Reducing the number of tasks behind schedule with Backlog

  • Industry

    Electronics

  • Location

    Tokyo

  • Employees

    500

SoftBank Robotics is the global leader in humanoid robotics. They are the creators of Pepper, the world’s first robot able to comprehend and react to human emotions. Pepper is an integral part of customer experience in over 1,700 businesses across Japan. As Pepper’s popularity continues to spread, their team uses Backlog to track large-scale projects and improve communication with partners.

Key solutions used

Executive Summary

Softbank Robotic’s business development team for Pepper was drowning in emails and spreadsheets. They wanted a better way to plan, track, and collaborate on projects. Backlog provided a flexible, low-cost solution to their project management needs while improving collaboration with partner companies.

Challenges

Global Business Development Manager, Atsuyuki Matsuda, found that tracking and reporting project progress became increasingly difficult as projects grew. Managing collaborators, getting information to the right people, and answering inquiries in a timely manner was almost impossible.

Email was a huge bottleneck in the team’s workflow. Everyone spent a great deal of time sending and checking emails, which limited time for actual work. Communication between teammates and contributors from their partner program began to buckle.

Before Backlog, information sharing was difficult. New project members experienced information gaps. After Backlog, people joining in the middle of a project could easily follow progress and get up to speed quicker.

Atsuyuki Matsuda
Global Business Development Manager

How Backlog helped

Pepper’s development team had been using a different project management software for years, but found the tool’s complex deployment model and staggering operational costs inadequate. Backlog offered flexible project management at an affordable price—needless to say stakeholders were on board.

Once Backlog was rolled out, time spent in the inbox decreased drastically and the information gap between partnerships was closed. Project progress became visible with Gantt and burndown charts, making it easier to identify which tasks where falling behind.

Companies working with the Pepper team were given Backlog accounts to submit inquiries, access project information, and maintain an open line of communication. It was easier for everyone to keep track of who was involved in a project and what their responsibilities were.

Results

Backlog boosted productivity for the Pepper team at Softbank Robotics by eliminating busy work—no more drafting emails, formatting spreadsheets, or sifting through emails. More time was allocated to working on tasks that pushed business goals forward.

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