KLab Relies on Hansoft to Scale Mobile Game Development, Reduce Work, and Stay Competitive
KLab is committed to creating a world of excitement through its online mobile games. With projects of varying sizes, the number of people on each team fluctuates. As mobile game development became bigger, KLab’s task management tools proved inefficient for large projects. With Hansoft, the teams are able to scale and manage projects so effectively that they have reduced work that does not add to the user experience — providing more time to spend on productive and creative work.
More Efficient Project Management With Hansoft:
Automates transition and exchange of tasks
Easily tracks, measures, and visualizes progress
Allows the use of Agile and Waterfall together
that do not directly lead to the enhancement of the product value.
Bringing The World Together Through Entertainment
KLab Inc. was founded in 2000 to develop mobile technology and content in Tokyo, Japan. In 2009, it launched its mobile online games division, KLabGames. Its hit titles are based on content like anime and comics. Some titles include “Captain Tsubasa: Dream Team,” “Bleach: Brave Souls,” and “Love Live! School Idol Festival.”
KLab also creates franchises from scratch with cross-media projects that extend beyond mobile games, including comics, novels, and anime. It currently employs nearly 600 workers who share KLab’s mission of creating a world of excitement.
Stalled By Insufficient Project Management Tools
Like a lot of gaming companies, KLab approached project management with a combination of tools — like Redmine. While some of these effectively handled tasks, others were being used for things that they were not intended to accomplish. For example, teams used spread sheets to manage their development schedule. This became more of a hindrance as projects got bigger. Eventually, it also became problematic to use several separate solutions for project management. Without a unified tool, teams had difficulty visualizing the progress of projects. It also made it impossible to automate the transition and exchange of tasks. And as mobile game development itself continued to scale, KLab teams lost the ability to efficiently visualize and track high volumes of tasks. By using different tools for different projects, they could not get a high-level view of the overall progress of multiple projects.
If it didn’t optimize its project and task management, KLab might have risked falling behind its competitors. Not only could release dates get pushed back, but also the developers would not be able to deliver the quality for which they strived. According to Group Manager Mr. Iio Yoji, “We wanted [a solution] to reduce the work that was neither creative nor productive so that we can spend more time on the fun and creative work that provides more value to our users.”
After researching project management tools, KLabs created a shortlist of solutions to compare. After a month or two of evaluating Hansoft, KLab teams used rigorous, thorough criteria to determine that it was the best tool for their needs. These reasons fell under three main categories:
- How well the tool can manage large, complicated projects.
- Data collection and planning with graph/table analysis/diagnosis.
- Whether the tool is easy to use and can reduce the management cost.
Among the laundry list of features that showcase Hansoft’s capabilities within these categories, some notable specifics included:
- Agile and Waterfall can be used together – the user can choose the methodology suitable for each phase or purpose.
- Progress can be easily tracked based on milestones, and the burndown chart is also provided.
- When tasks go from upstream to downstream, the progress and information exchange related to them can be managed automatically.
Better Games From Better Task Management
With everyone using one platform to carry out their planning, visualizing progress became much easier. Using Gantt charts and the dashboard, teams could also easily measure that progress across teams. There is no longer a need to spend time creating reports to share progress; all of the information is visible in Hansoft.
These teams were also able to reduce manual work by automating some tasks. For example, Mr. Iio Yoji said that he automated the task transition and feedback process within the workflow/pipeline. This ensures that necessary tasks are never forgotten.
While KLab teams are set up to scale more easily and collaborate more effectively, perhaps the greatest benefit is the freedom to spend more time making the game fun. “By allowing us to spend more time on creative work, Hansoft is helping us provide high-quality gaming experience to our players.”
Complete Project Management and Planning with Hansoft
KLab is one of many companies that use hybrid methodology to develop. Agile is often preferred in the early stages of development, while Waterfall better supports the mass production phase. Hansoft works well for any single methodology or hybrid, making it useful as a complete project management tool.
“Hansoft supports both Agile and Waterfall, and we can use whichever we find more suitable in the development phase or for the purpose. The tool is helping our project management.”
With all of its planning needs in a single platform, KLab will remain more efficient at both task and project management no matter the scale of future projects.
Essential Solutions for Next-Level Game Development
The next step for KLab is to integrate Hansoft with their version control tool, Helix Core, also from Perforce. Helix Core provides a single source of truth across development, and can also handle massive scale. KLab feels it is the right tool to handle its ever-growing game development data.
“We regard Hansoft and Helix Core as essential solutions for the next generation of mobile game development.”