We developed IDoneThis to help teams become more productive, and to eliminate the need for time-consuming meetings. But some of our customers have found more creative ways to use us than we even imagined! Here’s how one of our clients, Museum Hack, uses IDoneThis to stay on task.
CEO Nick Gray used to hate museums. But just one incredible museum experience, totally turned him. Before he knew it, he was a museum junkie spewing fun facts about ancient artifacts to all his friends.
He had such a knack for bringing the art to life that the popularity of his unofficial tours took off and became the impetus for his unique startup: interactive museum tours.
When Nick founded his museums-made-easy company, productivity tools were the last thing on his mind. But three years later, as Museum Hack had grown multi-fold, and its guides began to work in locations across three major cities, they were in serious need of a catch-all productivity tool that would keep them connected and on schedule. They found just that in IDoneThis.
We spoke with Michael, the Head of Marketing of Museum Hack, to get an idea of the problems they faced as they expanded, and how they used IDoneThis features to address them.
Their Team Isn’t Interested in Logistics
“We’re a little bit of a free-for-all… Even though we operate in the start-up world, most people have a theater background. They’re creatives that for a long time, have been operating in that totally different world.”
Michael tells us that unlike other startups, Museum Hack’s team isn’t comprised of the typical techies who are naturally interested in productivity hacks, innovative technology or thought leadership. Most of the staff are theater and art school grads.
And while creatives are awesome at coming up with thought-provoking questions and interactive activities, they may also be disorganized. They’re not always great at optimizing their workflow and communicating with their managers.
This may seem like a small issue, but if a guide doesn’t clearly communicate that they switched time slots, a bunch of really enthusiastic people show up for a tour without a guide to lead them through the museum. So as Museum Hack grew their staff, they desperately needed a low-effort, low-maintenance productivity solution.
IDoneThis keeps the disorganized organized
The guides put most of their energy into coming up with awesome tours for Museum Hack’s clients, and CEO Nick Gray wants to keep it that way. He’s implemented IDoneThis to free them from a standup or a check-in schedule. This way a guide can think about how to talk about the lighting in a Caravaggio, without worrying about how he will communicate his accomplishments to his boss that day.
Whenever a team member completes a tour or a project, he or she checks it off the Done list—a checklist that can be checked off either via email or through the dashboard on the app. This increases visibility for management, without the need for pestering or micromanagement. Nick can check his IDoneThis dashboard and know what his employees are doing halfway across the country, without having to hop on a call for updates.
Employees Wear Many Hats
“We don’t know what everybody does because everybody wears a lot of hats. Having [the Dones] there in one place to read through helped me recognize and appreciate what all the team members are doing, better.”
Just like in any young startup, many of the employees wear multiple hats. A single person can have a hand in the tours, in the sales, and in the marketing. And as the tasks amass, the roles become blurred and it becomes increasingly difficult to keep track of who’s responsible for what.
For example, one of Museum Hack’s tour guides likes to bring in a musician to show his tour how an ancient Greek lyre is played. That means the task to schedule an ancient-instrument-playing musician falls in a gray area, in terms of responsibility.
In this type of environment, important tasks can easily fall through the cracks because many of them don’t fall under anyone’s job description. And if these things don’t get done, no one’s to blame—it ends up just getting written off as an issue of miscommunication.
IDoneThis Keeps Expectations Clear
With IDoneThis, it’s easy to keep track of every task on any employee’s plate. Through the dashboard, Museum Hack managers can create teams and assign tasks to certain people, increasing ownership and responsibility over projects. This way they don’t have to assume that every teammate will pick up any work that isn’t being done.
In structured roles at bigger companies, managers often offer feedback on employees’ overall performance. At a company like Museum Hack, that becomes difficult. The responsibilities there are so varied that such general feedback is no longer useful or actionable.
The IDoneThis feedback loop feature, however, enables managers to comment on specific employee goals and accomplishments that get sent around via email at the same time every day. Or, as Michael does, they can keep their IDoneThis dashboard open and comment on the tasks in real time.
All the Employees Work Remotely
“[Having a growing remote team] was very, very quickly becoming difficult to manage, to know who was where and what they were doing. We didn’t really have any software solutions. Being able to mark off our Dones was a big thing.”
Michael told us that they don’t have a central office because they’d rather spend their money on better salaries for their high-quality guides. Plus, most of their employees aren’t local—and the ones that are spend a considerable amount of time in museums, either giving tours or planning their routes and activities.
While a great work environment does get them passionate and dedicated employees, the lack of a home base also makes it super difficult for everyone to communicate.
IDoneThis facilitates communication
The fact that IDoneThis allows the team members to check off their Dones through email or through the browser app, enables everyone to be on the same page, no matter where they are.
No manager is ever going to forget to check in on someone’s progress, and no employee is ever going to be inaccessible to draft up an email explaining what they’ve accomplished. However, drafting an email is time-consuming and inconvenient. The Done list makes the completion of tasks super easy and accessible.
So when Museum Hack is organizing a corporate tour, the tour operations associate and the renegade tour guide can work together to put together catering, performances, and team-building activities. And to make sure everything is in place for an awesome tour, any Museum Hack manager can simply log into their dashboard and check their employees’ Dones.
Museum Hack’s Productivity Case Study and Their Key to Success
From this productivity case study, we learned that what made Museum Hack such an instant success is the remarkable creativity that its employees pour into their tours. Turning non-museum-goers into an enthusiastic audience for century-old art is no small task. As Museum Hack expanded their workforce, IDoneThis enabled them to keep organized, without having to compromise their high standard for creativity.
When it was just a 4-month-old startup, Museum Hack was already written about as being one-of-a-kind. Now, three years later—without slowing down their momentum—the company has tripled in size and its guides are world-class experts consulting museums around the world. With a great organizing system in place, Museum Hack is poised to grow even larger and keep spreading their enthusiasm for museum-going.
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