dreams · Apr 9, 2019

Dream Chasers: How does a Silicon Valley NPO coordinate with 400 volunteers?

Dream Chasers

ZaiGeZaiGu (載歌在谷), or ZGZG in short, is a project of Community Builder Toolbox, Inc. - US IRS registered Non-profit Organization (NPO) and also a Chinese volunteer community which originates from Google at Mountain View, CA, in 2014.

They organize three events every year, Chinese New Year Gala (2500+ audiences, 100+ volunteers involved), Singing Contest (500+ audiences, 100+ volunteers involved), Chinese Culture Fair (1800+ visitors, 100+ volunteers involved).

Realizing that the volunteer project's scale and complexity have outgrown beyond a regular spreadsheet can track, ZGZG signed up for a Quire account with the hope to find a tool that helps them organize their tasks.

They share with us how ZGZG uses Quire to track tasks and boost productivity across their community.

When a simple spreadsheet is no longer enough for large scale task management

Starting with a volunteer community in Google, now ZGZG grows beyond Google employees and consists of 400+ high tech employees, university students, early tech company founders, etc. in the Silicon Valley.

As their organization keeps growing, “Google Sheets and Docs become harder and harder for us to do task tracking, even for those tech savvy volunteers who "know Google Sheets from inside out", have felt the need of migrating from Sheets to a separate project management tool, such as Quire”, commented Victor Zhou.

Besides, their community needs to track which volunteer completed what kind of tasks so that they can give the corresponding benefits and reimbursements to them, as a reward system.

As ZGZG leaders were looking for an alternative to Google Sheets, they’ve tried many other solutions such as Jira, Pivotal, ClickUp, Monday or OpenProjects, however, “Jira is too complicated and the learning curve seems to be steep, whilst Google sheets is not designed for task tracking, though we can do that with the powerful AppScript integrated in sheets, but there are no guarantees in stability and customer service support.” stated ZGZG.

NPO community using project management software

Simplicity is the answer when it comes to a good project management tool

There is no such thing as a perfect project management software. There is only the “right” one that can meet most of your needs and be the solution that helps you ease up your workload.

Since there are more than 400 volunteers across ZGZG community, implementing a new software can be a real challenge.

In the past, when ZGZG tried Jira, they have encountered resistance from their volunteers. “The most important reason why we are reluctant to use Jira is that several teammates once spent around 1 hour to learn Jira but still don’t know how to use it to track tasks,” said Sunny Song, a volunteer from ZGZG.

After volunteers recommend against Jira, ZGZG carefully examined another “more simple” project management software, and they found Quire on Google search with the key word “task tracking tool”.

After a short time of initial trial, ZGZG started to officially get their teams on board with Quire about 3 months ago. And their team loved it.

“We adopted Quire in this quarter and really love its compact UI and layered-tasks management features.
Most tasks turn-around-time are very short. Quire has increased our productivity and made everything organized and easy to track.”
-- Victor Zhou and Sunny Song

There are some reasons that make Quire outweigh its competitors, and here is what ZGZG has to say about Quire.

  • Easy to use: It requires little to no effort to learn how to use Quire. The software is very straightforward, intuitive and lightweight. You don’t have to spend any of your budget on the learning cost. Also, onboarding new members cannot get any easier - just adding their emails and you can start collaborating with your teammates!

  • Completed features list: Quire enables users to customize the task list based on their needs. ZGZG loves tags, multiple assignees (this is the dealbreaker feature for ZGZG), layered tasks management, project duplication, filter, email notifications to assignees, task priority, task descriptions and comments.

  • Integration: Quire has the option to integrate with Slack, which ZGZG heavily uses on a daily basis.

  • Public view: Since ZGZG is thrive for transparency, they really appreciate that Quire project could be configured to be viewed publicly.

  • Cloud-based data storage: Since ZGZG’s volunteers are from many countries, it’s critical to have a secured platform to store all of their works. Say goodbye to those emails with attachments that easily get lost in your mailbox. Everything is done online and stored safely, you can work on your projects anytime anywhere.

  • Real-time collaboration: Quire allows ZGZG to interact with their volunteers quickly on live meetings.

  • Intuitive UX: From a tech savvy to a person who doesn’t know much about software, all fall in love with Quire's "click to add a task" simple UX flow without training.

  • Export to JSON: Availability to download all tasks in JSON helps ZGZG analyze their productivity afterwards.

“We ZGZG highly recommend Quire to any other volunteer-based projects and organizations like us."

It’s about time that every organization should realize that a conventional flat to-do list or a Google Sheet file does more harm than good to their productivity.

A project at work should not be treated as a laundry list for daily chores. Quire is an essential software to deal with project management by breaking down big ideas to small and achievable tasks.

We seek to bring you a stable and stress-free platform to keep track of your work. Everyone on your organization will be kept in the same loop. No more overdue projects or overwhelming to-do list.

ZGZG is such an inspirational example of how a simple project management software can drive your whole community to success. And, this is the reason why we developed Quire - to help you walk your dream home.

Vicky Pham
Trying not to get lost in the city lights.