"Tempo has increased our internal knowledge management and productivity. Our Account Managers and Project Managers have complete transparency to see how a project is progressing; Tempo enables our management and team members to divide up time and resources properly."
Kirstin Falk, COO and CMO
We’re hearing more and more from our users about non-traditional use cases for Tempo and JIRA. It’s both fascinating and exciting to see new instances in which these tools have been extended for a variety of purposes beyond customary software development. Learning about these alternate uses helps us to better understand our users’ needs, and to gauge the specific features that might be added or improved upon within future iterations of Tempo.
More recently, marketing teams have been increasingly looking to agile methodologies for competitive advantage. Generally speaking, the core values embodied in agile management, as described more than ten years ago in the Agile Manifesto of Software Development, include:
- Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
- Working software over comprehensive documentation
- Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
- Responding to change over following a plan
As the framers of that manifesto said, “While there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.” Although that manifesto was written with software development in mind, the essence of those central values now remarkably describes the nature of modern marketing, particularly in the digital age. For this reason, it seems a natural extension for marketing teams to look to the principles and practices reflected in agile management.
We recently spoke with Kirstin Falk, the COO and CMO of Red Bricks Media, a digital marketing agency headquartered in San Francisco that has adapted agile methodologies to its marketing projects, about how RBM is using Tempo and JIRA to bring speed and flexibility to their marketing and sales processes.
Please tell us about your company.
RBM is a specialty digital agency born in San Francisco’s multi-media gulch over ten years ago. We began as performance marketers and have evolved into marketing technologists. This reinvention has been driven by the rapid changes in the media landscape and the constant disruption of new technologies. We are a digital agency that acts like a tech start-up. We’re really a bunch of geeks who love marketing.
Type of industry?
San Francisco, New York, and Hong Kong.
Tell us about yourself / your position.
I am RBM’s Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer, and oversee our team of Account Managers to ensure paramount client satisfaction, and to help guide high-performing digital marketing client programs. I am a brand-engagement and digital-marketing strategist who brings a strong leadership background to the role of Chief Operating Officer and Chief Marketing Officer. I have cross-functional industry experiences that encompass technology, non-profit, political, corporate social responsibility, and financial services.
Tempo has simplified time recording, which has resulted in more frequent and accurate time recording. It allows us to link time reporting with tickets, which subsequently allows for greater transparency and to identify workflow inefficiencies and business challenges. Tempo has increased our internal knowledge management and productivity. Our Account Managers and Project Managers have complete transparency to see how a project is progressing; Tempo enables our management and team members to divide up time and resources properly.
Where / how did you find Tempo?
By having JIRA and Confluence.
Can you describe a little how your organization uses Tempo?
We use Tempo to track internal time, and time spent on client work down to the task level. We also use client related non-client billable time. We use the reporting to keep a high level view of project profitability. Our management team uses reports to gain insight into individual employee productivity and employee workload distribution. We have started using planning and time projections in a limited capacity, but see that as a bigger part of our future.
What main purposes would you say Tempo serves for your organization -- time tracking, project management, team planning, resource planning, or something else?
For now we utilize Tempo mainly for visibility (time tracking and project management). We also use it to recognize our revenue. We intend to use it for resource planning as well.
What would you say has been the biggest change in your organization since you’ve started using Tempo?
More consistent time tracking by all employees, more reliable and more precise time reporting. This will play a significant role in key employment decisions.
How would you say your employees feel about using Tempo?
Tempo has boosted employee morale. It has generated excitement and adoption given its ease of use and friendly user experience. Prior to Tempo, time tracking was a painful exercise for everyone in the company, and it was considered a major employee pain point.
What would you tell another company asking about Tempo?
I would encourage another company to use Tempo. As I said, it actually boosted employee morale and increased productivity. It also really increased visibility into our business.