Callrail, Apptio Targetprocess and Custom Workflows and Scale

“Targetprocess is the central point for our product development process. All our information is in one place. We have developers, designers, product owners, QA engineers, all looking at it. And I love the Service Desk; I’ve cut out 4 regular meetings just by using it. It was easy to set up, and someone who’s not engineering minded can easily use it.”

Bryan Elder,
Product Director

Who is CallRail?

CallRail develops an analytics platform designed for those who rely on quality calls and inbound leads to measure success. Their customers live in a results-driven world, and giving them a clear view into their digital marketing efforts is their first priority. Their product is set apart from competitors by its intuitive UI, flexible pricing, and the use of machine learning for Conversation Intelligence. They also have a pretty neat office.

Before Apptio Targetprocess, CallRail used a tool that was essentially just a bulletin board and a task list. It became clear that a central point for data and collaboration was needed. Their CTO had some experience with other tools, but found that Apptio Targetprocess was the only solution that could both reflect their custom workflows and scale with the company as they grew and processes changed.

Development, QA, UX, design
teams use Apptio Targetprocess

Customer facing teams
use Service Desk for free

Kanban and Scrum
processes

65,000 customers
across North America

How Does Callrail use Apptio Targetprocess?

CallRail made the switch to Apptio Targetprocess in 2016. They now have eight cross functional teams working in the system. Customer facing teams, such as Support, Marketing, and Sales, use the Service Desk to submit bugs and feature requests to development.

Bryan Elder, Product Director at CallRail, is pleased with how well everything has come together:

Apptio Targetprocess is the central point for our product development process. All our information is in one place. We have developers, designers, product owners, QA engineers, all looking at it. And I love the Service Desk; I’ve cut out 4 regular meetings just by using it. It was easy to set up, and someone who’s not engineering minded can easily use it.

Bryan Elder
Product Director

Old Callrail board before Apptio Targetprocess

CallRail’s main process for handling work involves a mix of Scrum and Kanban. Typically, a User Story is added to the backlog from an incoming request or an existing roadmap item. Every 2 weeks, the CEO and CPO move priority work from the backlog into the “Planned” state, without assigning it to a team. They then meet with Product Owners to look at team bandwith, and assign teams.

Every week, Bryan holds a company-wide product catch-up meeting where he shares and reviews what’s currently in development. To prepare for this, he has written an API that asks Apptio Targetprocess to upload data into a Google spreadsheet in a nice, clean format.

For the rest of the company, the most commonly used view is a Kanban board that’s been customized to reflect CallRail’s process. Teams use filters so that everyone can just view their own work.

Callrail Kaban Board through Apptio Targetprocess

The benefits

One of the key benefits for CallRail is the time that their teams have saved. There’s nothing that gets in the face of developers and distracts them from their work. Apptio Targetprocess is integrated with Slack, so important notifications can be seen right from CallRail’s central communication hub.

Bryan is particularly pleased by the cross-team unification that Apptio Targetprocess has enabled. Customer facing teams now have a central place to communicate with developers and track information that’s important to them — without having to waste time exchanging inquisitive emails or Slack messages.

Our feature request process is something that’s drastically improved within the last 6 months. As our company has grown, we’ve gotten more and more requests, and we look at every single one because we care about our customers and want to build value for them. So now it’s easy to filter and prioritize requests immediately

Bryan Elder
Product Director

Recommendations for other companies

For companies that are looking for the right tool, Bryan recommends careful research and an open mind.

Find a tool that fits your needs, but offers enough flexibility to grow along with your business process — rather than a tool that’s a burden on developers.

Bryan Elder
Product Director

 

Additional Resources

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