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Atlassian’s production team increased on-time delivery from 40% to 90% with Float

Team contributors
Creative Resource Manager
Content Marketer

Atlassian is an enterprise company you may know for its industry-leading collaboration and productivity tools like Jira, Trello, and Bitbucket, used by software development and project management teams all over the world.

The company was founded in 2002 by two college students, Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar. In the two decades since, Atlassian has grown into a titan brand with over 10,000 employees that serve over 250,000 customers.

A small but mighty team of designers, writers, and creative producers at Atlassian power everything from social media assets to large events for thousands of people globally.

At the center of it all is maestro supreme, Emily Feliciano, who keeps tabs on every creative’s capacity with Float and ensures the production line keeps moving:

Emily had to process more than 60 resource requests each week with a medley of tools

When Emily Feliciano joined Atlassian as their first and only creative resource manager, she imagined that managing a creative team of 50+ people would be much easier than 130 people across two locations, like her last job.

Nothing prepared her for the volume and scope of the requests that poured in from units across the company. An average of 60 to 100 new requests, ranging from copywriting for social media to providing visual assets for events for thousands of people, came in every week.

The Atlassian Creative team
The Atlassian Creative team at a company off-site

And then, there was the issue of calculating capacity without timesheets. This was a hurdle she had never faced before.

"We are an internal team, so we do not use timesheets. I was used to measuring capacity by assigning a dollar value to the time and effort someone put in," she explains. "But when you have an internal team with no set hours, no set budgets necessarily, it becomes very challenging to track the amount of work someone is doing, how much effort they’re putting in, and at what point we should start to be concerned with their utilization, whether that’s lower utilization or really high utilization."

For months, Emily relied on a medley of project management tools, meetings, and the word of her team members to gauge capacity.

"My brain remembered where things were and how many things people were working on. I was in so many meetings to ensure I was up to date on every single thing that happened and understood each designer’s need. All I had was to trust their word. So if they told me they were maxed out, I knew that’s sort of where we were. It was a very long process."

But because there was no single source of truth, all she had was a fuzzy picture of her team’s availability. On top of that, she realized they were missing their production due dates very often.

Emily had to convince her team they needed a dedicated resourcing tool

Emily knew she needed a resource-specific tool to understand team capacity, prioritize their requests, and measure the impact of new work on ongoing tasks.

"I needed something that actually told a better story, a clearer story of what was going on."

She already had Float in mind, a tool she had been using in every resourcing role prior to Atlassian for almost a decade.

After years in the industry (both in-house and agency) and using everything from Excel spreadsheets to automated resourcing software, Float is effectively the most nimble and aesthetically appealing tool on the market. I work with creatives, and we need to look at data in a digestible way. Float makes it easy and efficient to do so. I love the customization options, tools that it integrates with, and how you can get both granular and high-level information. It’s been my top tool for years, and I always try to get new places to adopt it.
Float's visual schedule
Float's visual schedule makes resource management easy (and enjoyable!)

At first, the procurement process for a new tool was a long one and people were skeptical about using a new dedicated tool for resourcing. It took her nine months to close the deal, with support from the Float sales team, who provided the necessary information and materials.

The results within a few months of using Float were so clear that previously skeptical team members started to recognize the value of a dedicated capacity planning tool.

The people who worked with me along the process were intrigued by the functionality of Float and what it provided.

Atlassian’s production team increased on-time delivery from 40% to 90%

The production team struggled with late deliveries—only 40% of work was delivered on the due date because of avoidable causes like long feedback cycles and changes in deadlines. Using Float, Emily detected the bottlenecks and worked with her team to reduce them, quickly leading to a staggering 90% delivery rate on due dates—a huge win that she’s very proud of (as she should be!).

Emily managing a team
Emily manages a team of 50+ creatives in Atlassian’s marketing department using Float

With her team’s schedule constantly updated in Float, Emily has a more accurate idea of capacity regardless of changes, even without timesheets.

"What I love about Float is that it has this nimble ability to adjust, and you don’t necessarily have to track it to timesheets; you can kind of free-form with it."

She could confidently say goodbye to long meetings and inaccurate information. It became easier to spot when someone had less work than they were letting on and to distribute work across the team fairly.  

"Having a tool like Float helps you see the patterns, and that helps make the larger decisions. Whether that’s ’This person is really not busy at all even though they keep saying they are’ or, ’Oh, this person has been consistently taking on more and more and more tickets,’ it helps us ensure that we're dispersing work more evenly."

Eventually, after taking nearly a year to prove the necessity of her role, an unexpected benefit was that the busy design directors working with Emily began to trust her even more because they knew she had everything planned out in Float. Unlike Excel sheets, which took too long to understand, the visual schedule appealed to the creatives. And more importantly, it provided immediate answers and alleviated the stress of managing incoming work.

Float allows them to relax more, knowing I’ve got everything taken care of. And if at any moment they want to know who’s on what, when they are on it, when they wrap it up, they can just look at Float, and then they have their answer. They don’t have to sift through anything. They don’t have to ask any questions. It’s very clear and super easy to navigate.

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