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Monitoring the Project Progress and Budget on a task level, helps a remote team work more efficiently

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Maisha Walker
Founder and CEO

Message Medium

 Asset industry Consultancy     Asset location USA    Asset employees 11-50 employees     Asset website messagemedium.com

Message Medium enables new brands to harness the power of digital marketing through renowned training & classes, creation of professional, easy to maintain websites and implementation of Internet marketing campaigns for small businesses.

Working Remotely with the goal of managing globally

When Maisha started her company 20 years ago, she wanted to implement a virtual way of working. Sounds conventional now, but it was quite revolutionary at the time. She developed a practical working process, where employee’s tasks were reflective of the quality of work and what they contribute, rather than the number of hours spent at the office. Working project-based with a remote team was a radical decision in the late 90s.

However, what Maisha found was that her team members were more efficient with their time and were able to maintain exceptional collaboration. She saw that her team was delivering projects on time without having to spend eight hours a day on the project task. An additional benefit was that her team felt proud of their work product knowing they were productive with their time.

Sticking to their work philosophy

Message Medium adhered to their work philosophy and had never had a physical office. They have clients from all over the world, with team members in various locations. Over the years it has been challenging for Maisha to find a good project management software that would allow her to manage her team and clients remotely.

As a CEO, she wanted the process to be as straightforward as possible when it came to both time and task management.

That was really critical for me and I wasn’t able to find any other software, and trust me I looked a lot, and asked many people for advice and Forecast was the only tool that did what we needed it to do both in terms of managing tasks and to budget by task. So we were thrilled when we found Forecast.” - Christine, CEO

What truly made a difference for Maisha was that Forecast enabled her to break down the budget on a task level.

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“There is an additional level of ownership that comes from team members being able to see and know how their work directly impacts the project’s time and budget." - Maisha, CEO

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A better way of budgeting- breaking down the task

The budget breakdown helped Maisha in a few different ways. Before Forecast, she had to manage all the project budgets in a spreadsheet. She says, “It was very time consuming since I was having to go back and forth and essentially manage a project in two different places.” Since Maisha was the one making the spreadsheets, she was also in charge of managing and updating them while Project Managers were managing the other pieces of the project. This process was first, very time consuming and further, inefficient and not scalable. With Forecast, Maisha was able to make that tedious budgeting process “...more efficient and less cumbersome, so all of those things were resolved.”

Transparency leading to more profitability

Forecast streamlined more transparency in Message Medium’s work process, which for them was a silver lining. When planning a project, Maisha and her team break down the project together with defining tasks and estimations. They could add Milestones and tasks into Forecast, for work that had not yet been approved, and do the budget estimation with a more definite division of cost. She posits,

Having estimates that were in Forecast, all in the same place as the original budget made the estimating more accurate by 30% because the whole team was involved.”

Having the projects more accurately estimated resulted in having more profitable projects for Message Medium. They no longer had to do “guesswork” in a separate spreadsheet.

Contributing to a More Efficient Process

The team members participating in the estimation process have both a high overview and task-level viewpoint, which creates more transparency in their work. By catching if something is missing or if the estimation needs to be corrected, Maisha’s team is achieving their end goal, of finishing the project on time and within budget, together.

Maisha believes that it’s helped her team to have more ownership over exactly how the project is going to proceed. “There is an additional level of ownership that comes from them being able to see and know how their work directly impacts the project’s time and budget,” says, Maisha. They want to say on task and within budget not only for the client’s sake but for maintaining the whole operational health of Message Medium. With Forecast, not only has Message Medium’s budgeting and estimation accuracy increased, but they have more transparency and visibility in their work process as every component of the project is in one place.

With Forecast, Message Medium skipped the guesswork and was able to estimate projects 30% more accurately

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