Business Apparel Startup Improves Project Management with GQueues and Google Apps
Ministry of Supply is an innovative business apparel manufacturer founded in 2010 by three MIT engineering graduates. All of their clothes are temperature regulated, odor-absorbent, waterproof and wrinkle free, designed with the same materials found in NASA space suits. Today the company has 15 full-time employees and several contractors working out of their headquarters in Boston and pop-up store in San Francisco.
Building a Collaborative Startup
In 2012, Ministry of Supply transitioned to Google Apps to help their teams collaborate more scalably and affordably. The company operates in two locations, Boston and San Francisco, across a four-hour time difference. Considering this challenge, Dan Weisman, Director of Marketing, needed to help employees and contractors collaborate on projects effectively regardless of their location. He wanted a tool that could track the status of projects, break down long term goals and assign tasks to his team.
Weisman began searching for a task manager that could strengthen Ministry of Supply's ability to collaborate and organize projects. The first task manager he found had a high learning curve, which hindered its adoption within teams. He continued looking for a collaboration tool that was more intuitive and could provide visibility on the status of his team's projects.
When Weisman discovered GQueues, he really liked how it integrated with Google Apps and allowed employees to easily share tasks. He knew it would be intuitive for the business to adopt since they were already working on the Google platform. Shortly after, Ministry of Supply chose GQueues as their new task manager and implemented it company-wide.
Achieving Goals with GQueues
Now Ministry of Supply's employees use GQueues on a daily basis and coordinate their work together for the week. Every Monday, teams use GQueues to review which tasks need to be completed. Shared queues contain the running list of projects so everyone is able to see their responsibilities and corresponding deadlines. Tasks are also assigned to team members using GQueues' Google Contacts integration so nothing falls through the cracks.
For example, the marketing team has a shared queue for redesigning the company website, where everyone collaborates. In this queue, they create tasks for each upcoming version of the website, adding subtasks and deadlines to break down the project into weekly, achievable goals. Subtasks are assigned to team members to help hold everyone accountable for their work.
Director of Marketing
GQueues' Google Calendar integration helps Ministry of Supply set deadlines for tasks and manage work in context of other events, as well. Weisman and his team use the "Due this Week" Smart Queue to quickly view their upcoming tasks and what they need to accomplish for the week.
Most employees also use the GQueues iOS mobile app to track updates and assignments while out of the office. As their marketing manager, Weisman uses the app to assign tasks to his team and stay organized on the go.
Increasing Team Efficiency
From the beginning, GQueues helped Ministry of Supply increase efficiency and get organized quickly. Its intuitive interface made it easy to adopt, so teams did not have to figure out how to use a new tool. GQueues' Google Apps integration saved teams even more time because they were already using the Google platform. Weisman finds GQueues' assignments feature particularly useful because team members are automatically notified via email when given a task, saving an extra step.
Since everyone uses GQueues on a daily basis, there's no confusion about where to look for tasks, weekly goals and deadlines. Unlike the company's previous task manager, there's no question among team members that it is an effective way to collaborate. "Employees independently comment, without prompting, that GQueues has been helpful in organizing and directing teamwork," noted Weisman.
GQueues enables Ministry of Supply to seamlessly coordinate work despite the four-hour time zone difference between offices. By providing the team with a clear view of weekly goals, assignments and deadlines, everyone knows what to focus on. GQueues also helps Ministry of Supply reach long term goals by breaking them down into smaller tasks. As Weisman commented, "GQueues makes it easy to collaborate on projects and keep everyone on the same page. That visibility of the big picture is very helpful."