Software consultants sink or swim based on their ability to effectively implement tech solutions for their customers. So, it’s no surprise that efficiency and operational excellence are keys to establishing a competitive edge in the already crowded and competitive industry.
Those who build and maintain successful tech consulting businesses must juggle multiple complex (and diverse) projects. And those projects often involve multiple stakeholders, from customers to creative teams to software developers. Even the most organized project managers require the right tools to pull off balancing acts of this magnitude.
With this in mind, we spoke to Steven Hooley, inventor, serial entrepreneur, and President of Silicon Slope Consulting Group, about the operational methods he uses to maintain and grow a successful consulting company.
- Tell us about Silicon Slope Consulting!
- What is your favorite ClickUp feature?
- What tools, if any, do you integrate with ClickUp?
- How do you use ClickUp to push your projects forward?
- About how many hours a week do you save using ClickUp?
- What do you do with that time back?
- How has ClickUp improved your work and life?
- What advice do you have for others looking to streamline their productivity?
Tell us about Silicon Slope Consulting!
We are an international, full-stack technology and consulting company that specializes in software, both customer-facing and b2b. We help build web platforms and apps, and we work with clients on social media marketing, business consulting, technical consulting, and more. Essentially, if you can think it up, we can bring it to life!
Our business model is very unique, allowing for our clients to take little to no risk when doing business with us. We like to partner with our clients long-term and take care of all their technical needs, not just create a solution and hand it off.
This allows us to create a “win-win” situation with our clientele. One of our goals is to change the relationship between developer and creative teams and clients in a way that’s non-conventional but powerful.
What is your favorite ClickUp feature?
It’s not exactly a feature, but my favorite thing about ClickUp is its ability to compartmentalize and its flexibility as a platform.
ClickUp’s simple hierarchy that includes Spaces, Folders, and Lists allows us to organize everything perfectly. Each project has its own Space. We create Folders for each department. Each Folder has permissions that lockout anybody who shouldn’t be seeing it. Each task is dedicated to a piece of the project that has a full step-by-step nested task structure that allows any one of our reps in that Folder to see it and work through the whole structure very efficiently.
We have designers and developers, so it’s really cool to watch the designers work through all their tasks and subtasks while simultaneously having a project manager mirror those tasks and subtasks over to our devs. It’s almost like a race sometimes!
That, paired with all the ClickApps (I literally have all of them turned on), allows us to pump our projects very fast. I’m always extremely impressed by how quickly the team is able to develop software and apps! For example, we’ve pumped out almost 12 fairly complex projects in 2.5 months.
Utilizing ClickUp like this took us from a somewhat organized company to a finely tuned and highly efficient machine. To say the least, I’m a very satisfied customer!
What tools, if any, do you integrate with ClickUp?
All of them! We try to maximize what ClickUp gives us.
One that we utilize frequently and is a huge time-saver is the Slack integration. Since we have multiple teams that might be working on the same project at the same time, keeping communication tight and in-sync is a must.
Sending notifications about ClickUp tasks to Slack channels makes sure we maintain transparency across our teams. And creating ClickUp tasks from messages or from scratch in Slack helps save project managers time.
How do you use ClickUp to push your projects forward?
We have each project separated into a Space per client, with different Folders for different departments. We can add as many departments as needed whenever we need. Each Folder and Space has applicable personnel. We rely heavily on tasks and subtasks to break down projects and track progress through statuses.
Building and monitoring custom Dashboards helps me gauge the performance of the company as a whole. This way, I don’t have to sort through tons of Lists and Folders to figure out where our various projects are progress-wise.
ClickUp empowers us with the ability to customize so many aspects in our approach to project management, it’s ridiculous!
About how many hours a week do you save using ClickUp?
My team and I save at least 20 hours a week by using ClickUp, I’d say. Really, so much time is saved because of how easy it is for me and the rest of the team to track projects and get information from one team to another without long email threads and duplicating a ton of work.
What do you do with that time back?
We close more deals, for one. We also work on employee personal development and focus on our growth as a company.
And all of that, if you think about it, is outstanding. ClickUp lets us save time so we can become a more strategic and competitive company. What more could you ask for?
How has ClickUp improved your work and life?
It’s revolutionized the way we do business internally. Everything is compartmentalized! People have access to what they need, and managers can track progress through features like Dashboards.
But if we need to change things on the fly, we can. ClickUp empowers us to be dynamic as well as efficient. It’s truly the project management system every business needs, whether they know it or not!
What advice do you have for others looking to streamline their productivity?
Get really precise with your architecture.
For example, we use a Space to represent a project. A Folder within that space represents a department. Major categories in that department are put into task Lists. Tasks are the distinct pieces of a project that someone on the team might own. If there are more details, we can use subtasks. And then, if needed, we can even nest subtasks within subtasks.
Each level even has applicable permissions.
We didn’t start this way and it took us a while to find that perfect architecture. But luckily, ClickUp enables us to be flexible. Although, had we started this way, I think we could have made our system more efficient than it already is!
Looking to follow along on Steven’s journey? Check out the latest happenings with all of his entrepreneurial endeavors here and sign up for ClickUp today to discover how you can create the perfect operational architecture for your business!
Evan is a Content Coordinator at ClickUp, where he’s usually absorbed in composing copy making efficiencies more efficient. When weather permits, he can be found jogging around Cleveland. When it doesn’t, he can be found somewhere warm painting, cooking, and consuming all things horror- and fantasy-related.