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The Evangelical Church of the Palatinate proves modernity

7 min read


  • Stackfield shines during onboarding with an exceptionally user-friendly interface
  • Numerous extensive projects can be executed in parallel in different project rooms
  • With Stackfield's various chat features, email traffic could be reduced significantly
  • Synchronous work is no longer an obstacle and accidentally overwriting the content of others belongs to the past

About the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate

As one of 20 regional churches and as a member of the Conference of Churches on the Rhine, the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate plays a crucial role for the Evangelical Church in Germany. The United Protestant Church has (as of 2023) about 460,000 parishioners in 390 parishes with its seat in Speyer.

Felix Kirschbacher took over the management of the communications work of the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate two years ago. The "Communications & Press" team, which at that time consisted of only five people, is here for "everyone who wants to know something about church".

Felix Kirschbacher – Head of the team "Communication & Press" of the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate


Felix Kirschbacher's team has two main functions at the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate: managing press relations and organizing large projects and events. Since there was no ideal tool in use for either before Stackfield, they mainly relied on emails as their main means of communication, which was not without negative consequences. He recounts, "We were working with emails and with document storage on the server, and that was tedious. Internal email communication in particular, I think, is highly problematic. Especially if you don't have clear rules agreed upon, for example, regarding BCC and CC rules."

Also, issues like synchronous working and version histories were difficult to manage: "You had to painstakingly rename files and hope that no one was messing with them at the same time, resulting in you having version 4 three times later." Furthermore, at the time, the team knew that it would more than double or even triple in size over the next two years. By then, at the latest, an appropriate project management tool would definitely be necessary.

Stackfield proves to be a relaxed negotiation partner

In search of an appropriate tool, Felix Kirschbacher had a look at various providers, however, they were either lacking in functionality or usability. "We had a short Slack test phase. Half of the team was impressed and the other half didn't get into it at all. [...] You have to be an experienced user with Slack." The team had also tried Meistertask for a while, but the tool was not suitable for mapping larger and more complex projects, many of which even lasted for one to two years. Stackfield, on the other hand, had been used by Felix Kirschbacher before in a different context and he figured the tool could potentially be a good solution here.

"What Stackfield definitely simplified for us: When creating a task and adding subtasks, in Meistertask the subtask would automatically be assigned to the person who was also assigned to the main task. In Stackfield, which I think is great, I can assign each subtask to a different person with different deadlines, and that's exactly the kind of fine-tuned setting we needed."

Since the Evangelical Church in Germany has its own data protection law, the DSG-EKD, which is "basically like a slightly stricter version of the GDPR," Felix Kirschbacher was convinced that the tool had to be hosted in Germany. "Besides that, we preferred it to be developed in Germany, since then there would be no need to worry about any relocations to U.S. servers." Another bonus: Stackfield's encryption, because especially for larger projects, the way data was exchanged mattered.

Especially pleased, he recounts initial contract issues with Stackfield: "This is one of the very very positive experiences in the long list of positive experiences with Stackfield: I know we're negotiating with a lot of other vendors, with newsletters, mailing tools, CRM vendors, and some other software vendors. It involves, and in some cases, this takes several months, with Microsoft, it takes years by now, a submission of our data protection law. It's never about total submission, but basically, affects one key paragraph. With Stackfield, however, this was a matter of twelve hours. Stackfield signed the order processing annex within a day, it was no problem at all. You can really tell how much weight data protection carries at Stackfield."

Stackfield wins in terms of usability

When the final decision was made in favor of Stackfield, Felix Kirschbacher did not hesitate for long and simply ran with it. "We are a very creative and chaotic team and didn't consider a classic onboarding process. All the early adopters of the team threw themselves at Stackfield and spent two weeks testing out what works and what doesn't, meaning we first set up a test room and then texted, posted, and created random stuff."

Afterwards, the rest of the team was brought in, the basics were briefly explained, and then it was simply a case of learning-by-doing, just like the first users, simply getting started and trying things out. In Felix Kirschbacher's eyes, the fact that Stackfield's user interface is particularly intuitive made it a lot easier to get started. "You feel like using Stackfield is not difficult at all, also because you don't notice the entire range of functions immediately and are therefore not overwhelmed by anything. [...] Recently I discovered that you can offer your own fields for task cards. Great story, I didn't need it until then, but that's the great thing: Because I didn't need it, I didn't notice it."

