We’ve talked with Mark Becker and Jon Reich, partners at Cathexis Partners, an industry-leading provider of web design, development and support services, to find out more about their company and workflow, get insight into their project management process, see what challenges they face in managing their projects and any tips they might have to ease and improve the process.
Q: Tell us a little bit about Cathexis Partners. When was it founded?
A: Founded in 2008, Cathexis Partners helps nonprofit organizations implement and use technology to raise funds and spread the word about their mission more effectively and more efficiently. Our services include:
- CRM, CMS, and peer-to-peer fundraising software implementation and ongoing support
- website development — including responsive design, integrations, implementation, CSS/template deployment, social media integration, and strategy
- custom software training
- database management
- IT consulting
- online fundraising campaign strategy and execution
- project management
Q: How many people do you have working with you? Do you all work in the same office?
A: There are 3 partners/owners and we have over 30 consultants that we work with. All of us work remotely in our home offices across the United States with 1 consultant recently moving over to England.
Q: What workflow challenges do you face in your daily work routine?
A: We have over 200 active clients that we are working with, with over 250 projects. That is a lot for a team of fewer than 35 folks to keep track of and ensure we are always delighting our clients with our services.
Q: How does Paymo help you in your business?
A: Paymo is simple to use, easy to maintain and the reporting is very robust. Project tracking via task lists, tasks, and time tracking is core to what we need to monitor. So, being able to do all of this in Paymo at a reasonable rate helps keep our client’s rate down.
Working remotely, it can be difficult to keep track of who is working with each client or on each project. Paymo makes it easy to know who is working on what at any given time.
Because we have multiple consultants working on shared clients/projects, the Paymo discussion area allows us to share thoughts and notes… and the Paymo files area allows easy sharing of files.
The ability to create and edit detailed task lists pushes Paymo beyond merely a time tracking tool for us, into a full-fledged project management tool. We have many task lists saved as templates as well… which saves us a lot of time when adding new projects. As a remote manager, I can check any project at any time to see what tasks are complete and which are outstanding. The flexible task note area allows us to put task instructions right at the task level, which is very helpful in training new team members.
The flexible time tracking options in Paymo help us not only know where our team members are spending their time, but give us the ability to report in detail to our clients on time spent and billed. The “Entry Note” option is particularly helpful.. when answering client questions on where or why time was spent on a specific task.
Q: If you could share 3 tips for better project management, what would they be?
A: Tip 1: Overcommunicate. Don’t assume, be very clear in all communication. Take the extra minute or two to expand on something in detail. It’ll save so much more time in the long run.
Tip 2: Don’t procrastinate. Most project delays are simply due to someone sitting on an email or task that could be completed quickly. When others have to follow-up or wonder if something is being addressed, it adds work and time to everyone’s plate that is involved. I can’t count the number of times someone procrastinates or punts on an email that they could answer in 15 seconds when they first see it.
Tip 3: Follow-up. Don’t assume things are getting done. Not everyone operates at the same high level.. and most people do procrastinate (see tip 2 above). So follow-up is critical to successful project management. It shouldn’t be necessary when working with other adults, but unfortunately, it is.
Q: Finally, what do you guys do to take the edge off work?
A: Many of us have dogs to help keep everything in perspective. Scotch helps too. Our team is very diverse.. many with families with kids at all ages of the spectrum (newborns to out of the house)… and interests that span from Mark’s scotch to a variety of exercising/outdoor interests, to volunteer involvement in local communities and churches, to culinary artists, martial artists, musicians, and more.
This is the first of a series of conversations we’ve had with Paymo customers. I hope you’ll enjoy them. Come back soon for more interviews 🙂