Professional Growth, EOS®, B.O.S., Case studies | June 6, 2024

MSP case study: Working smarter, not harder with WorkSmart

image representing MSP case study: Working smarter, not harder with WorkSmart


MSP case study: Working smarter, not harder with WorkSmart

WorkSmart is an award-winning MSP with offices in Durham, Charlotte, Greensboro, Atlanta, and Philadelphia. For over 20 years, WorkSmart has provided outstanding technical support to SMBs. For the past decade, WorkSmart has grown quickly, and serves as a great example of successful scaling.

The team at WorkSmart ran EOS® for over a decade on Excel spreadsheets, supplementing with Microsoft Planner when it came out. Earlier this year, Kim Sullivan, the interim President of WorkSmart, found out about Strety. 

Kim spoke with us about why her team finally made the leap from spreadsheets to SaaS, and the difference Strety has made in WorkSmart’s EOS® implementation.

What were you using to run EOS® before Strety?

In the very beginning, we used Excel. And it was fine. There were things that required workarounds — needing to clean it up, maintaining it, teaching someone how to manage it. It was successful to varying degrees. 

When Microsoft launched Planner, we started to use that instead, because you could have a task list.  We figured that as long as you're running the EOS® agenda, it doesn’t matter how you track the tasks. Both Excel and Planner have their pros and cons as issue trackers, but neither one was ideal.

Did you evaluate any other EOS® SaaS tools on the market?

A few years ago, we evaluated Traction Tools (now known as Bloom Growth). It didn’t feel modern enough. Plus, it was both expensive and  didn't do everything we needed. 

We were using Excel and Planner for free through Microsoft, and we had issues there. But with Bloom Growth, we would be trading one set of issues for another set of issues — that now we have to pay for. So we ultimately decided not to go with that platform.

What were the biggest problems with running EOS® on spreadsheets or in Planner?

The biggest problem was being able to get information to and from other meetings. We were dependent on a team member remembering when something needed to go to the other meeting — and then figuring out how it’s going to come back. Movement of issues among meetings was a huge problem. Voting in meetings with Planner didn’t work well either. 

We also needed features to support consistency and accountability.  For example, how do you track the history of due dates? It might feel good that a task is due next week, but we needed to be able to see how old a task was becoming and decide if it was still an issue or needed to be discussed again.   

Broadly we also wanted insight about what was happening in L10 meetings and 1:1s across the organization. For 1:1s we were also using Planner, but it was up to the manager to determine the details: what buckets they wanted to use, how they enforced it, how they ran the meeting. As a result, 1:1s were variable, both in the frequency and the team member experience, and we didn’t have visibility to know about it.

How did you learn about Strety?

We discovered Strety because Brian and Larry (Strety’s co founders) let us know what that they were working on. We were early adopters of BrightGauge (the co founders' previous company), and it was a game-changer for our business. 

We were confident that the Strety team could understand a problem and develop a solution that would solve it competently, with a  modern interface that worked for our team. 


Why did you decide that making the move to Strety could be worth it?

We thought, “BrightGauge was great, let's give Strety a shot.” So we got a demo and saw the interface is modern, it feels like people know how to use it, it's intuitive. Immediately we said, “For this price it's solving so many obstacles.” Strety made it easy to get issues, headlines, and to-dos to different meetings, customize an agenda for the 1:1, and run the L10s, all the while making and documenting our decisions. 

We also felt really confident based on our experience with BrightGauge that if we made recommendations, things would move fast and be developed quickly — that it wouldn't be static for very long. 


When the Strety team says “We're working on this,” it’s true, and that is a rare and valuable quality in a vendor. Strety also offers a nice modern interface that I felt our team would be able to use immediately without any formal training.

What sets Strety apart from other SaaS tools you encounter or use?

When any of our team asked for anything during the initial implementation, the Strety team made changes within days. It really helped reinforce that this is not only a great tool, but it’s backed by a great team.  The momentum of so many improvements happening so quickly is exciting and keeps everyone engaged, which certainly has helped with adoption.

