- CAIDAO facilitates its entire project management – project setup, time tracking, billing, and more
- Stackfield enables more transparency in collaboration, as more points of contact exist and news about projects can be shared in a more targeted way
- All content is stored centrally and can be retrieved faster and easier thanks to the global search
- Stackfield's advanced rights management ensures that collaboration is completely secure and confidential
About CAIDAO – Institute for Works Council Consulting
CAIDAO is the strategy consultancy for all works council co-determination bodies and provides support on all issues relating to strategy, business management, restructuring, IT co-determination, data protection, digitalization, health, and communication. The company helps works and staff councils to know – and achieve – their goals. CAIDAO is represented in Berlin, Nuremberg, Wiesbaden, and Bremen in order to be able to be regionally active in the best possible way.
The initial situation
In 2007, Marek Wiesner and Thomas Steins founded the strategy consultancy CAIDAO. Initially, there was no need for a collaboration tool; cooperation and communication took place directly between the two managing directors. They sat in one office, went on projects together, and were able to easily exchange ideas with each other. In addition, there was a very limited choice of advanced tools on the market which were still not widely used. The situation changed as they expanded the team and the company grew.
"A tool like Stackfield became a necessity for us from the time we were multiple people on the team, had different locations, and everyone was constantly on the road working on projects."
Marek Wiesner – Shareholder and Managing Director at CAIDAO
They decided to try something completely new to improve collaboration – and landed with Trello. The switch worked well for the time being, but at the same time introduced a new weakness. "The issue was the assignment. Not seeing all tasks, but looking for tasks and content in a more focused manner. In other words, finding the things you really need."
Another requirement could not be mapped via Trello at that time either: time tracking and the associated billing process. "When you run an agency business, time tracking is essential – and that didn't exist at the time. We realized we had to find something else." The next evolutionary step for CAIDAO was the US tool ActiveCollab, which included the much-needed functions. However, again, the team reached the tool's limits, especially with rights management. "The requirements in the organization increased at that time. We had customers and freelancers on the tool – they were not supposed to be able to see everything without any restrictions." So in the middle of 2017, the question arose: Which tool could combine the aspects of task management, file search, time recording, and rights management? And which tool could also meet the necessary security standards?
While researching a secure alternative, Marcel Mudrich, Senior Consultant and responsible for the competence team IT, digitalization, and data protection at CAIDAO, came across Stackfield after some time. "What convinced me from the first moment is the fact that even an admin can't see all the rooms", says Marek Wiesner. First and foremost, it was about confidentiality: The tool not only had to be GDPR-compliant, but it also needed to be able to be organized in such a way that collaboration remained absolutely confidential. Stackfield's security standards – including sophisticated rights management, end-to-end encryption, and data processing within the EU – enabled CAIDAO to do exactly that.
Furthermore, choosing a new tool was equally relevant for the project business. "At that time, we already figured that a tool could be exciting and useful for one or two works councils." Depending on the company structure, there are, for example, regional works councils and a supraregional general / group works council. "These supra-regional boards can also work with tools like this. We, therefore, wanted a solution we could recommend to others. I believe that the uptake in this area is still very limited, then as now, although the benefits are huge."
The conditions at Stackfield were finally ideal for the strategy consultancy and its client segment. "We then decided pretty quickly to go all in with Stackfield."
From project start to billing: Everything takes place in Stackfield
Today, CAIDAO maps the entire project control and administration in Stackfield. First, the consultants create a separate room for each project and compile the modules and functions individually according to their specifications. The tasks module is essential here: "We use the tasks and time tracking in Stackfield in all of our projects. It's part of the core business, and in the end, it's the part that gets billed." What does this mean in concrete terms? The responsible parties create individual task cards in their projects, in which they record all contents, services, and times. This time data is exported after project completion and is used for billing.
Since all projects, tasks, and files are maintained in Stackfield, the team has a noticeably better overview.
"Controlling and managing projects is extremely easy for us as a team, and we spend a fraction of the time it took us in the old systems to get an overview."
Information is found faster
When it comes to the keyword "overview", Marek Wiesner adds another quality of Stackfield: Since the tool was introduced at the end of 2017, it has developed into a valuable knowledge database for CAIDAO. Countless files, information, and messages have been collected here over the years. Thanks to Stackfield's "Global Search", the team can easily search the database and thus quickly find content again – an enormous relief in everyday work.
More data points provide greater transparency
Stackfield's advantages are also evident in the area of communication. "There are now countless communication tools – you have to make sure that not everyone communicates in their favorite channel. Our project-related communication takes place in Stackfield", Wiesner emphasizes. As a result, the exchange is not only more targeted overall, but above all more transparent.
"I'm convinced that the points of contact and information someone receives during a project have increased by a lot."
Marek Wiesner gives an example: In the past, two people worked on a project, communicated directly with each other, and informed the other colleagues after a few weeks or months on the project's status. Thanks to the room structure in Stackfield, things are different today. For example, the responsible project team simply posts statements in the appropriate room after a meeting or provides a written update on the project. For Wiesner, more data points mean more transparency – and that is enormously important in project work: "Everyone has the opportunity to check out how things are going in other projects. It's definitely a huge success for me."
CAIDAO also makes use of this advantage for topics that are not directly related to a project. Among other things, there is an open room for general exchange within the team and several open rooms for the competence teams. Everyone is notified about news and can view relevant information. Marek Wiesner and the team want to further promote this transparency in the future by creating even more of these overarching data points.