May 16, 2016
Utilizing a workforce is one of the most difficult parts of running a business. While having talented people on staff can go a long way in making a startup successful, idle hands make for low profits. The key is to make the most out of every minute by providing employees with a detailed schedule that prioritizes what’s important while still assigning the less important grunt work that needs to get done. Fortunately, one company has decided that it’s time to put employees to work in a more effective and efficient way.
WorkOtter is an SaaS company that is bringing task assignment into the digital age. The software has a virtual flowchart that allows projects to seamlessly go from idea to approval to completion and, eventually, to assessment. While other services can get cluttered and overwhelming, WorkOtter makes the process easy with comprehensive graphics that even a monkey could understand.
We spoke with Nick Matteucci, the founder of WorkOtter about how he came up with the startup, who should be using the software and where he thinks WorkOtter is headed in the future.
Where did the idea from WorkOtter come from?
Matteucci: “We started out as consultants to different sized companies in different industries with little in common on the surface. To our surprise, regardless of size or industry – they were asking the same questions: What should we be working on? Do we have the right number and variety of resources? Are we living up to our project commitments? Which projects need immediate attention to avoid the pain of project failure? Are we getting better (or worse) at managing our work?
As consultants, we had access to other commercial software packages, but businesses found that they were too expensive and complicated to consistently use. As a team, we quit consulting to build WorkOtter. We based it on the principles we learned and studied over a three year period on how the best companies use technology and automation to help manage their people, projects, and priorities.”
Can you explain the importance of project management software? Why do you think some companies think they may not need project management software?
Matteucci: “We studied the best companies in terms of customer loyalty, growth, and how they benchmarked against competitors in their industry. The number one thing that the best companies shared (and dominated their competition) was how well they managed resources, portfolios, and projects.
The best companies had a simple governance process to identify ideas, understand the benefits, quantify the risks, and prioritize the opportunities. They seamlessly transferred these ideas into projects and allocated the right resources to achieve the better results. They monitored work for problems and more quickly killed projects that were failing.
Software simply allows for the automation, monitoring, and reporting of this “winning” process. We do agree that if you ask executives if they need project management software, you often get lukewarm responses. If you dig a little deeper, many of them have been burned in the past by expensive systems that created bureaucracy and were difficult to update and maintain. They required a top down discipline that was unreasonable for parts of the organization to adhere to. Modern portfolio management solutions include project management but also have a way to build a portfolios of like projects, analyze resource availability, prioritize, and highlight risks and issues.”
What type of companies should be using the WorkOtter platform?
Matteucci: “Any project centric organization with 50 people or more should consider a resource and project management solution like WorkOtter.”
Where do you see the future of WorkOtter?
Matteucci: “In the future, WorkOtter will also address the several issues related to work inefficiencies including better sourcing of workers, improved performance management, better ‘virtual work rooms’ instead of letting communication get lost in email inboxes or Slack channels.”
Do you plan to offer any integrations in the future with platforms like Slack, Trello, etc?
Matteucci: “Yes, we already integrate with Atlassian Jira, Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, Microsoft Project and several other tools. In the near future, we plan to integrate with Slack, BMC Remedy, ServiceNow, Rally and VersionOne.”
Anything else you want to talk about?
Matteucci: “We live in an era where every dollar is being scrutinized regardless of how successful the organization has been in the past. Leaders need a solution like WorkOtter that quantitatively shows how every dollar of investment and every hour of time translates into improved value or lower risk.
It is no longer good enough to say “we are really busy”. Leaders that can pursue their best ideas, continuously justify their budgets, and develop and allocate teams with supporting data will be the ones that lead their organizations in our constantly disrupted economic climate.”
Photo: Flickr / Amit Patel
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