Federico Morato from Your Portuguese Translation was extremely kind and cooperative to answer our questions, which will hopefully help you all in the Kanbanizing of your own businesses. If you want to participate in a similar interview, just let us know, we would be more than happy to get in touch.
Q: Can you briefly describe your company and the main activities that you work on?
I am Federico, Founder and Project Manager in Your Portuguese Translation. Our company is a distributed translation agency specialized with English to Portuguese translation. Our three main markets are USA, Brazil and Italy, where we sell our professional services through different brands, like Traduzioni Portoghese in Italy and Infinity Tradução in Brazil. The geographical distribution of our team and the necessity to work on a project has brought me to look for new solutions to manage projects in a lean fashion.
Q: When was the first time you heard about Kanban?
Working as an Industrial Engineer, I heard about Kanban applied to production and manufacturing mainly at the University, but I started to have a deep interest about Kanban applied to projects some months ago, when I understood that waterfall methodologies could not apply to the organization I had in mind, which has the vital need to be lean.
Q: How did you choose Kanbanize? What was its major advantage compared to other tools on the market?
I have chosen Kanbanize because it gives many possibilities to customize the board and a large set of features. For instance, the possibility to assign many attributes to a task, such as deadlines, comments, subtasks, tags, priority, size, assignees, just mentioning those which I find more useful. Furthermore, the possibility to assign different colors allows me to immediately and visually recognize in the board tasks related to each of our brands, divided into swimlanes, like Administration, Operations, IT and Marketing. All this, with extreme usability and simplicity, together with the possibility to manage all from my Android device with a well-developed app. Summing up: simplicity, usability, portability and abundance of useful features are the killer advantages of Kanbanize, in my opinion.
Q: What benefits do you get from an electronic Kanban system like ours?
Benefits are immediately tangibles: customers are more satisfied because I can answer more responsively to their requests at any moment, even when I am not in the office. I can manage projects more effectively with less effort, having details on a subtask level, having all information I need showed in a simply, immediate and visual way. Last but not least, I can also manage issues and problems in a more timely fashion.
Q: What does your team think about the Kanban method and the tool?
My team is completely satisfied about it because it has noticed an increase of productivity, spending less effort in indirect tasks. This permits that translators can have more time to dedicate to translations and permits me to get more time to dedicate to business development, which means more revenues for the whole team.
Q: Which are the greatest challenges you’ve had so far and how did you overcome them?
The greatest challenge was surely related to the management of the change in our way to operate. Many people still have the culture of email, but a lean method like Kanban permits to have less emails and more productivity. The critical way is to apply a phased approach in the change management, not pretending to manage all aspects of project management from scratch. For instance, in the first month, we did not use subtasks, swimlanes, comments, tags and advanced features. Then, after the first month, using advanced features was almost natural.
Q: Would you recommend Kanbanize to others? Why?
Let me think…well, I can say that I would surely recommend Kanbanize to everybody, excluding my competitors… so, if you are a Project Manager in a translation company, absolutely do not use Kanbanize! 🙂
Federico, big thanks from the entire Kanbanize team. Keep up the great work so far and most of all, have fun!