Project management solutions provider Function Point Productivity Software credits its long-term success to staying faithful to a core vision, even while making pivots over time—and one major change—to its client offering. Chris Wilson, President and Founder, started Function Point in 1997, and had a vision to “grow an organization where everyone is respected, doing important work and feels valued both in terms of monetary rewards and contributions to the growth and direction of the company.”
In 2004, a significant change was made at Function Point, by shifting from being a service-based business, to developing and releasing a cloud-based, all-in-one product that assists creative agencies in streamlining their businesses. Since then, the firm has grown from seven employees to greater than 25, and now provides support to creative agencies in countries around the world. Throughout this time the business has not wavered from its core vision, and employees are encouraged to participate in the company’s growth and direction through initiatives such as: the morning huddle; working remotely; contributing to the one-page strategic business plan; setting goals for each quarter; and sharing those goals with everyone in the company.
Wilson points out that sometimes there is resistance to the initiatives, including the morning huddle, which gathers the entire Function Point team together for a short meeting, every day. Employees who are out of the office are required to conference in. Wilson is highly cognizant of how much company time is spent when 30+ employees meet for a short discussion, but insists on the importance of having every staff member be aware of what’s happening in the company—whether it’s good news, or bad—so that everyone is aligned in the same direction.
The second purpose of the morning huddle, Wilson says, is “to provide an environment where people can get help to solve a problem or challenge, rather than spending the whole day fighting it.” He adds that, “once the morning huddle became routine, people recognized the value of it.” Providing staff with opportunities for further training is another element that supports Function Point’s core values. Alon Sabi, Vice President of Technology & Development at Function Point, held a series of seminars with the team that outlined a methodology for managing one’s To Do list. The purpose was to help staff reduce stress, be more productive, and get everyone on the same page. In addition, the company offers other internal learning initiatives, and an educational budget to each staff member to support schooling and attendance at seminars or professional events. Wilson admits he had his own resistance to an idea that has now become a new direction for defining the location of where Function Point staff work. Initially, he was reluctant when Tate Lillies, VP Product suggested employees work from home one day a week. But once the company had addressed all of the data security issues, and staff began to work successfully from home, Wilson realized that it could be the start of having Function Point employees work permanently from anywhere in the world.
The new initiative, although challenging to set up, has become the impetus for creating a world-wide work force. In fact, the idea has been integrated into part of the company’s vision for the future. “We’d like to get to the place where we’re able to cater to businesses in different time zones with the same level of service we can provide in North America.”
Staying true to the original vision of the firm—one that keeps its staff gainfully employed and is founded on the values of respect and education, all tied to providing great service—is something Wilson will continue to encourage. “Ultimately the morning huddle, sharing goals, the one-page plan, and people setting goals for themselves each quarter while sharing what those are with everybody in the company, openly, and then reporting in on them on a regular basis, is all about people knowing as much as they can. So when it comes time for them to make a decision, they hold as much of the big picture in their minds as possible.” About Function Point Productivity Software Inc. Function Point Productivity Software is the leading all-in-one project management solution specially designed for ad agencies, design studios and internal marketing departments who are looking to streamline their business. Our integrated software combines project management, time tracking, CRM, financial, and business reporting tools in one convenient cloud based system. Easy, effective, and efficient — do more with Function Point.
For more information about the company and the services Function Point offers, please visit http://www.functionpoint.com