Did you notice anything surprising once you started running EOS® on Strety?

I've never seen a tool that our team was asking for so enthusiastically — they could not wait to get their hands on it. They loved it from the beginning, they immediately felt the value and improvement to their team L10s. 


I've never seen a tool where there are no complaints. Usually there’s someone who says “Well, it doesn't do this” or “I don't like the way it does that.” But Strety has been great from day one. I didn't have to train anyone; I did a 30 minute tour and then they figured out the rest. 

What are the features in Strety that you think your team is using the most or that are the most helpful?

The single pane of glass for a team member, where they can see all of their To Dos, whether it's a 1:1 or multiple L10s, is great for keeping track of tasks. There has been a lot of sentiment from team members around the fact that Strety keeps them so much more organized, which just reinforces the EOS® model. 

Each team member can more easily put things on the issues list, more easily put agenda items into a 1:1. In the old model, you had to remember to open the Excel spreadsheet between meetings and check on your To Dos. Strety has become a tool that people work out of. 

How do different departments in your company use Strety?

For the technical team, the ConnectWise integration has been a game-changer. Our technical people primarily work out of ConnectWise, because their work is to resolve issues in service tickets. That’s their home base. That’s about 50% to 60% of our team, so to have their to-dos integrated into ConnectWise naturally integrates it into their schedules. 

For our non-technical teams (HR team, accounting, managers, client success), they are loving the integration with To Do by Microsoft, and the ability to keep tasks from email, planner, their personal To Dos, and Strety in one place. 

For me, I'm finding it so helpful to see summaries of other team meetings. I can see it all and uncover issues. Strety makes it easy to pinpoint where to dig in and say, “Oh, I want to hear more about that.” Or, “I wonder what that conversation was about.” 

For example, I recently realized that for one of our managers, it didn’t look like they’d had a 1:1 with their team members. Before, I wouldn’t have even known that, but with Strety’s transparency, I can talk about it with them.

Strety has created coaching points for me as a manager and for our other leadership team members. It uncovers things we didn't even know we needed. 


I got feedback from a consultant we’re bringing on right now. He's not familiar with the EOS® system, but I got our project work together in Strety anyway. After I got it set up, he emailed and said, “I don't think I would have agreed to this project if it weren't for Strety to keep me a bit more sane/organized. Great example of 'the right tech'.”

Taking a step back to the beginning of your EOS® journey — how did you first come across EOS®?

I started at WorkSmart almost 11 years ago. When I joined the company, the leadership team had just adopted EOS® and had probably been using it for about a year. They learned about EOS® at a peer group, and said “We’ve got to do this.” They read Traction, adopted it at the executive level, and then brought it into the leadership team. Now we have rolled it out to every team in the organization. 

How did you implement EOS®?

We started with an implementer, and now we use that implementer to facilitate all of our leadership quarterlies and annuals. We always chose to have an implementer  facilitate our leadership team meetings so that executives could fully participate.

What changes have you noticed in your business since implementing EOS®?

EOS® has made for a lot of consistency, especially in a small company where people are getting promoted or wanting to try a role in a different team. Using EOS® means we share clear expectations about what it's going to be like: how a manager is going to run their team L10; how we communicate; how we track. It’s helped us simplify running the business in that you’re always coming back to that foundational system. 

What advice would you give another MSP or SMB thinking about implementing EOS®?

People coming in from outside an EOS® system are often skeptical or nervous when they come on board. But after they see how easy it makes their life, how it helps them to solve issues, they support adoption, because EOS® means issues get resolved. People jump right in and embrace it once they fully understand how helpful it can be. It has given our whole team a shared language. 

Thanks for sharing your story, Kim! Learn more about WorkSmart on their website. If you want to get your EOS® journey started, check out our free self-implementation starter pack for some tools to give you a leg up.

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