Creative Kingdoms Makes Cross-Functional Collaboration Simple With Smartsheet
Creative Kingdoms needed a better way for teams to collaborate and meet the growing demands for its business. Unfortunately, work was spread across duplicate streams, teams, and siloed tools, causing confusion and slowing execution. Smartsheet Jira Connector was the solution that brought everything together.
"Now, all of our reports are in one place. It’s really helped with a lot of the redundancy that I was facing."
Director of Production
With over nine million visitors each year, Great Wolf Resorts is one of the largest family vacation destinations in North America. In addition to dozens of physical parks, they provide fully-integrated branding services through a subsidiary, Creative Kingdoms, which brings brands to life through technology, storytelling, and gaming.
The content and production teams at Creative Kingdoms build and manage amusement parks, develop imaginative software, and collaborate with organizations such as the Kennedy Space Center to create unforgettable experiences for visitors and clients.
To manage these projects, the teams were using a combination of tools but they had no way to create a connected view across projects and between the applications. Creative Kingdom’s production work was spread across duplicate work streams, project teams, and siloed tools.
Disconnected information created confusion and slowed execution, especially as their workload increased. In order for the production management team to get timely, accurate information to report across all projects, they spent hours finding the information they needed in emails and spreadsheets, then updating each project in Jira.
“We have a really unique project management situation because we use an Agile software development method in Jira and the Waterfall methodology with our content team,” explains Natalie Pohorski, Director of Production. “We also needed to manage the physical implementations at parks. Trying to orchestrate all of these teams with different systems became challenging.”
Smartsheet Jira Connector Saves Valuable Hours
To meet the demands of a growing workload, the Creative Kingdoms team needed a solution that allowed them to keep their Agile software development in Jira while providing a comprehensive view of overall production status. They adopted the Smartsheet Jira Connector to work more effectively through their cross-functional initiatives and position their business to successfully scale.
To get the needed information from across the organization, Pohorski set up a workflow in Smartsheet that connected with Jira. From there, she put her projects into a sprint and tracked the progress using an Agile scrum board. With this approach the team could be sure that they were not duplicating data by manually adding information to disparate tools. At the same time, she had a consistent and accurate project view in Smartsheet that was easily accessible to leadership.
The Jira Connector immediately helped Pohorski and her team manage their development processes. The workflow automation eliminates time spent collecting and rekeying data, and ensures current status is always reflected in real-time.
“Now, all of our reports are in one place. It’s really helped with a lot of the redundancy that I was facing,” Pohorski says.
Creative Kingdoms’ production and content teams can quickly find status, and manage projects and processes in one place. Executives and business stakeholders have visibility into production software development projects while fostering a cross-functional and collaborative work environment.
In just one year, Creative Kingdoms anticipates saving 10 percent in resource time, all while being able to better manage collaborative work and position to meet the growing demand for their business.
Even more exciting, the increased efficiency that has come with improved processes means Creative Kingdoms can continue to provide their customers and clients with the engaging experiences they have come to expect.