UNSILO is a Danish artificial intelligence and machine learning company specialized in scientific data and articles. They use their own machine learning pipeline to extract core concepts from these articles and provide services like article classification, checking scientific article conformance, and finding reviewers for scientific articles.
Work management tools became a friction point for this growing technology company until they found Unito. Read on to discover how they overcame tool tensions and built a workflow that suited everyone in the organization.
Different teams, different tools
As a small technology company, UNSILO wanted to empower its product and development to work quickly and collaboratively, without getting bogged down in too much process. To work with this type of agility and drive projects forward, internal teams needed to have the right work management tools supporting them.
But each team had different software needs and preferences. UNSILO’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Søren G. Andersen explains how this hindered their ability to collaborate.
“We were in a position where there was friction between development and product teams. The product team was saying “Why can’t developers work in Trello?” and developers were saying “Why can’t product just work in Jira?” This created tension between these two groups of people who need to work together all the time.”
Different tools, less productivity
Worse, the tool disparity actually slowed the teams down. Team members had to bounce back and forth between tools and to update them manually whenever anything changed or priorities had to shift. Information was getting lost in one tool or the other, creating disagreements between teams and delays in projects.
“As soon as you go outside the one tool that you’re already using, you introduce complexity,” Andersen says.
So the problem was two-fold. One: both teams were frustrated that the other team wouldn’t just use “their tool.” Two: the workflow was too complex and was getting in the way of people trying to do their best work.
Pairing Trello and Unito
Andersen decided that he needed to get everyone using the same tool. This would end the tension, and — in the spirit of the company name — un-silo information from specific teams or tools so everyone was on the same page.
In order to get buy-in from all teams, he needed something that was easy to use, but powerful enough to handle both the product and development workflows.
Andersen found his solution in Trello and Unito.
Trello is one of the most popular work management tools in the world, and is loved for its simple Kanban style. Unito is an integration tool that creates new functionality in Trello, allowing you to build workflows across boards and teams.
Building a master board
UNSILO started by creating a series of eight source boards in Trello, each representing a different team or project. These boards all feed a Trello master board that acts as an output. Cards (tasks) are pushed to several different teams as they progress through the development pipeline.
Not only does Unito enable the creation of a Trello master board by syncing boards together, these are all two-way connections. This means that if someone writes a comment or changes a due date on a card that lives on one board, the change is reflected across every board in real-time.
This system is about as simple as it gets. Create a card for a new task or request and connect it to the master board, which will then track it as it moves through the execution phase.
Centralizing information in one tool
With the new Unito-Trello set up, the UNSILO team aligned themselves within a single tool. They quickly adopted the workflow because it allows different stakeholders to have exactly the right view for them.
Andersen explains that the quality of the work has increased. And, with the right information flowing to all team members, the number of misunderstandings and delays have decreased.
“Unito is the force behind the scenes that makes everything work so you don’t have to think about it. It’s the thing that means that all the process and the development is logical, easy to understand, and reliable,” he says. “By that, it saves me time, because people are doing the right thing more often, and they’re doing it better.”
Teams that work better together
Beyond working more quickly and efficiently, Andersen says Unito’s real impact is in the happiness of his teams.
“It has literally given us more happiness in the office. It helped us bring the developers closer to the product guys because they’re working with the same information in the same tool.”
“After we set up this workflow between Trello and Unito, there are no longer any conversations about process,” Andersen added. “It’s not something that comes up in one-one-ones. It’s not something that comes up in yearly reviews or retrospectives. It just works.”
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