New York City
Thirty Madison, a unicorn-status healthcare startup, specializes in treating chronic health conditions like allergies, hair loss, migraines, and GI issues by facilitating personalized access to chronic condition-management tools like medication and ongoing communication with a physician.
Founded in 2017, Thirty Madison currently serves more than 340,000 active customers. As a hybrid company offering personal care and in-person options, Thirty Madison represents the future, or at least the new normal, of many healthcare businesses.
During the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic, Thirty Madison experienced explosive - dare we say “unprecedented” - growth. In 2020, their revenue tripled. Their workforce tripled right alongside it.
Now, in 2022, they employ more than 350 people, with eighty of them being engineers. For comparison, pre-pandemic, they employed only twelve software engineers.
In May 2020, they found themselves serving an enormous need as we collectively self-isolated and quarantined - and still needed access to non-emergency-related healthcare. It was at the height of their explosive growth that Elliot Katz, Senior Director of Engineering at Thirty Madison, realized his team needed to switch project management tools in order to scale effectively.
At that point, they were using ZenHub, which is built on top of GitHub Issues. Elliot was looking for a software project management tool that would eliminate redundant work, provide better views of what was going on across company-wide initiatives, enhance cross-team collaboration, and eliminate silos.
“We did an evaluation period where we went through a couple of tools, and Shortcut was easily the favorite,” Elliot said. He’d used Shortcut at a previous company, and already knew he liked it.
“Shortcut was the easiest tool to introduce to a team that was very skeptical of Jira. Within a couple of weeks, people were like, ‘Yes, this is so much better. Let's keep using this.” Now, multiple teams across the organization use Shortcut: Engineering, which makes up the overwhelming majority of the company, Data, IT, Design, and Security Engineering.
The number one thing Elliot and his team instantly liked about Shortcut was its user-friendliness. Shortcut is easy! It doesn’t get in their way. This was an important differentiator for Elliot’s teams, as opposed to rigid tools where you must set up things a certain way and thus they come with a steep learning curve.
Shortcut is intuitive. When you want to drag something, when you expect to click, when you want to edit, you find that you can.
For Elliot, it’s also the little UI things that make all the difference. “In the Iterations, the little number of Stories and the number of points at the top is great. It’s a very small touch. It's not in your face. I don’t have to click anything, it's not screaming at me, but it's there. I like a very quick visualization, and then I'm on to my next thing. It's very user friendly.”
I use so many different views. I use one for team planning, one for team sprints, one for a Team’s next sprint. We use Iterations quite heavily and reporting on Iterations. We create a lot of Epics, which we can see. It makes sense for engineers who are used to very hierarchical data structures. It makes a lot of sense, but it's not overbearing.Elliot Katz, Senior Director of Engineering, Thirty Madison
In addition to being easy to use, the team found the data migration process simple using the Shortcut API.
Zoom in and out for Different Views
From a manager or director’s standpoint, it’s really important to be able to see what’s happening on both a macro and micro level of a company, to be able to zoom into specific project details, and also zoom out for a bird’s eye view of larger goals and initiatives.
“Shortcut is the most meaningful thing I look at every morning,” Elliot says. “I look at the sprint. I see what's in progress. I look at what's in code review. I see if there are any comments people left. I look to see what's next up. All of our sprint stand-up meetings revolve around Shortcut. We also go through Shortcut with our Board.”
From a team standpoint, the software engineers at Thirty Madison really love the GitHub webhooks. For example, it’s really helpful that when they close a ticket, it automatically moves to the right status.
“I think, for our engineers, they like that they can just have their own space and see what they need to see. They also like the Epic views and the Roadmap.”
Shortcut is great for multiple teams in an organization like Thirty Madison with a large software engineering cohort. “Shortcut is central to the engineering workflow.”
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