by auditing time per task
During a Product Hunt competition
with 9 full-time staff
for project management and time tracking
Meetings can be a powerful tool for productive work. Or, they can be a complete drain of time and energy.
This is especially true for remote teams who are trying to stay informed while also focusing on high priority work.
Fortunately, the team at Yac had an idea.
Yac is a voice-first collaboration platform that’s similar to Snapchat. To cut down on unnecessary meetings, users can send photos, screen recordings, and even their voices using the Yac app.
The goal is clarity, which means you can keep your remote team in the loop without having to coordinate time zones and navigate jam-packed schedules.
Yac can help teams save up to 23 hours each week. That’s not a small feat in the age of distracted work — especially considering Yac was launched only a couple of years ago.
"We started the company over a weekend for a contest, Product Hunt Maker’s Festival, and won", said Justin Mitchell, CEO of Yac.
The growth since then has been impressive, but not without its challenges.
Scaling a business and planning for the long haul takes effort. Many of the systems that companies start with will need to evolve, and manual processes will need to be automated.
Yac felt these growing pains.
“As soon as we hit five clients per month, it was too chaotic to keep track of multiple teams’ time and tasks,” Mitchell said.
The startup needed a better way to track remote work and talent, including freelancers. This was crucial in order to forecast and plan for growth.
The research for a streamlined time tracking and team management tool began.
Yac experiments with different tools all the time, such as Asana, Zoom, and LucidChart, so trying out software to find the best one was already part of the company’s DNA.
When considering options, Yac was looking for software that:
Based on this set of requirements, Hubstaff stood out to the team.
“I’ve tried Toggl and a few others but nothing is as seamless as Hubstaff,” Mitchell said.
Its seamless functionality turned out to be a huge benefit.
Now, Yac just onboards employees and freelancers into Hubstaff and has billing, tasks, and time tracking all working nicely together.
With Hubstaff, Yac can determine design and development costs, manage freelancers and team members, and simplify billing without any added mental energy.
Yac uses the following process to track costs at a client level:
“We can better predict, down to the minute, how long tasks should take, therefore making better informed decisions,” Mitchell said.
This is especially valuable to Yac because it helps the company avoid things that may take too much time or not be worth the investment at that moment.
For example, when someone asks for a new feature, Yac can easily weigh that request against existing demand, see how it fits in the product roadmap, look at historical time tracking data and know how long a similar project will take.
“If we see a similar feature took weeks of effort and no one ended up wanting it, then we realize the net savings of not working on it,” Mitchell said.
As previously mentioned, having a project management component was crucial to Yac. Not only to keep everyone in the loop and working on the right projects, but also to better understand costs.
Yac used Trello for a long time in tandem with Hubstaff. However, with the launch of Agile project management tool, Hubstaff Tasks, that burden of having two systems was relieved.
“We use Hubstaff and Hubstaff Tasks together now so life is much easier knowing which project is costing more than others,” Mitchell said.
Yac uses the two apps to get a 1000 ft. view of the current landscape and compare the length of the task to the value of someone’s time.
For example, when deciding who to assign a project to, Yac can compare skills, availability and costs more easily.
Here’s one situation where this applies.
Let's say we want to get more folks to our website and are looking at two employees to create a video. The first employee is available now, but has stronger customer support skills than video experience, so the task might take longer. And it would pull them away from helping customers.
The second employee has the reverse set of skills (more video, less support) and is not available for another few days (or more).
We know that assigning the video project to the first employee might increase the cost because it will require more hours invested, and mean fewer customer questions resolved.
Based on that information, we can then assign the right people or scrap the tasks completely, and make more educated decisions.”
“We’ve been growing very fast over the last six months and that’s partly due to Hubstaff’s ability to scale. Onboarding, billing, and task management is stupid simple to get going and no longer an all day event.”
“We can stay a remote team for longer because we can keep tabs on everyone without physically walking over to their desks. This is important to us.”
“Relationships are much better because things aren't falling through the cracks. We can better estimate feature request task time using baselines from previous projects in Hubstaff.”
"Knowing how much time we put into a task helps us plan for a similar project or sprint in the future. Tying costs to time to tasks means we have a better picture of how a sprint will affect our bottom line and lets us resource better for it in the future"
On average, Yac said they’re able to save 20 hours per month based on how they use Hubstaff and Hubstaff Tasks.
Ready to try them out?