LearnZillion

In order to remain at the forefront of the EdTech space, LearnZillion uses Clubhouse to set high-level goals and track the work necessary to achieve them.

LearnZillion

DC-based startup LearnZillion has a big mission: to empower districts and states to take ownership of their curricula, providing teachers with the best tools there are to help engage their students. They’re the world’s first “Curriculum-as-a-Service” offering, combining digital curricular materials, an enterprise platform for creating and sharing materials, as well as consulting and support.

In order to remain at the forefront of the edtech space, LearnZillion uses Clubhouse to set high-level goals and track the work necessary to achieve them.

The search for “just right”

“With most startups..., there’s only a handful of systems that you can use to track your team’s work,” says Ian Lotinsky, CTO at LearnZillion. They’d tried both specialized and general purpose tools, but found that they either had too much structure or not enough, forcing the team to self-police workflow states and other minutiae.

Ian maintained a running document full of the functionality his team needed in a ticketing system but hadn’t found yet. As their quest continued from days into months, they even discussed the idea of paying an outside firm to build the ticketing system for them, since they couldn’t find what they were looking for.

That’s when they found Clubhouse.

One of the software developers on Ian’s team came across Clubhouse and shared it with him. Figuring they had nothing to lose, the team decided to give it a shot. They tested it for a week with a small group of people and loved it. In fact, they went through their original app wishlist and found that Clubhouse had more of their desired features than anything else they’d tried.

After the small test group at LearnZillion quickly became enthusiastic Clubhouse users, they rolled it out to the entire team. For LearnZillion, Clubhouse hits the sweet spot where ease of use meets non-restrictive structure, and they’ve been happy users ever since.

Manpreet Komal

“One of the reasons we moved to Clubhouse was the customizable workflow.”

- Manpreet Komal, LearnZillion’s Head of QA

Customizable workflows make all the difference.

Their team borrows elements of Agile Scrum and Kanban to create a project management workflow that works for them. Other elements of how they work include:

  • Cross-functional teams (they have one QA person and one product designer for every two year software engineers, with product designers and QA people usually being on multiple project teams)
  • Releasing early and often
  • Giving their employees as much autonomy as possible and allowing for/assuming that mistakes will be made along the way

One way that these company values affect their workflow is that they put much more focus on QA than many companies, in order to avoid the potential pitfalls of all that autonomy and rapid deployment. Once a bug is spotted by customer support, it goes to QA for triage, then to the engineer who originally created the bug. Bugs are only loosely connected to features with a generic, high level calculation — they don’t want their engineers to feel like they’re being micromanaged.

To help squash bugs, they used to do “bug fix Fridays,” but they’ve now transformed it into “tech debt Friday.” Every week, they can use this time to clean up everything that needs to be fixed from a technical standpoint, with bug fixing rolled into this process whenever applicable. In general, they approach bugs by priority: all priority one issues must be fixed within two days, and all other new issues have a five-day time limit. They consistently hit their goals for P1 issues and have found that the time limits keep their team focused.

Switching to Clubhouse has been amazing for LearnZillion; it works for everyone, and lets the team stay focused on their goal: empowering educators and engaging students.

Clubhouse brings joy to software teams

“We tried many of the popular project management tools, but only Clubhouse satisfied our requirements.”
MakeSpace
Nicolas Grasset
VP of Engineering, MakeSpace
“Clubhouse has helped enable our rapid growth… It has become indispensable to all of our Product and Engineering teams.”
Orchard Platform
Jonathan Kelfer
Co-founder and CTO, Orchard Platform
“As a Product Manager, Clubhouse has solved a lot of problems for our team.”
BarkBox
Marcus Im
Product Manager, BarkBox
“Clubhouse’s powerful API lets us set up the processes and flows that are right for our team and the interface doesn’t pigeon hole us into a specific methodology.”
FullStory
Jaclyn Spangler
Hugger, FullStory
Pascal Bourque @bourquep 12:46 PM - 27 Jan 2017
It’s only been 3 days since we moved all our feature/bug backlogs into @clubhouse, and I already can’t see myself using any other tool. 💚
Matt Button @BRMatt 6:12 AM - 9 Jan 2017
Clubhouse.io is Trello on steroids for software projects. Was sceptical at first, but it’s so 💯 💙❤️💛💜
Justin Klemm‏ @justinklemm 3:17 PM - 14 Dec 2016
I’ve used lots of project management tools (Jira, Asana, Basecamp, GitHub), but never loved any of them. @clubhouse might be the winner.
Switching to @clubhouse from Jira. Love my project management job again. #gamedev
Bryan Irace @irace 6:04 PM - 25 Aug 2016
Confirmed: @clubhouse is the software project planning tool I’ve always wanted but never thought would exist. Amazing work @kurt and team.
I am loving @clubhouse. Strikes a really nice balance of making a few good assumptions and not making too many about prod-dev workflow 👌
Been using Clubhouse for about a month and it’s still perfect. Yes, perfect. Best SaaS product I’ve ever used. https://clubhouse.io/
What I like about @clubhouse: intuitive, nicely polished, excellent build quality and simply a pleasure to use!
Peter Vidani @pter 2:10 PM - 18 Jul 2016
Btw, we ended up going with @clubhouse. You still need your own process before starting, but it’s clean and the build quality is solid.
Jonathan Hyde @jonphyde 10:11 AM - 24 Apr 2016
@CutikoLive @bitfield Check out @clubhouse. My engineers love using it, I love using it & they are super lovely people building it.
Jed Christiansen @jedc 6:42 PM - 4 Aug 2016
.@clubhouse continue to roll out increasingly awesome features. Great PM tool; thanks @kurt!
Evan Sinicin @ebahsini 9:11 PM - 23 Jul 2016
@clubhouse excited for Organizations - just sent in a new feature request. Please keep killing it!
JIRA meet your better: https://clubhouse.io/ That is all. cc: @KaitlinMS @TripleEhGames
Started using @clubhouse and loving it! Perfect middle ground between Trello and JIRA 👌
Spurt Reynolds @asarazan 12:45 PM - 17 Feb 2016
Really impressed with my first run of @clubhouse. A product for building products that is actually a good product. Go figure!
Benoit Richter @benrict 9:19 AM - 15 Aug 2015
If your dev team is looking for an upgrade from Github Issues or Trello, have a look at @clubhouse: *really* worth a try. Impressive stuff.
Josh Pigford @shpigford 9:14 AM - 7 Dec 2016
We tried so. many. things. Had committed to Pivotal Tracker & then tried Clubhouse last minute & whole team loved it.
@Derbios thank you for the @clubhouse recommendation! definitely more lightweight than jira and easier to use than pivotaltracker
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