case studY: Project Management / Non-Profit
The Olga Tennison Autism Research Centre (OTARC) is Australia’s first center dedicated to research on Autism Spectrum Disorders. It provides a vehicle for research activities, evidence-based intervention programs, training opportunities and collaboration between community services and research centers/universities involved in autism research both in Australia and overseas.
Former Senior Advisor
Operations & Projects, OTARC
Current COO, Autism CRC
“Watch one video for an hour and you’ll be up and running with TaskRay.”
How are you using TaskRay?
I was with OTARC for almost five years before I took my current position at Autism CRC. At OTARC, my main job was to serve as a quasi-CTO. In this role, I implemented Salesforce as a recruitment tool for families into studies. We fell in love with TaskRay in the first year. It blew me away to have such a great project management system within Salesforce. As a non-profit, we had to manage projects internally and externally, so TaskRay became the cornerstone way of managing projects at OTARC.
We used TaskRay to manage the development of ASDetect.org, a mobile application for early detection of autism. We had an internal team and a group of ten others working pro-bono — engineers, architects, government people — based in San Francisco. TaskRay helped us manage quite a lot of moving parts, with people in two entirely different timezones.
OTARC’s lab, with 11 researchers and 35 PhD, masters and honors students, uses TaskRay as a case management tool. It makes things easier to manage. Instead of sending an email, they put requests into TaskRay. (The Kanban view lends itself quite well to case management.) Today, I’m excited to be hard at work with my team implementing a new Salesforce and TaskRay solution at Autism CRC.
What project management tool(s) were you using before TaskRay?
Excel and Word docs, and emails. Version control was a problem, as was visibility and the ability to get a clear understanding of responsibility. There was no capability for automation, workflow management or integration and everything was very manual and task heavy.
Why did you choose TaskRay?
We used a lot of products from the AppExchange, but there is no question that TaskRay is one of the best. It so neatly sits within Salesforce and there’s a clear roadmap — Bracket Labs have proven they are dedicated to the improvement of the product. My first call after setting up Salesforce at Autism CRC was to Bracket Labs for another donation of TaskRay licenses.
What key features helped you choose TaskRay?
I think it’s important to empower teams to manage projects, rather than have one person managing it in a way that other people can’t access. TaskRay creates a collaborative space and everyone knows what they are responsible for.
Because TaskRay is native, we can use automation to better manage workflow. I also like that TaskRay doesn’t rely on Salesforce layouts (which really don’t lend themselves to project management) and the ability to customize where it makes sense for us. The interface allows for creativity and helps people lead projects in a way that isn’t constraining. Finally, the three views make it easy to work smarter and provide flexibility to switch for different audiences. The Kanban view is great for at-a-glance organizing and the Plan view (Gantt chart) makes it easy to understand the critical path of a project.
How has TaskRay improved your business?
It’s pretty self-evident that TaskRay saves a lot of time.
Any other reasons you like TaskRay?
We got a lot of gasps and wows when we used TaskRay to show our steering committees project progress. We could show them in real time — no one else had these slick tools. It gave them confidence in our projects.
“I like the democratization of project management, and co-investment of energy, that we get with TaskRay.”