Have you ever found yourself struggling to find the right project management software for your team? Sure, there’s a lot of options on the market—but at the end of the day there doesn’t seem to be a single tool that works for your whole team or, even worse, the software is too difficult to learn.
We know because we’ve been in your position: at Gryffin Media, we tried practically every project management tool on the market without finding one that met all of our needs. As a digital media, marketing, and SEO company, we needed to track hundreds of conversations and action items all while integrating them seamlessly into different processes on a regular bases. We were forced to use several different tools at once and struggled to keep it all updated.
Then it hit us: if we wanted the best project management software for marketing in the industry, we would have to create it ourselves.
The Parents of Invention: Necessity and Ingenuity
Early on in our process, we discovered that the various project management tools we were using needed to be manually updated. Updating multiple programs created a problem: namely, that things were getting lost.
At first, we took a low-tech approach. We hired full-time employees dedicated to organizing conversations. In some cases, they would even create and add transaction IDs to items manually, and comb through every individual email to ensure proper follow-up took place.
As you can probably imagine, this created an enormous amount of work. Each of the tools we were using sent us email reminders as we updated them, which left our inbox congested and made the work painstakingly slow. We were spending more time maintaining our project management tools than we were on our projects themselves. A major innovation was sorely needed.
That’s when our founder, Marcela DeVivo, came up with an idea. She began working on a script that would allow us to integrate various tools and streamline our process. Ideally, it would join the project management tools we were already using and allow for automatic updates, which would reduce our need to maintain each program manually and allow us to focus on our work.
Then, new problems. Integrating existing software was inherently buggy. Some functions were inconsistent, and other features refused to work entirely. The time it took to sort these issues out left the script barely more effective than the previous approach had been. We were faced with a serious dilemma: using multiple tools was inefficient, but integrating them was unreliable.
We needed to have everything in a single hub. Instead of having our team members use different tools for the same project and scrambling to coordinate their efforts, we would simply build our own tool they could use to handle everything.
The Gryffin Project Management Tool Is Born
Because we worked in several different areas, our tool was going to need a variety of features.. The first step was email integration, which ensured that messages sent between team members on the app would appear in their respective inboxes.
Other tools followed, including our task management and custom workflow features. These helped us streamline workflow management and create dynamic, engaging content faster than we had ever been able to before. Before we knew it, we had added enough features via small updates to have a comprehensive project management tool on our hands.
Not only had we created a tool that would make our work easier—we had actually developed a product that could compete with other project management software. Moreover, since our tool had been designed to incorporate a wider range of functions than any of the tools we had tried previously, it might even prove to be the best project management tool on the market. The possibilities were endless.
Built By Users, Not Programmers
It’s no secret that every project management software has growing pains. However, since we were using the tool in real time to manage projects as it was growing, we were able to adapt it to the needs of users. We weren’t programmers running tests in theoretical scenarios; we were a team working with the tool to develop its top features.
Furthermore, each of our users had a different way of working, which helped us identify and correct flaws for numerous user types along the way. The end result was a tool that offered three things absent from many project management tools: ease of use, efficiency, and—perhaps most important—adaptability.
Without fully realizing it, we had produced a platform perfectly suited to the challenges of the competitive and ever-changing digital marketing industry. Once we began showing the tool off at conferences, individual consultants to major agencies alike were ready to get their hands on it.
How a Customizable Tool Lets Users Adapt and Control Their Work
It’s no surprise. Customization was essential to building our tool. It was the main reason other project management software wasn’t efficient for our company. With the new Gryffin app, being able to change the details for tasks and templates allowed us to take on a wider range of work, and in turn helped us expand our client base. It also provided us with a collaborative online environment, where administrators, editors, writers and other team members could work on the same project simultaneously without getting in each other’s way.
A Project Management Revolution
Reducing our workload was easy once we had the right tool for it. In addition, we’ve been able to collect documents, track deadlines, and keep records of conversations between team members for reference in future work, which makes meetings quicker and more productive.
Best of all, we’ve made it simple for outside clients to use the tool when we work with them by making it incredibly easy to onboard different teams. By altering permissions for certain users, we’ve created a tool that offers transparency when it’s appropriate and privacy when it’s needed.
We set out to solve a logistical problem, and ended up totally altering the framework of our company—a change that has brought nothing but prosperity to our enterprise and our clients.