A new project module: "At a certain point, it's easier to tear down the house."

Soon, Teamleader Focus will launch a new project module that will eventually replace the existing projects. We spoke with Product Manager Servaas Strobbe to get insights into the how, what, and why of these new projects.

Hi Servaas!
Where did the idea come from to build an entirely new project module?

"At Teamleader, we always look for opportunities to improve, and I believe our customers do the same. The more efficiently a company can optimise its processes, the lower the costs. And the lower the costs, the more competitive you can be. Good project management is essential, especially as a company grows. That's why we chose to focus more on the project module in Teamleader Focus."

Why a completely new version? Couldn't you build upon what was already there?

"We noticed that the current version of projects has some limitations. Limitations that our customers sometimes also encounter. The current version works perfectly for some customers, but we wanted to become more flexible."

At a certain point, it's easier to tear down the house.
Servaas Strobbe, Product Manager

"Our vision for the new projects is quite ambitious. However, it quickly became clear that the boundaries of the current module would hinder us from realising that vision. Continuing to work on the existing foundation was nearly impossible. Think of it this way: at a certain point, it's easier to tear down the house and rebuild it from scratch rather than renovate it piece by piece. That's the case here, too: the foundations need to be rebuilt."

"In the long run, this will work to our advantage. We no longer have to worry about the existing project module, so we can quickly add new functionalities."

So, what's so much better about the new version?

"Don't get me wrong: what we had was good. The integration with CRM and the financial flow, in particular, was a strong point. However, the way projects were structured was too closed and too rigid. It was only applicable to specific workflows."

"The philosophy behind the new projects consists of three pillars. The first and most important pillar is flexibility. With many project management tools, customers have to adjust their way of working to fit the software. We want to change that. Our project module should adapt to the customer's workflow, not the other way around. This way, they can effortlessly and efficiently implement their own way of working in Teamleader Focus."

Our project module adapts to the customer's workflow.
Servaas Strobbe, Product Manager

"The second pillar is the links between CRM and the financial flow. The current version already has strong connections in those areas. For example, you can convert a quote into a project and later into an invoice. But in the new projects, you can work even more precisely. You can link multiple quotes to one project, for instance, or choose which elements of your quote to convert into your project. The same applies to project billing: you can decide which work to include."

Converting from quotation 2023 05 16 114551 hcqf

"The third pillar revolves around quickly reproducing your work. Many of our customers often have the same type of projects that they repeat for different clients. It's much more efficient for them to copy and reuse projects. This can also be done within a project. Copying a task or task group is done in just one click."

"That's the philosophy behind the new projects: flexibility, financial flow, and easy reproducibility."

Why is it better to start using project management software early?

"People are creatures of habit. It takes work to change processes that have become entrenched in a company. That's why it's essential to carefully consider those processes and choose software that is flexible and scalable from the beginning. You don't want to be hindered by the tool you use. Flexible software helps you grow further and refine your way of working."

Flexible software helps you grow further and refine your way of working.
Servaas Strobbe, Product Manager

"From our Agency Benchmark research, we've learned that companies only start considering proper project management once they have around 20 employees because they can no longer keep track of everything on their own. However, we also see that revenue per employee stagnates until project management software is implemented. So it's better to adopt effective project management in your business before reaching those limits. An analysis of customers before and after using Teamleader shows an impressive 7% increase in average revenue per full-time employee."

Why would someone choose projects in Teamleader Focus when thousands of project management tools are available?

"There are indeed many good project management tools on the market. However, they often become impractical without a network of integrations with other software. With projects in Teamleader Focus, we prioritise flexibility and user-friendliness. Moreover, we combine these aspects with two other strong points: the financial flow and CRM."

"This seamless integration and consolidation of everything in one place is why Teamleader works better for many customers compared to other standalone tools."

Everything seamlessly integrates and consolidates in one place. That's why Teamleader works better for many customers compared to other standalone tools.
Servaas Strobbe, Product Manager
Creating invoices

So, a project manager using Teamleader Focus does more than monitor projects?

"Absolutely. Within Teamleader Focus, a lot of information is passed along. It requires extensive integrations if you have to handle all that information in different tools. This often comes with high costs and potential risks. Entering information multiple times increases the chance of errors. By keeping all the information in one place, you work more efficiently, have better visibility, and avoid the risk of mistakes."

"With a clear overview of budgets, costs, and profits, project managers also know their contribution to the company's success. This, in turn, fosters greater engagement."

What will happen to the current version of projects?

"On June 1st, during the Work Smarter event, we will launch the new project module for new customers and those who currently don't use projects. The aim is to guide existing customers who are already using projects in transitioning to the new way of working as quickly as possible. We certainly don't want any work to be lost. All existing projects will remain available, albeit in the new environment."

"We understand that introducing a new project module and a new way of working is sensitive and challenging to implement within a company. That's why we allow our customers to switch when they are ready. The current project module will be supported until at least the beginning of next year. This gives customers time to attend training, gather more information, and test things out before transitioning their entire company to the new way of working. And it also gives us time to add exciting new features."

Such as...?

"There is a whole list of things we still want to add. But one of the most important ones is capacity planning."

"Maintaining an overview becomes more challenging as customers grow with Teamleader Focus. Many companies eventually hire someone solely to manage the planning, often resorting to yet another standalone tool."

"So planning is a logical next step for us. Since you already have all the work in your project overview, it's just a matter of smoothly scheduling everything based on your available capacity."

  • 15/05/2023
  • Last modified on 26/03/2024

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