And if the team gets stuck anyways, they simply check the Learning Center on Stackfield's website or, in an emergency, contact support. "You receive helpful answers very quickly. I also feel like, the wishes we have for long-term enhancements are being filed well and we noticed that one or two things have also been implemented already.

Extensive projects brought together in Stackfield's project rooms

In the beginning, they were only working with normal rooms but from time to time bigger projects and events had to be handled. Now, Stackfield helps in keeping an overview regarding workflow, progress, and relevant data, whether it is redesigning the regional church website, planning nationwide baptism events, distributing public relations materials, or organizing a meeting between the church president and media representatives at Ludwigshafen's soup kitchen.

"The project rooms help us with our schedule, and in addition, seeing the number of unfinished tasks steadily decrease while the number of completed tasks on the Pie Chart increases has a motivating effect."

The biggest project the team is currently working on is probably the "Member Communication Project", which is being carried out together with another regional church from Hesse and Nassau. For this purpose, Felix Kirschbacher has booked 20 additional users on Stackfield and added them as members to the individual project rooms. The role Member was deliberately chosen to grant full usage.

Inside the project rooms, work centers on the Kanban boards in particular. In all rooms where additional partners are involved, appointments relevant to the project are managed in the calendar. "It's easier than having to share countless calendars." Now that the team is also gaining members, people are also making use of the module Discussions. "We no longer get to discuss things between doors regularly; things have to be planned more carefully. That's when I realize that factual discussions in particular are perfectly accommodated here."

To monitor several projects at the same time, Felix Kirschbacher also uses the project portfolios. These provide him with all the important information on each relevant project at a glance and can thus be easily put into relation with one another.

Ways of communication: Chat and Telephony

Due to a move, many colleagues are currently in their home offices. That's why the chat function is used particularly excessively, whether it's the Direct Messages or the comment sections in the room. "The comment function facilitates communication tremendously because you have the object in question immediately at hand. That's a big advantage." As a result, email traffic has been reduced above all else, and to a minimum. Before using Stackfield, Felix Kirschbacher received around 50-60 internal emails a day, now internal emails are almost non-existent.

In addition, Stackfield's telephony features might be of interest now. Felix Kirschbacher is curious and can imagine plenty of scenarios involving its use. "Especially these two-way conversations that take place in the team kitchen, for example, are difficult to realize in the home office. It's not the same thing: making an appointment for a meeting in Zoom or quickly starting a video call, just in between to discuss some information or maybe really to have a cup of tea or coffee. I'm curious to see whether the telephony will be used then."

Working synchronously in Word documents

In synchronized work, Stackfield has proven to be particularly useful for the regional church, as it is not uncommon for different individuals to work on the same document, especially in editorial planning.

The entire editorial planning of the Evangelical Church of the Palatinate is handled via Stackfield, from social media to website to press releases. Now, when a press release is created, the first step is to select and duplicate one of the many dummies created by the team for the corresponding release type, and then build the corresponding release in a Word document. Finally, the first version is uploaded to Stackfield.

To avoid overwriting any contents, the document will only be edited using the "Edit locally" function in Stackfield from this point on. During editing, the file is automatically marked as "In local editing" and all other room members can see that the document is currently open and being modified. Once editing is complete and the file is updated, the label disappears again. "This is a neat advancement compared to our previous variant," praises Felix Kirschbacher, since previously documents were edited haphazardly and even sent by email. A version history was therefore out of the question.

Stackfield as the "golden thread" through daily work

Stackfield is now firmly integrated into the daily work routine of the press and communication work, and the desktop app remains open throughout the day. Felix Kirschbacher explains: "I open Stackfield first thing in the morning because that's where I see if anyone from the team is sick or if I've missed out on anything important. We have a group chat where the discussion isn't permanently serious and it's always nice to check it out first with a cup of coffee. I also now have my tasks in Stackfield and then just check what the day has in store for me before I read my emails. That's when I realize: Stackfield, combined with my calendar, is the golden thread through the day."

Plans for the future

For the future, Felix Kirschbacher is firmly motivated to introduce the tool to the entire Regional Church Council, the highest authority of the regional church with almost 150 employees. "I would be very happy since we could use it well for the internal communication climate alone and we actually notice again and again that we have problems that, I think, every larger institution has. Corporations are often a little bit faster and more adaptive in that regard. I think Stackfield can make that a lot easier in the church as well."

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Cristian Mudure
About the Author:
Cristian Mudure is the Founder and CEO of Stackfield. He loves digital business models and spends his spare time on the tennis court.
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