How Raul ditched pencils, notebooks and e-mails. Events like Jizerska 50, Behej Lesy and other are organised in Freelo

On behalf of Freelo asks Adéla Pechová
Jakub Riedl answers on behalf of Raul

The preparation of the world-famous races starts with gathering feedback from the previous editions and involves many stakeholders from municipalities, through competitors, to media partners. The whole process requires a huge amount of communication, which easily gets lost in emails, calls and papers. Therefore, the Raul Agency implemented Freelo to keep an eye on their deadlines, keep everything in order and eliminate the need for sending e-mails and organising unnecessary meetings. So they have everything ready in time and still have a chance to come up with something extra and innovative to keep the competitors going back home excited.

Raul is made up of project management teams, each one is in charge of one sports event (or a series of them), inter-project teams, which are involved in all projects with their specific specialisation, and leadership. This internal team, 40 people working from the Holešovice office, or externally, has transferred the vast majority of its communication into Freelo.

Stay fit by doing sports, stay efficient by using Freelo

When Jakub Riedl joined Raul, the task handover was chaotic, online documents lacked any system and important folders were impossible to find. On top of that, a huge number of emails landed in everyone's inbox every day, often related to the same topic. Everyone could see that it couldn't go on like this for a long time.

The first recommendation to use Freelo came from the organizer of the Slovakman triathlon race, with whom Raul cooperates on Behaj lesmi. Several members of the team tried Freelo and became convinced that it is well suited for organizing sporting events.

„Another recommendation came from me because I had worked with Freelo in the past. I presented to the management how to set up and implement Freelo in the current processes and we went from there.“

Jakub Reidl – Senior Digital Manager

Everything in one place, including communication with suppliers.

„We open Freelo in the morning and attend to the operations tasks of high priority.“

Jakub Reidl – Senior Digital Manager

In addition to the internal staff, they also invite into Freelo suppliers with whom they have been working for a long time. This makes their work much easier because they can communicate better with them and check in one clear place that everything is going according to plan.

They admit that for local organisers who have never worked in a project tool, setting up a collaboration in Freelo requires effort on their part. On the other hand, for PPC specialists and developers, their experience is that they work in Freelo right away to their full potential, without any training.

Thoughtful implementation that went without a hitch

The first thing they thought about was how to divide the teams. They have both project and inter-project teams, e.g. graphic designers who work on most of the projects.

The division of projects in the Raul Agency.
The division of projects in the Raul Agency. Source.

In order to make sure that everyone was comfortable and efficient in their projects, they decided that all project solutions had to have the same basic structure. Internally, they call it Freelo 1.0.

The consistent structure of all projects facilitates orientation of the inter-project teams and management.
The consistent structure of all projects facilitates orientation of the inter-project teams and management. Source.

Once the structure was approved, they moved on to rolling it out to the teams. They first introduced Freelo to the senior project managers and then started setting up the first project sheets and cross-project teams.

The challenge was mainly to set up the assignment flow for the in-house graphics studio, as the assignments were coming from 9 teams at once. Therefore, they implemented a rule that the assignor would first look at their calendars and only then set the assignment deadline accordingly.

Once everyone got a feel for how it works, a hard deadline was set for all teams to join Freelo. The whole process from first testing to everyone working in it took two months.

Employees are also more than satisfied with the effective communication

„I think everyone in the company was calling for a project tool.“

Jakub Reidl – Senior Digital Manager

Before using Freelo, some things fell into place and this could have affected the quality of our sports event. It helped a lot that Jakub Riedl took the responsibility of introducing Freelo in Raul. He discussed everything with the project managers and together they adjusted the projects to fit the requirements of the individual events. They can ask him anything at any time. All of this has greatly helped to implement the tool more quickly. Now everyone works in Freelo, so newcomers have someone to consult it with and it's easy for them to onboard to Freelo.

Most popular features in Freelo

  • Dashboard: supervisors check there how much work someone has and whether to redistribute it better.
  • Task deadlines: they are crucial because action planning has sequences.
  • Timeline (Gantt chart): over time, they switched from the Team plan to the Business plan, which includes this feature among others. They are still rolling it out to their teams.
  • Teams: quickly tag relevant people.
  • Switching between views: in a few clicks, they can switch between Mind Map, Columns or Timeline depending on the context of the tasks they are interested in.
  • Dashboard: inter-project teams record e.g. KPIs, contact persons and roadmaps.
  • Keyboard shortcuts: saves a lot of clicks.

In less than 2 years, Raul created at Freelo:

43 projects
23.900 tasks
88 830 comments
996 work reports

A few simple rules to simplify the organisation of work

  1. Each task has its own solver and deadline.

    The only exceptions to the deadline are permanent tasks with a label.
    The only exceptions to the deadline are permanent tasks with a label. Source.
  2. A solver is a person who can move a task forward or close it. Larger tasks are controlled and closed by managers.

    Sample To Do List.
    Sample To Do List. Source.
  3. There is a template for repetitive tasks.

    All of the following tasks must be completed for the registration to be successful.
    All of the following tasks must be completed for the registration to be successful. Source.

A tip from Jakub at the end

Personally, I have created my personal project sheet in Freelo, which only I have access to. I write my own deadlines here, I have to-do lists: rushing, half rushing, not rushing, statuses, etc. The deadlines are then written into my dashboard, so I have everything in one place. Plus, I write down individual improvements and topics I want to discuss in meetings during work hours. By having Freelo open all day, it makes sense to me to have everything there. Basically, I use Freelo as a bit of a backlog and diary.

Personal project of Jakub Riedl.
Personal project of Jakub Riedl. Source: archive of Jakub Riedl.

This is how Freelo helps deliver the joy of sport. At Freelo, we are very happy about this because we are amateur sports lovers too. Just like at Raul, our teambuilding sessions are not without exercise, we keep each other active, organise sports challenges and play sports even during working hours.

Field Event agency
Team All (Road Classics, Run the Woods, Jizerská 50, ... + Interproject HR, PR, DTP)
Team size 40 including external staff
Freelo logo on a screen
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How they use Freelo in other teams