Beneport, a leading national benefits education, communication and enrollment firm, needed to overhaul its internal IT processes. The Florida-based company had experienced a major growth phase, and needed to keep pace with client demand.
LiquidPlanner was initially brought in to manage a number of IT projects. In a short period of time, LiquidPlanner’s footprint grew exponentially at Beneport. Today, the LiquidPlanner tool is used to better manage the heart and soul of the company: client account management.
Bill Lewis, Vice President of IT, was chosen to guide Beneport’s technology redesign. Lewis knew he needed to change the project management process. He wanted to build a company with a minimal datacenter using the cost savings of cloud-based software, and he wanted to adopt a sophisticated project management solution that replaced the company’s limited use of spreadsheets to track progress against projects.
One of Lewis’s selection criteria for online project management software was finding an easy-to-use solution that team members could update and use themselves, without the need for a dedicated project manager on the IT team.
“Once I looked at LiquidPlanner, I knew we had a winner,” Lewis said. “The value of the subscription model immediately resonated for me. The application was so intuitive, all our front line employees felt confident they could manage the software themselves.” He adds, “I know from experience that dedicated project management IT professionals are not only expensive in terms of overhead, but they also add another layer of complexity between the project team and the software.”
Beneport’s IT department quickly adopted LiquidPlanner for technology projects that aimed to improve their call center infrastructure and build new software.
Higher productivity, no more resource squandering
Before LiquidPlanner, there were lulls in productivity if no fires were burning — so resources were squandered. With LiquidPlanner, all the relevant project information lived online, in one central workspace. This eliminated any important updates from getting locked in one team member’s personal inbox. There was less wasted time, higher productivity, and a more balanced delegation of work. Big gains came from using flexible priority-based scheduling software. Now, every team member’s workload was balanced, and there was always a task to access and work on.
Less email, more collaboration and insight into projects
Beneport says there was always an average of 30 or more emails per person that contained important tasks or documents – emails that weren’t accessible or viewable by other team members. After implementing LiquidPlanner, the team was able to eliminate virtually all internal company emails that once communicated work activities, document sharing and review. Now, they could share information in their workspace by commenting on tasks and projects, and making updates that everyone could see. In addition, project details were no longer overlooked, since they were in plain sight for everyone to see.
Freedom from spreadsheets
Using spreadsheets to manage projects severely limited the level of team visibility into a project’s life cycle.
“With Excel, only about 20% of the work was represented because the spreadsheet doesn’t inherently go down to the task level,” said Lewis. “With LiquidPlanner, every single action item and nuance of the project was captured in the workspace, so nothing fell between the cracks. No surprise, quality went up as a result.”
LiquidPlanner was so successful in Beneport’s IT department that Lewis decided to use the application across the entire organization. In time, managers are able to make key decisions faster, team members can make updates on the fly, and the meeting minutes are immediately captured in the workspace.
Managing more clients and thriving
In the past, managing more than 10 – 20 concurrent implementations was tedious and time-consuming for Beneport. Now, the Beneport teams are able to manage at least three times as many concurrent projects, including client implementations – and they can now easily manage clients of all sizes and adapt the plan over time. “And that is with the current staffing level,” said Lewis. “LiquidPlanner will allow us to grow the staff—and the associated project capacity—without losing control.”
“Without a doubt, LiquidPlanner has dramatically increased productivity at our company,” Lewis says. “The deluge of email has stopped, team members can make workspace changes themselves, and our meetings are now more focused on making real business decisions.”
Lewis believes that with LiquidPlanner there is literally no limit to the number of projects they can manage to support business growth. Instead of managers overseeing every project and task, the teams participate in the process directly using LiquidPlanner’s intuitive workspace.
How LiquidPlanner benefits the Beneport teams
- Increased productivity by shifting the workflow from the inbox to the workspace where all the relevant information lives in one location.
- Better quality of work and customer service because every detail related to the project is captured in one place, and not limited to the format of a spreadsheet.
- More effective decision-making by opening the workspace in team meetings to provide deeper visibility into each project in real time.
- The ability to have team members make updates and changes online to the project themselves, rather than just one appointed person.