Jira at Scale Needs Structure by ALM Works

Archimedes Exhibitions is a “one-stop shop” for innovative experiences. From brand spaces to high-tech interactive installations, their creative output travels from the company’s headquarters in Berlin, spanning the globe to reach millions of people.

For example, their Max Planck Science Tunnel has toured the world since 2000. Archimedes also built Felix the Robot (pictured above) – an emotionally intelligent robot developed by a 20-person team in just 3 months. They once built an exhibit that involved shipping 12 railroad cars from Germany to India, where it was viewed by 7 million people. (No big deal.)

In other words, this is next level project management. Even more impressive? The entire project life cycle is inhouse – from creative to engineering, from fabrication to deployment. Their team of 50 can quickly scale to 100 members, based on project needs. And they run it all – from planning to procurement to installation – on the Atlassian suite.

But it wasn’t always this way. For years, all they had to manage the chaos were out-of-control email threads and outdated spreadsheets. They knew they needed a new approach that could keep up with change and provide the mission-critical data they lacked.

Archimedes‘ Project Management Challenges With several cross-functional teams working on up to 50 projects at a time, there are many critical challenges their new tool needs to solve.

  • Labor cost tracking – 60% of the Archimedes project budget is labor. They needed precise tracking, excellent labor reports, and universal buy-in. All work tracking needed to be in the new tool.
  • Managing material procurement – The other 40% of project budgets? Materials. With more than 500 procurements per project, a smooth procurement process and perfect expense tracking was a must.
  • Approval process – Large purchases needed approval, and it had to be dead-simple to prevent project delays.
  • Comprehensive reporting – Tracking materials and man-hours would do no good if reporting wasn’t highly visible and configurable. Flexible reporting by project, project part, and portfolio was a requirement.

Simply stated, their goal was to work with live project data, leading to better transparency and more accurate forecasting. A tall order for such a complex, cross-functional team.

The Solution – Jira Software + Structure Archimedes wouldn’t have considered the Atlassian Suite for broad-scale project management if their software team wasn’t already achieving great results with Jira. They evaluated and realized that Jira could be much more than a software development tool. With a few key apps like Structure, from ALM Works, Jira would become more flexible and more scalable.

Structure quickly became a mission-critical component of Archimedes’ successful Jira deployment. It allowed thousands of issues to become organized and crystal-clear. Custom views could be created, shared, and edited in a snap.

Now the Archimedes team sees Structure as indispensable.

“Since virtually all aspects of the projects are managed in Jira, this results in many related issues and pages, which would be impossible to manage without the Structure app. It allows all members of the team to create all kinds of project perspectives and see very specific data, organized in a convenient way.“ —Stephan Spenling, CTO and Chief Science Officer, Archimedes Exhibitions

The teams loved their new tool so much, they achieved a 99% adoption rate. This was only possible because the system was mapped to fit the culture, not the other way around.

Today, Archimedes uses Structure and the optional Structure. Gantt extension from ALM Works to plan and track tens of thousands of ongoing activities across up to 50 simultaneous large projects. Now that’s scalability.

Need to scale your Jira projects like Archimedes? Speak with your Communardo representative to learn how Structure for Jira can help your organization by requesting a custom demo today. Their Jira and Structure specialists will be happy to show you the ropes.