with Matt Wright, Founder and CXO
YEAR USING PAYMO
Ideas are a dime a dozen. Implementing them...well, that’s another story. Not for Matt Wright.
He recalls getting his hands on his first VR headset back in 2013, the Oculus Development Kit. At that time, he was working as a project manager for a creative agency and started thinking about how his clients could use VR. The technology advanced, and so, in 2015, Matt decided to start MAMMOTH XR as a virtual reality content creation studio.
One year passed by with no sales, time used to nurture relationships and educate the marketplace. By the end of it, a few projects came together that generated enough momentum for the team to double to 4 full-time members and again to 8 by next year. This is how the wooligans (a combination between “wooly mammoth” and “hooligan”) came to be. Since then, they’ve also incorporated augmented reality (AR), now branding themselves as an extended reality (XR) content creation studio
What differentiates MAMMOTH is that we keep our expertise focused on the medium itself. While a company that is an expert in training may be incorporating VR or a creative agency may be adding AR to their services, we live and breathe the XR medium all day every day. That has empowered us to create a diverse portfolio by combining our expertise with the expertise for our partners to create the ultimate audience experiences.
You could think MAMMOTH XR’s growth was due to working in an innovative tech field, with a lot of demand. Things weren’t as smooth as you imagine though.
Indeed, Matt had years of experience in video and web development under his belt, knowing how much time and effort certain types of projects require. The hard part was estimating budgets and workloads in a medium no one had experience before:
We ran into issues and complications that we never anticipated. We learned that there were steps that had to be taken on the fly and needed a place to track all of our time and findings.
He went on to try a few solutions like Farmers Wife, Jira, Basecamp, and Trello. They had their pros and cons, but he still wanted to explore a new platform that was easy to use and manage. In the end, it all came down to simplicity. As Matt recalls:
I found in my previous roles that some PM software can be a little clunky which makes it harder for new users to adopt. Paymo was clean and easy to use which gave new hires confidence and ensured that we had 100% adoption.
Since they’ve used Paymo from the very beginning, there’s no typical story behind how to get on it. The only adoption-related advice Matt has is to:
“Try to put all of your focus into the tools that Paymo has to offer. Don’t waste time using multiple platforms unless you absolutely have to, as we believe that Paymo has everything you need. If they don’t, we found the team very responsive and explore the needs of the user frequently.
Matt Wright, CEO & Founder @MAMMOTH XR
Matt did let us in on their processes though. Each project is made up of certain tasks, with time hourly budgets derived from previous projects. Team leads further assign them to artists and developers, who in return are responsible to both predict and stay accountable towards the hours they put in.
Few things are as important to our company as time. How much time does it take to execute certain tasks? How much time did we estimate it would take? How much time did it actually take? How does that change our plans for future projects? Paymo is our go to reference point for gauging the time allotted to past and future projects, something that is of the utmost importance to the sustainable success of our company.
The majority are using the web timer to log in their hours, with some preferring the mobile app, thanks to the timer that syncs across all platforms. They’re also expected to add any pertinent time entry notes, like issues they’ve run into. So if someone is working on a similar task in the future, they can revisit it without asking the team lead to step in for a known problem.
This practice also helps with building an accurate knowledge base of what tasks may take additional hours, which allows MAMMOTH XR to create more accurate estimates.
Time report in Paymo
Since they’ve implemented this system from day 1, the team rarely runs into problems. Matt admits to also running regular audits. Either in the form of time reports, mostly for project post mortems and getting a better grasp of where they stand with certain milestones. Or, random check-ins on tasks and the notes added to them.
After establishing a certain level of success and stability, MAMMOTH XR was able to shift part of its focus to internal projects. Yes, you read that right. 80% of their work is client driven, while the other 20% is dedicated to passion projects that are handled just like any other project through the door. A pretty cool thing if you think about it. Who doesn’t want people around them to support their dreams?
We’re happy to have played a role in helping Matt and his team shape not only an extended reality, but a place where they can all grow and be who they want to be.
The data from Paymo and all our projects chronicled to date in it, allowed us to accurately give all Wooligans the ability to manage their hours and ensure that our passion projects get the attention they need and deserve, without overextending ourselves.