“You Can Get Productive with MeisterTask in Six Hours.”
The Temporary Alternative: Boutique IT Training.
Productivity is a paradox: a worker is only as good as their tools, but a tool is only as good as the person behind the keyboard. That’s where Cathy Fanning and her IT training company – The Temporary Alternative – provide unique value on the Australian market. With a focus on maximizing efficiency with Microsoft Office and 365, upskilling is the name of the game.
As a Meister Partner, Cathy’s team also helps customers create efficient, sustainable processes with task management software. From smaller businesses (ten to twenty employees) to larger corporations with hundreds of staff members, there are many roads to success. However, there’s one tool that has been at the heart of the journey: MeisterTask.
The Challenge: A Matter of Time.
As a seasoned technology expert, Cathy Fanning has a sharper eye than most when it comes to spotting value in productivity software. While MeisterTask wasn’t the first task management tool that the team at The Temporary Alternative tried, it was certainly the one that stuck.
“MeisterTask is refreshing because it’s not just a surface-level attraction, although the bright and colorful design certainly helps. If you look at the landscape, the market is split between functional tools that don’t inspire you to use them and flashy software that doesn’t deliver on its promises. With MeisterTask, we get the best of both worlds, and the blend of professionalism and polish is why I love using it.”
Founder, The Temporary Alternative
Cathy’s enthusiasm for MeisterTask led to The Temporary Alternative becoming part of the Meister Partner Program in 2020. Since then, there has been a twin-pronged approach to using the tool: to organize projects and day-to-day work for the internal team, and to recommend MeisterTask to clients.
However, as The Temporary Alternative grew to cater for more clients with ever more complex needs, Cathy soon realized that her approach to training customers demanded a radically different approach. To ensure long-term success, there was a pressing need to streamline, and for The Temporary Alternative to practice what they preach – efficiency, efficiency, efficiency.
“We only have so much time to train our clients and to organize everything around that training. Efficiency is the difference between running a successful, time-efficient schedule and a potential disaster. Delays can really cost us: word of mouth is paramount in our industry, so we must do everything in our power to provide 100% satisfaction wherever we can.”
With the stakes high, the need for a fast, repeatable process was obvious – a way to eliminate unproductive time and to reach more customers, more effectively, with fewer delays. Fortunately, the key to improving training processes was already at hand. With MeisterTask’s project templates, Cathy had access to the tool that would turn The Temporary Alternative into a well-oiled productivity machine.
The Solution: Project Templates = Project Success.
Using her expert knowledge of MeisterTask, Cathy focused on removing friction from key areas of the client training process: duplicate work, the extremely diverse needs of her client base, and the potential for scheduling clashes.The solution was to create a MeisterTask template that covered each stage of the customer training process: from timeline management, to the onboarding of new companies, to post-training, project management rollouts.
From this basis, Cathy and the team can adjust and personalize the tailor-made training program according to the individual project requirements, software platform and client wishes. Each project section is split into detailed tasks, with tags used to indicate priority, group similar types of tasks contextually, and to give at-a-glance information to keep her team on the same page. When the template becomes an active project, more specific details – such as assignees, due dates and the like – can be added to make the roles and responsibilities of team members 100% transparent.
A more consistent approach to training schedules has various benefits for The Temporary Alternative: whether in training teams to use MeisterTask or any other type of software. Naturally, the automated structure of the project saves time when it comes to project setup. However, the clear distinction between pre-training, live-training and post-training stages ensures that important information doesn’t slip through the cracks: during the preparations, the sessions themselves, or the aftercare process.
“When you’re coordinating time management with the team and scheduling future training sessions, transparency is an absolute must. That’s what MeisterTask gives us: we all rely heavily on the tool to make sure we can keep our promises to customers and manage our resources in the most effective way.”
However, Cathy has found that the flexibility of MeisterTask has been equally valuable as its consistency. The diversity of the company’s clients – who range from tech-savvy administrators to beginner-level staff – make the ability to adapt the project schedule, and to communicate those changes effectively, priceless.
“We focus on people first, then software. The key part of my job isn’t just understanding the software, but understanding the people who will be using it. In that sense, my job is always the same and always different – exactly like our MeisterTask template. It gives us consistency in the sense that we can always provide value to our clients, flexibility in that we can always find a solution that matches their needs.”
The Outcome: Onboarding in 6 Hours with MeisterTask.
For Cathy Fanning, life is easier now. The introduction of the training project template has created a process that is defined by its efficiency: fewer meetings, fewer emails, and more peace of mind. Likewise, using MeisterTask on a daily basis has led to significant improvements in communication: inside the team and with external stakeholders. With clients often in different timezones, the value of asynchronous communication is enormous to Cathy.
“We’re a digital company and a lot of the time we’re dealing with other digital companies too. With the tools we have at our disposal, there’s no need for time differences to impact how effective we can be. Using MeisterTask as a platform for asynchronous communication in our team sets that example: one of my favorite sayings is ‘Get out of Your Head’ – MeisterTask helps me reduce the load on my mind and communicate better with my colleagues. I think they’re grateful for that.”
With a tool for organizing training projects in place, The Temporary Alternative has been able to continue its important work – providing dynamic, effective software training that upskills teams – in an efficient, time saving way. In fact, the process is so streamlined that new clients are being onboarded to MeisterTask in record time.
“I think we can get a company from zero to operational in MeisterTask in about six hours – three sessions of 2 hours each. This covers more or less everything that a typical client would want to do with the tool: setting up and customizing their projects and tasks, getting to grips with features for collaboration, as well as mastering the integrations with Microsoft 365. It’s just incredibly easy to pick up – and we find that the clients we refer to MeisterTask stick with the tool for a long time.”