was a natural fit for Children Theatre Company! Virtual, self-provisioned,
teams with global access to centralized content reduced administration time by
Children’s Theatre Company is a national non-profit organization, serving over 4000 children, in over 12 Chapters, by providing schools, community-based organizations, individual artists and producers- with full training, tools and production materials to aide in the implementation of a multi-tiered educational / after-school and weekend theater residency.
Children’s Theatre Company is the only children’s theater of its kind where it is rooted in community development (Asset Based Community Development) and therefore provides full collaboration, content sharing (production kits: scripts, songbooks, CDs), curriculum development, coverage (media) and calendars to fully aide its member organizations to thrive and serve.
As a non-profit, with limited resources, CTC was challenged with
two main functions:
- To carry on corporate administrative tasks
- Create tools
for chapters allowing them to organize and carry-on local tasks while being
part of the greater corporate structure.
Without a uniform method to capture, retain and share
knowledge across a wide geographic area, with multiple time-zones, CTC’s
resources were being over-taxed to maintain the current work load and it could
Among the many challenges faced by CTC, chief among them was
the lack of a single point of file management (revision tracking) across
multiple file types and platforms. Second, was the inability to track milestones and deadlines efficiently between: Production
Mangers, Grant Writers, Artists and Designers.
Another challenge was to find a uniform method to track
comments and changes to projects and documents and to share company wide news
without the use of thousands of emails. Since no all users were on a single platform, it was difficult to share
information such as Production Calendar or track progress of tasks.
Finally, it was extremely costly and time consuming to hold
off-line discussions or to sync CTC’s main website with updates.
Novell Teaming was a natural fit right from the start. The ability to organize users into teams,
regardless of geographic boundaries, allowed local chapters to maintain their
own identity while benefitting from being part of the greater CTC
community. Working with Santech Network
Solutions, a Novell Silver Partner, CTC’s corporate office has been able to
reduce operational expenses by 50 percent, while increasing chapter deployment!
Using Global Workspaces to create a global knowledgebase of information
previously sent via CDs or handouts; saving CTC both in time and money. Discussions and Blogs were used to create
community forums to address FAQs, cutting down demand on HQ’s time spent
dealing with remedial questions and tasks; with a rather high staff turn-over
and as new chapters come on board, core CTC staff can spend less time with
remedial questions and focus more on higher level tasks.
Using the project management features of Teaming, CTC
chapters could organize using Calendars to track deadlines, Tasks/Milestones to
view progress; and more importantly, share/control access to with others. The ability of Teaming to allow comments,
attachments and racking means that all information regarding an entry can be tracked
with the entry and there’s no more need for sticky notes or paper clips to
Using Forms/Workflows, CTC has begun to shift towards a
paper-less office; not only saving money by increasing productivity but also by
reducing the cost of paper, ink, printer maintenance! Even more importantly, using the
Forms/Workflow features of Teaming, eliminates double entry of data, further
reducing overhead, and increases productivity. Team members can track the state of any form (piece of data) submitted
without the need to track team members.
“We love the ability to consolidate data from budgets, to
trouble tickets into one uniform platform and be able to track minute to minute
changes”, said Mehr Mansouri,
founder of Children Theathre Company. Using Teaming, CTC has been able to empower
their key personnel with access to relevant content. Teaming has further increased productivity by
reducing the need for face-to-face meetings; instead, users can spin online
discussions. “By having a centralized
portal to manage all data”, said Mehr, “we now can focus on the important things – the children.”