I am very excited that I am currently going through a change in this part of my process. Over the years I have tried out all of the project management tools out there and quite a few of the CRMs. I always end up having to duplicate entries but at times it is has been quite ridiculous the amount of times this happens to make the experience as seamless as possible for my clients. My current soon to be replaced process includes utilizing Prosperworks for lead tracking and client data PancakeApp for estimates/proposals and invoicing. Once a project is started I bring it over into Breeze.pm which allows me to track time and communicate with my client milestones and tasks for the project. For image reviews I use InvisionApp. Once complete the time tracked is manually brought back to Pancake for invoicing.
While Pancake and breeze are nice they have some issues that I would like to circumvent while improving the branding of my client experience and increasing accessibility. My whole system is going into WordPress. The project management will be handled byProjectPanorama, the invoicing by SproutApps. Using Zapier I am able to trigger events from ProsperWorks to Toggl (time tracking app I will use again) which then triggers events to WordPress. Estimate drafts are started depending on my status in ProsperWorks. All of my client information will be centralized in two places, Prosperworks and WordPress now.
Because all of the data is in WordPress vs a third party, I have more control over what my clients experience in terms of the project overview, emails sent out, and my branding is carried across all contacts with them. Now my form for clients to request an estimate puts the data right into the space I need it for estimates and proposals.
Now that I have more control over what my client dashboard contains and how individual projects are displayed I can respond to feedback on what works vs what does not instead of changing PM systems. While breeze is fine I had issues with clients not receiving notifications in a timely manner if their settings weren’t modified, clients having issues understanding where their files were being stored etc. I have taken that feedback and am able with the new system of Project Panorama modified to my particular needs and solved some of these issues.
Because the few clients that have utilized the comment system in InvisionApp responded very well to a chatting format, I have added in a chat system here as well. So when I am available they can reach out to me if they are in the system and have a question vs waiting on an answer. The new system allows for all of the files to be centralized in one area vs with the boards used in breeze, the project is discussed as a whole vs at the task level while the client can see visually where tasks and phase completion is at. I have hacked the system to allow for some custom data such as ftp server and admin log ins.
Each project starts with the phases, tasks for each phase, payment phases, overall description and deliverable expectations, start and end date etc. This allows us to see very quickly how the project is progressing and if we are on track.
I am very pleased with the results so far and will of course tweak it over time as my clients let me know what works and what does not.