Paul Consulting has been creating exceptional software solutions for more than 25 years. The company has been outstanding in adopting new technologies and can proudly present a substantial customer portfolio. Despite being on the cutting edge of software solutions for more than a decade, they haven't truly had a toolstack to pull off an agile transformation until 2019. Since then, Paul Consulting Group has been using Forecast.
We’ve been speaking with Drew Saucier, the VP of project management at Paul Consulting about the agile transformation and how Forecast has supported them in the process.
One full-spectrum solution
To get the full perspective, let’s roll back to the outset when Drew started looking for a platform. Prior to Forecast, they were using Microsoft Project, Asana, and spreadsheets, which all supported the old traditional project management approach, creating more administrative tasks and obstacles on the team's way to meeting the ultimate goal - becoming agile. To change the tide, they started searching for a solution that could help them unite the teams and focus more on the business than paperwork.
We originally came to Forecast because of the need to be able track time and schedule better. I was doing everything manually in a spreadsheet and it was an utter nightmare. I could easily spend probably 70% of my time on managing projects while having another project manager spend 50% of his. On top of that, we were in a bad situation, using a combination of Asana and Microsoft Project.
-Drew Saucier, VP of Project Management
When finding Forecast, Drew was pleased with the possibilities. “Very few platforms I’ve come across include the Budget and Invoicing. Forecast has been able to combine a lot of different disparate processes into a single platform,” he points out.
Being able to see what each team member is working on and their progress proved to be a huge timesaver, together with the ability to create invoices on the project work and export it to QuickBooks.
Saving 80% of time on admin project tasks
For Drew especially, Forecast has made it possible to move away from focusing on the projects and now “spend a majority of time half between training and coaching and half between checking, evaluating and reviewing projects.”
Forecast has saved us at least two FTEs [Full-Time Equivalent] and released precious time to focus on more important business duties.
Today they are happily seeing the effectiveness of using a full-suite solution and coupled with the ease of use, the platform also enables Drew to onboard new team members without significant productivity loss.
Your platform is relatively simple and the UI has always been great, unlike a lot of other project management tools out there that have a very cumbersome and high learning curve. Forecast has made it easy for me to onboard brand new staff. Actually, the team has been able to jump on to Forecast and get at least the basics of it just in one hour or two.
Having a well-functioning platform enables them to adapt to yet another part of the agile manifesto and spend more time on building working solutions than comprehensive documentation. “So from this standpoint, Forecast has pretty much freed up at least 80% of my time to concentrate on other business duties,” wraps up Drew.
Forecast has pretty much freed up at least 80% of my time to concentrate on other business duties.
Moving to Agile
An essential part of becoming agile is being able to optimize speed and quality in the development process. Since Drew is the main contact and coach of the agile transformation, he was fully aware that with an effective platform they could “focus more on the deliverables and people than the actual tool.”
The last five-six years I’ve spent focusing on how we could move into being truly agile. Forecast has helped us get to where we are today.
Today he is far closer than ever to reaching the ultimate goal of becoming agile. Spending 70% of his time managing, controlling and supervising projects in the past, Drew is now mainly coaching scrum masters, product owners, and teams using the platform to ensure that they are managing the project and the budget correctly.
So Forecast’s ease of use and ability to respond to change is not only helping him and the team in their everyday work, it’s also allowing them to “get in front of problems before they become disasters.” As Drew says:
The simplest way to summarize the value that Forecast has given us has been transparency on our projects. What I mean by transparency, is accurate, up to date information. Compared to previous solutions, I’ll now spend 30 minutes reallocating resources and thereby no longer have to say “we’ll see how it goes."
Agile transformation, together with the right tools, has helped Paul Consulting increase their efficiency significantly as measured by the numbers of features delivered in a given iteration.
Adopting the agile methodology and using Forecast actively to support that has, from a company perspective, increased our team efficiency by 30% and increased the customer happiness.
It doesn’t end here
Having fulfilled several of the important aspects of being truly agile, Drew can proudly look back at their agile transformation journey and say that of course it doesn't stop here. As they move greater into story points, they are feeling supported in taking the next step with the ability to use Forecast for translating story points into a financial and resource management perspective. As Drew ends the conversation, he points out that “Forecast has given Paul Consulting the ability to concentrate on evolving the business.”