The Importance of Knowing How to Use Your Agency Software Tools

As a commuter cyclist, I’ve had my share of flat tires, so I know how to patch punctures and change tubes, and have done that a few times. Since my first flat, I’ve invested in a set of tire levers and a hand pump, and always carry a spare inner tube. I feel pretty confident when I’m commuting, knowing that I have the capability to get to work or home, even if I get a flat on the way.

A few years ago, I switched to carrying a smaller hand pump for emergencies and started to use a more convenient electric pump for routine maintenance. I got so used to the electric pump that when I got another flat a few weeks ago, I wasn’t confident enough to change the tube anymore because I’ve never used the new smaller hand pump, and hadn’t even gotten around to testing it out.

And so I walked my bike the remaining twenty blocks to work and fixed my flat there. I took a few minutes to figure out how to connect the pump to the tube, and throughout the process, I was a bit worried about how much pressure the pump could take without exploding. Fortunately, the pump worked and things ended well.

Lesson learned: it is important to know how to use all your tools at your creative agency, even if you are comfortable with the overall process, and even if you think that one “pump” (or agency software) should work like any other.

Unlike me with my pump, the Function Point’s development team is a bit more proactive with training: not only are we allowed to learn how to use the tools at our disposal, we are even encouraged to look for, and learn how to use new tools that are available to us. These aren’t just the expected and standard tools like text editors and programming languages, but they include best-practices and methodologies that can help us become more efficient as a team.

Learning about new tools allows us to better plan for future work. We know that we will be asked to implement new features, but sometimes we don’t know exactly what those features might be until a few months before they are scheduled to be released. One of the benefits of a more agile process (another methodology that we’re training on) is that we can deliver on a request more quickly. As we have continuous training on (for example) the programming language we use, and our version control systems, those are areas where we can expect to get better at over time.

Because we understand the importance of good tools, the Function Point Software development team is proud of the features we deliver with our application – from a completely overhauled invoice system, to new graphical summary tiles for tracking key performance indexes, and even to new find pages that we’re working on right now. We want to deliver tools that are useful to our creative clients but we recognize that some of these tools, by necessity, will be quite complex.

That’s why we’re glad that FP has a department that provides training material for your creative agency – both self-serve where you can help yourself to instructions and videos, and guided with our success consultants. We hope that you’ll make use of these resources to learn how to use the tools we build in a way that best benefits your organization. And that you’ll achieve a better work-life balance when you off-load more of your routine workflow management onto our tools.

And the flat? That was caused by the scary looking piece of glass in the picture. In reality, it was about 3mm wide.

This article was contributed by former Function Point team member, Samson Chee.

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