As a project manager, your day is full of long tasks across different projects. In a situation like this, how do you ensure your team actually focuses on getting actual work done instead of drowning in manually managing these task lists?
Jason and his team came across a similar situation at ENGIE North America, read on to see how they used Automate.io to put their entire task management process on auto-pilot — saving them 16 hours every month.
Formed in 2008 by the merger of Gaz de France and Suez, ENGIE SA is a French multinational electric utility company, headquartered in Paris. ENGIE is a leading player in the energy sector, it supplies electricity to 48 countries and employs more than 170,000 people worldwide.
Jason Miller and Renee Baker are a part of ENGIE North America, distributed renewables. Their team consists of project managers, project coordinators, engineers (civil, electrical, and architectural), PV system modelers. The team looks end-to-end at the solar development and ownership side from design creation, project execution to delivering it to their asset management and operations team.
The Pain Point
ENGIE uses Salesforce as their CRM to manage all the information related to their projects — tasks, client information, project proposals, sales pipeline, and project status.
To manage their task list better, Jason and his team use Trello. When they started out, they were manually copying Salesforce tasks to Trello, and because the team was relatively small they weren’t actively managing it but used it only as a checklist.
As the team grew, Jason knew the at-a-glance view in Trello would help him manage his team and projects better. However, they couldn’t afford to manually manage their task list this time in Trello.
Talking about their challenges, Jason mentions - Our day-to-day is full of long task lists to get these projects, from the point where the salespeople get a contract signed to constructing them and making it operational. We knew managing this day in day out needs to be organized, and we wanted to save any time we could while doing it — that’s what brought us to Automate.io
How automation helps Team ENGIE save 16 hours every month
Renee Baker, a PV designer on Jason’s team set out in search of a solution that could automate their task management process and found Automate.io.
“I really like Automate.io’s UI! It’s incredibly easy to follow, I was able to set up workflows between Salesforce and Trello easily without having a huge background in coding.” - Renee Baker, PV Designer, ENGIE North America
Renee then set up these automations between Trello and Salesforce, not just for her team but other teams in ENGIE, to streamline their project management and improve team productivity.
Create Trello cards from new Salesforce tasks and custom objects
One of the main pain points Jason and his team wanted to solve was taking out the manual work involved in creating Trello cards. They use Salesforce as their source of truth and it is where their team is originally assigned tasks. Instead of assigning tasks twice, they wanted to set up a workflow that could automate it for them.
Therefore, team ENGIE set up a Bot in Automate.io that runs every time a new task or custom object is created in Salesforce, it then searches for the user that task has been assigned to, and then copies all the information to Trello.
Update Trello card due dates on updates in Salesforce custom objects
Similarly, team ENGIE set up a workflow to automatically update due dates on Trello cards when a Salesforce custom object was updated — saving their team the effort of doing it multiple times.
Archive Trello cards on task completion and cancelation in Salesforce
When you have an endless stream of tasks coming in daily, your task board can become cluttered before you know it. To avoid that from happening, team ENGIE set up a workflow that automatically archived cards in Trello when a task was completed or canceled in Salesforce.
“Our Trello board is always updated and clutter-free due to this automation,” says Jason. The workflow runs every time a custom object/task is updated in Salesforce, it then runs through a filter to check whether the task is completed/canceled, the workflow then searches for the Trello card linked to the respective Salesforce task and archives it.
Move new Trello cards to a Trello list
Team ENGIE maintains a separate Trello task list on their Trello board for everyone. Having all the tasks under their respective Trello lists helps them stay focused.
Instead of manually creating tasks in everyone’s list, they set up a workflow that automatically does it for them. They use it for two purposes,
- To assign tasks in the task owner’s list
- To assign it to the collaborators on the tasks.
As a team manager, it also helps Jason easily reorganize tasks and effectively communicate task priorities to the team without interrupting their work.
Add Checklist to new Trello cards and move them to a list
The Mustard team at ENGIE follows a set checklist for every task. Instead of creating the checklist manually for every Trello card, Renee helped them automate it.
All the Mustard team has to do now is create a new Trello card, the Bot then filters it based on the project type, adds the set checklist in the Trello card, and lastly, moves the card to the list of the task owner automatically.
Automate.io saves us seconds at a time but it's the same thing as saving keystrokes in AutoCAD, or in whatever programming you're doing, you do that a million times a year and it really adds up, that's how I view it. — Jason Miller, Portfolio Manager, ENGIE North America
The Key Wins
- The automated workflows save the ENGIE team 16 hours every month.
- The automations have helped in expediting cross-team collaboration and keeping everyone in the loop.
- By having visibility of all the tasks in one place Jason has been able to effectively prioritize tasks and check in with his team without interrupting their work.
- Automating their task management has made the ENGIE team more productive at work, as the task creation and updates are done by Automate.io.
“I’ve been able to get a real-time view of what my team is working on and check-in with them without interrupting their work, as a team manager that’s the real value I get from Automate.io. It allows us to focus on actual work rather than getting buried in manually managing our task lists.”
- Jason Miller, Portfolio Manager, ENGIE North America