Interview with Stu Green Founder of Project Bubble
Anyone who works in the development or implementation of SaaS has a lot on their plate. We are always looking for ways to simplify our own routine and to simplify how our product is used and implemented.
This week I caught up with Stu Green- founder & CEO of an interesting initiative “Project bubble”. We spoke on topics that are particularly interesting and relevant to SaaS Addicts. Keep reading to hear his best of breed tips and practices.
Stu, please tell us about Project Bubble and how it came to be.
Project Bubble came about in the same way as a lot of SaaS business come about, because there was a need for something. That need, in our case, was the need for a project management tool that showed all the projects that we were working on, the ‘traffic light’ status of each project, and the amount of hours tracked. There wasn’t a tool around at the time that did this, and did it really simply. So we built it. Now it’s a fully fledged SaaS app that has thousands of users all over the world who also need something simple to manage their projects and track time.
How can SaaS providers use Project Bubble to simplify their work?
If they are finding that they have lots of concurrent projects and need to know who is working on what project at what time, then Project Bubble steps in and simplifies this process. Projects are populated with tasks, and each task has a milestone (or due date) set. When that task is due the team member who is assigned will be notified and they can either complete the task or update the task with its progress.
Last year, we developed a brand new version with lots of new ‘enterprise’ level features. We used this new version to manage the development team, and it proved extremely useful when tracking the progress of each sprint. We were able to assign tasks, upload files (e.g. SQL dump files), update the progress of sub-tasks and finally complete a project before it was due because of the powerful calendaring. So we use our own tool, and we love it! Biased of course.
What is the most common user adoption challenge SaaS providers face? Can you name a few best of breed solutions to overcome these challenges?
The hardest task SaaS face- in my opinion- is the task of getting users to invest in your product. In our case, it means getting them to add projects, upload files and invite their team. Once they do these things, we know they will use the tool more because they are heavily invested. This in turn leads to conversion, so we need to encourage them to do these few things with a really helpful tutorial and on-boarding process. Communicating with your users is also really important, and we use a tool called Intercom that lets us segment our users and message them. We also recommend Walkme as a way of getting users to perform certain steps once they sign up. We recommend Totango for measuring whether people do what you are trying to get them to do in the on-boarding process. Analytics are extremely important in this stage, because without seeing what’s happening you are just going to be guessing all the time.
Please share some insights into how SaaS usage can be simplified.
Simplify your apps. Don’t offer too many items in the navigation, don’t give the users too many options and hide the complicated stuff in advanced options. There’s lots of tips I could share, but the best one would be, make the barrier to investment as low as possible. By that I mean, make sure that you’ve made it really easy for your users to a) Signup to your app (e.g. a single input field in your signup form), b) Learn how to use the app (with a tool like Walkme), and c) get invested in the app (by educating them about how awesome your product is).
If you had only one simplification tip for enterprise software, what would it be?
Keep it simple. Just because it’s enterprise, doesn’t mean it has to be completed and ugly. We have enterprise clients and they love the fact that our project management software looks sexy. It’s a rare thing in our market.