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Novell Teaming was a natural fit for Children Theatre Company! Virtual, self-provisioned, teams with global access to centralized content reduced administration time by 80 percent.

ABOUT CTC:

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.

CHALLENGES:

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 not expand.

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.

Solution:

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 track meta-data.

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.

Conclusion:

“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.”

 


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