Digestive.io is our new service that constructs a personalised report of activity across your company’s applications. As a project manager, it has helped me maintain focus, improve communication with our clients and save precious time when creating my weekly status reports.
A bit of background
At CookiesHQ, we use a number of cloud applications to manage and execute our projects successfully. From Pivotal Tracker to Bugsnag, our preferred tools have made it easy for us to manage information and collaborate in real-time.
However, using all these applications comes with the pain of routinely checking them all for updates across each of our projects. Digestive eliminates this by allowing users to create personalised and interactive reports that automatically summarizes data from your connected integrations.
We launched it last week and within that short space of time, I have found it invaluable.
How has it helped me?
The main advantage of using Digestive has been the ease at which I now create weekly status reports.
As I explained in a previous blog post, these reports are so important for any project – it keeps everyone on the same page, calls attention to unresolved issues, improves communication, and acts as a log that can be referenced in the future. But let’s face it, they can be a right pain if you’re the one creating them.
I like to keep mine fairly comprehensive so the creation process can take a while. It involves manually filtering through the week’s notifications from our PM tools and gathering all the relevant data to write up in a Basecamp message for visibility. (Spoiler: it involves a lot of mind-numbing copying & pasting.)
As I usually have 2-3 projects to manage simultaneously, creating a weekly report for each one takes energy, motivation and a lot more time than you may think (depending on the project, it can take upwards of 2 hours per project!)
The report itself is very useful, but the wall of plain text can make it visually boring and it could look quite intimidating for clients to read, especially if we have a lot of data to report on.
Digestive helps with all these issues.
It periodically checks my integrations for updates throughout the current week and automatically filters and sorts the data to create a weekly progress report. All that’s needed is the click of a button and it’s sent to everyone involved in the project.
The report is engaging, links directly to each integration and looks great with collapsible cards to avoid a cluttered view. I’m able to add a personalised message to recipients too so I’m never completely detached from the report creation process.
It also ensures all project members receive the most complete and accurate overview. The manual process of filtering through updates and collecting information is not foolproof, especially when pushed for time. Although human error is natural, the use of APIs ensures that no cards, bugs or GitHub issues are missed off the report. Admittedly, it’s a huge weight off my shoulders.
The beauty really lies in the report flexibility. Take GitHub for example. It’s a great integration that helps our internal tech team monitor open / closed issues, but for the majority of our clients, they don’t want (or even need) that level of detail. As each report is fully customisable, we can add and remove integrations depending on the project report we are creating and who we are creating it for.
From a Project Management perspective, since using Digestive, it has increased my productivity considerably. More importantly, our clients find it really useful too, and it improves our transparency with them.
We’re already working on the next set of integrations to make it even more powerful. With Mailchimp, Stripe and Trello on the horizon, Digestive, is shaping up to be much more than a project management tool.
We want startups and companies to be able to use it for consolidating business data from their marketing and subscription tools.
We’re excited to see where the future is headed!