- Improved overall team transparency within a month
- Removed spreadsheets once and for all
- Streamlined their agency process leading to greater control over their business
About BCM Group
- Website: http://bcm.com.au/
- Company size: 50 +
- Headquarters: Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, QLD
- Number of teams: 5
- Key drivers of Streamtime: 3
BCM Group is one of Australia’s largest fully independent advertising and communications agencies. They operate on a national level servicing local and national clients, and many of Australia’s leading brands such as Bundaberg, Queensland University of Technology, Triumph and more.
BCM Group have officially been Streamtime clients for over 3 months, so I thought it would be a great exercise to reflect on how their team of 50+ have implemented Streamtime. I caught up with Neil Atkin, BCM’s Head of Digital, Steve Mair, Digital Creative Director and Daniel Zeimer, Operations who kindly shared their tips, thoughts and learnings for a successful implementation.
The big challenge
Neil saw the problem clearly. It needed solving ASAP. The number of spreadsheets was growing, accuracy of data was questionable, so seamless resource management was out of the question. It was nearly impossible to adjust to last minute client changes, know who was available to work on them and how the studio was tracking at a glance. Frankly, time was wasted on manual work and frustration was growing for everyone. Team members were paying for their own project management applications, there was lots going on but no-one was talking to each other. Neil couldn’t bear it anymore. Something had to be done.
Choosing the right Project Management tool
When it came to choosing the right tool for BCM, their goals were clear:
- Find a tool that would improve the resource management process and offer greater team transparency.
- Quickly understand the status of any project, and;
- Customise workflows in order to suit different campaigns.
Neil & the team were drawn to several features in Streamtime:
- Structured and granular project plans that allowed full visibility around key milestones and deadlines
- Effective resource scheduling that’s in sync with individuals To Do screens
- Intuitive To Do lists and time tracking without timesheets
- Streamtime’s public roadmap
Another reason that got us across the line is – Streamtime, the team. Local, very responsive. The personal element is invaluable
After evaluating numerous Project Management solutions, the decision was made to implement Streamtime! Neil knew he wanted BCM to be part of Streamtime’s growth and was excited about a potential partnership.
Implementing Streamtime into BCM culture
We planned this to be as effective as possible. We involved only a small team with the best knowledge of all projects going on in the agency. They spent time adding those to Streamtime, while figuring out how it works. So, getting their understanding first before expanding it to the entire team certainly helped
Planning is key.
BCM spent a month learning about Streamtime and discussing the process internally with a chosen group of individuals. They needed to have a clear understanding of what Streamtime could do in order to be able to fully release it to the team.
Onboarding required an evolution of process in the agency. Processes around resource scheduling, time tracking and communication were updated so that time could be saved and efficiency improved using Streamtime.
Everyone had to step up and take responsibility
Everyone had to be onboard and take charge of their needs as they knew that Streamtime would work best if the process was fully established prior to the big release.
The big release.
Once Neil and the team were comfortable with their findings, it was time to release Streamtime across the agency.
“It simply just happened”, Neil explained, “we’ve planned it so well…it was a walk in the park”. So, one Monday morning the entire team at BCM had a Streamtime To Do screen pop-up on their monitors and it was clear – there are going to be no more spreadsheets and no more print-outs.
BCM and Streamtime today
Today, every new job is kicked off in Streamtime. All actions, roles & responsibilities and planned time is captured in Streamtime so everyone’s aligned at all times. Even though BCM doesn’t use Streamtime for quoting & invoicing yet, they successfully utilise two key PM tools for their business: Streamtime & BCC.
Here’s what it looks like.
Streamtime automatically opens up when people start in the morning so the team can see what they’ve been scheduled on. The team are openly encouraged to put in tasks that haven’t been scheduled or personal ToDos. Neil doesn’t need to walk around nudging people and pushing them to use it – it’s simply everyone’s responsibility to organise themselves & track time under the right jobs.
And hey, no one can complain that they can’t log in!
To get the most out of Streamtime, BCM identified clear processes and established rules around best practises. For example, Monday morning WIP is THE MOST IMPORTANT MEETING of the week. The entire organisation gets together in front of a big screen and a Streamtime WIP report. Then, each Account Manager takes charge and talks about their patch: what’s on-hold, what’s the priority, awaiting feedback etc. Having a clear report filtered by client ensures the entire team stays up to date with the company’s progress. This gets everyone talking. Once again, as much transparency as possible.
BCM pro tip: job labels are great. They offer the ability to see your data in entirely new ways by virtue of being a fully customisable search criteria.
After analysing live projects, they pull up the To Do Schedule to look at individual teams one by one. They spend another 15 minutes discussing each other’s challenges, making changes to their weeks and setting themselves up for success. The perfect start to the week!
Weeks get planned in advance and the schedule gets revisited every Monday morning.
Most projects are planned using existing templates. BCM ensures that each job plan is as granular as possible by using phases and sub-items. Key milestones, dates & planned time are crucial for their team, given it makes their life easier when working from their To Do screens. Since the quoting & invoicing is done in BCC, Neil simply copies each job’s budget into Streamtime so he can still ensure job profitability. Once the job is ready to be invoiced, the Account Managers communicate to the accounts team who then process their invoices in BCC.
Working efficiently & tracking time
To Do screens are populated on everyone’s account at the start of the day. Once a task is completed it gets dragged to Done, and time gets tracked. The team knows what they need to do at any stage and can constantly update their time.
BCM pro tip: connect your calendar to Streamtime via Zapier or our API so that events are automatically populated on the To Do screen of an individual. This means you don’t have to navigate from Streamtime at all & can manage your day better.
The Streamtime iOS To Do app is also great for tracking time on the go, allowing you to stay up to date with the events in your day – even if you’re out of the office.
Streamtime keeps Neil and the BCM team fast-moving and efficient so they can spend more time executing their killer campaigns and less time searching for available team members. They are proud to say that Streamtime helped them achieve full transparency around resource management and planning within months of implementation.
Over the past three months the BCM team has tracked 2000 hrs and successfully completed over 45 jobs
Advice from BCM:
We spent a lot of time trying to determine what we needed from the tool, but once this was established, the processes seem to be clear and the end goal more realistic
So if you’re looking to move a large team like BCM onto Streamtime, feel free to listen to Neil’s strongest words of advice:
- Find champions within the organisation to help implement Streamtime
- Make sure the management is on-board
- Understand the limitations of the tool
- Identify biggest roadblocks & critics – invite them early and buy them beers!
He also pointed out that he would have no hesitations in recommending Streamtime to any agencies their size, and highlighted the importance of being transparent within the business. The success story of BCM’s migration is just one amongst hundreds of teams. Join them by signing up to Streamtime and getting in touch with our team to kickstart the move today.
Interested to hear our thoughts on transparency? Check out To see or not to see: how transparent should your business be? by Andy Wright.