it takes and how long it will take."— Rick Kranz, CEO and Founder

With E7 Solutions' expert guidance, OverGo Studio used Jira Cloud for managing complicated one-time and on-going marketing projects. OverGo exceeded its website redesign goals, significantly reduced work cycles, and improved their team's productivity, thus increasing their client's satisfaction.

OverGo Studio (OGS) is a 15-year old boutique digital marketing agency and HubSpot partner specializing in working with marketing savvy SMBs to improve their sales and marketing performance. The OverGo team was using a set of productivity and communications tools to create and manage their work. Many of their clients also had their own software, which meant the OverGo team had to learn and use them as well.

OverGo Studio, either directly or through their clients, had tried and used most of the primary project management SaaS solutions on the market. Yet not one of them was compelling enough for OGS to adopt one.

 

A new client presents an ideal opportunity to try something new — Jira

When E7 Solutions hired OverGo Studio to redo their website and help with other marketing needs, they asked OGS to try using Jira. The OGS team, while familiar with the Agile philosophy and methodology, had never fully understood or implemented it. They eagerly jumped at the opportunity because E7, an Atlassian partner, are experts at helping clients set up Jira correctly for their needs and then showing and training them how to use it well.

 

Clarity, focus, productivity, and efficiency lead to outstanding results

These are the words the OverGo team frequently uses when describing their experience with E7 Solutions and Jira Cloud.

OverGo, like most successful small agencies, had been doing very complex projects day-in and day-out for many years. But deadlines sometimes slipped, or work had to be redone whenever competing priorities and projects would arise.

E7, using Jira Cloud, showed OGS how to organize their work into epics, sprints, and tasks. It was then that OverGo finally saw how truly intricate their projects were — as did E7. With this new perspective, OverGo was able to manage resources better and set more realistic deadlines. Now both teams had a baseline for the inevitable trade-offs that always happen during any project.

"The key to our success was having E7 Solutions set up Jira Cloud correctly almost from the start. It made a huge difference because we were instantly more productive." — Rick Kranz, CEO and Founder

 

OverGo experienced the value in having an on-going clear outline of tasks, dependencies, responsibilities, and due dates shared with their client. Jira Cloud provided the platform for the OGS team to easily plan, execute, track, and report project progress given their heavy workload and remote work style. They saw how clients would be able to understand how complicated a website redesign is. And by using Jira, they could also show clients that adding or changing one task or goal would mean needing to sacrifice one or more other tasks or goals. This transparency, embedded within the Agile practices and Jira Cloud, was a clear boon to both teams. OverGo saw how they would earn the respect of a client, and a client would learn to be more mindful and strategic about additional or changes in work requests.

 

Earning mutual respect with transparency

An agency's greatest fear is that showing work too early means the client may lose confidence, respect, and trust in them.

That is why most agencies protect their creative work in progress. The creative process is "messy." It goes through potentially hundreds of iterations. Sometimes the ideas are all in someone's head, and it takes a while to bring it all out. Sometimes inspiration doesn't strike until the last minute. Sometimes it means shaking things up by bringing in new brains, playing out new directions, talking to customers, or talking to competitors. Sometimes it takes an unrelated external stimulus — playing games, watching movies, listening to music — to trigger ideas or let them ferment. From the outside, it often seems glamorous, fun, and even exciting. But contrary to what most people imagine, creativity is painful, hard work.

"Jira lets us leave room for the messiness of creativity, but because it's systematic, it keeps us all on track and moving forward." — Rick Kranz, CEO and Founder

 

Moreover, most agencies find that it's a rare client who can promptly give constructive feedback or criticism on creative work.

From an average client's point of view, they hunger to see the work in progress to reassure themselves that it's headed in the right direction. They seek to avoid misunderstandings that will require rework and project delays. From their perspective, they can't tell that until they see some ideas or work samples — no matter what shape it might be in.

"Learning to use Jira Cloud was so intuitive, so easy, we were up and running in minutes." — Cody Goolsby, Inbound Marketing Specialist

 

This is the brilliance behind using Jira and Agile. As OverGo got more comfortable with using Jira and the Agile methodology, they saw how it helped build trust among all the parties. Because the teams broke the work down into sprints with "bite-sized" tasks, both sides had the opportunity to ask questions, get clarification, and achieve buy-in during the weekly team meeting, or with Jira cards, or in Jira chats. Together, they removed any misconceptions and roadblocks, and there was clear accountability. Best of all, it became so easy to give kudos and express appreciation to each other — boosting morale and creating a fun work environment.

"Since using Jira Cloud, everything about managing our website redesigns and other marketing projects is overall less stressful. I no longer lose sleep at night wondering about what we need to discuss with a client or what we need to focus on." — Rick Kranz, CEO and Founder

 

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