March 2

Automated Project Management (Case Study)

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Tom was spending a large amount of time managing the incoming emails from his team, updating him about the status of each project they were working on.

Writers could confirm a project (and he’d mark them as the writer for a given project). They could also deny a project (and he’d have to send the project to someone else). Or, they could send in the completed project (and he’d mark the project as complete and send it to the client).

All this manual work meant he sometimes missed if a writer forgot to confirm the project in the first place.

In his words:

I have a big problem with confirms. Every time I send an assignment to my writers, they need to write “confirmed” back to me ensuring they will do it. Problem is, sometimes I don’t get confirms and then the deadline sneaks up on me and f**ks me badly, becuase they’re incomptent and never replied to their email.

Is there a way of sending follow ups to writers if they don’t send a confirmation email back ensuring that they’re going to pick up the assignment? Additionally, could I get an extra column on my sheet (ideally next to the price) that shows in green or yellow if they’ve actually confirmed the order?

-Tom, now realizing how many of his business problems could be solved with automation.

Tom’s writers communicated with him via email, so to automatically detect and track “confirm” or “deny” responses, we needed to create custom automation that:

  • detected messages from the writers, like “confirm” “confirmed” “I can do this” “deny” “denied” etc.
  • updated the project status accordingly (if a “confirm” response, the status would be updated to “confirmed,” and the writer that replied would be marked as the writer for the project. If the writer denied the project, we’d keep the project unassigned and re-generate a project assignment email draft so that Tom could send it to someone else)
  • track the time the project was confirmed or denied, so we knew how quickly some writers tended to reply to emails (we would later use this to calculate how responsive and receptive each writer was, which helped us automatically send the projects to the best writer)

But, to make this function as effective as it could be, Tom’s status list had to be modified.

Initially, “project status” was simply “In progress” or “done”, but now we needed additional states:

  • New (not assigned to anyone)
  • Confirmed (writer confirmed the project)
  • Writer submitted
  • Various statuses for the quality process (automated QA check in progress, manual proofreading etc)
  • Complete/sent to client

As you can see, this allowed Tom and his project management staff to not only get automated updates on projects, but see actionable projects at a glance:

As you can see, Tom’s team handles a lot of projects, and this means there’s a chance that a deadline will get missed.

This required two extra automations to make sure nothing got missed:

  • email reminders to each member of the writing team, with a list of their outstanding projects
  • email & phone push notifications to Tom and his project management team (based on who was on duty) to alarm if a project was in a critical state (eg: more than X pages and due in Y hours but still not confirmed, and so on)

Does your team have repetetive internal communications, juggling high project load (where deadlines might get missed), or do you have a large team and want to make sure they’re regularly reminded about deadlines so nothing gets missed?

Automation can solve all of these problems, once, and forever.

Schedule a free automation audit with us today, and let us speed up your business.


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case study, project management


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