CREA Mont-Blanc: How MeisterTask Is Driving Business Transformation (Success Story)

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At Meister, we take great pride in helping organizations of all types work productively, communicate better and get more done. Our customers tell us they love MeisterTask for its scalability and flexibility, and when the small NGO CREA Mont-Blanc decided to transform its management structure from a hierarchical to a distributed one, all that was needed was a simple upgrade to the Business plan. In this post, we look at how CREA Mont-Blanc has used MeisterTask to embrace a system of distributed management while continuing to adapt, grow and stay productive with the task management tool the team already knows and loves.

CREA Mont-Blanc: How MeisterTask Is Driving Business Transformation (Success Story)

Founded in 1996, the Research Center for Alpine Ecosystems (CREA Mont-Blanc) is an NGO based in Chamonix, France. This small non-profit organization carries out ecological research into the impact of climate change on mountain biodiversity. CREA Mont-Blanc is a pioneer of citizen science in France, involving the public directly in its research.

Vice-Chairman Richard Raquillet was responsible for introducing MeisterTask to the organization in 2016. He was looking for a task management and productivity tool to help CREA Mont-Blanc organize different projects – and MeisterTask fit the bill. Since then, the team has grown and so have the demands on the tool, so a simple upgrade from MeisterTask Pro to Business was a no-brainer, providing CREA Mont-Blanc with all the additional features the team needed.

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The Challenge: Introduce Greater Transparency Across Distributed Teams

We needed to focus on distributed roles and responsibilities.

Hillary Gerardi

Although the team was already familiar with the benefits of MeisterTask, CREA Mont-Blanc made a bold decision in mid-2020. Striving for efficiency, transparency and sustainability, the team introduced a business transformation strategy based upon a distributed management model. This sees team members work together from different geographical locations. Hillary Gerardi, Head of Development at CREA Mont-Blanc, explains: “In the interests of sustainability and becoming more efficient and agile, we needed to focus on distributed roles and responsibilities, moving away from a hierarchical structure.”

MeisterTask: Tried and Tested

MeisterTask had originally helped the NGO to bring order to ongoing projects. However, as the project portfolio grew to involve an increasing number of different stakeholders, the team was beginning to find itself lacking visibility, while keeping track of deadlines was becoming ever more difficult.

It was clear to the team that a shift in management philosophy was going to require an upgrade to CREA Mont-Blanc’s IT landscape. As it turns out, the solution was right in front of them.

Learn more about task management with MeisterTask and find out what makes it the best online task management solution for teams striving to work more effectively, efficiently and consistently in this blog post.

MeisterTask: Scalable and Customizable

MeisterTask was clearly the most flexible and effective task management solution for our team.

Célia Bonnet-Ligeon

The introduction of a distributed management framework meant that the team needed more functionality than their existing MeisterTask plan could offer. Before deciding to upgrade to the Business plan, CREA Mont-Blanc assessed a number of other tools. Célia Bonnet-Ligeon, CREA Mont-Blanc’s Operational Manager, says, “We considered solutions like Trello, which I’d used before, and Focalboard, but MeisterTask was evidently the best fit as a task management solution for our team. Our needs are very specific, so we value its customizability and flexibility. MeisterTask has exactly the features our team needs.

More than any individual feature, Richard Raquillet fell in love with MeisterTask for its scalability. Having seen the initial benefits of the tool, he was confident that MeisterTask could handle the shift to a distributed structure too. He says: “MeisterTask was relatively new to the market when we started using it, and I loved the idea of growing and building something together.”

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MeisterTask for More Effective Communication

MeisterTask has vastly improved our communication internally and with external stakeholders.

Hillary Gerardi

Effective communication is pivotal to the success of a distributed management model: the team was unanimous that they needed to up their game. Hillary Gerardi: “Distributed management means escaping a top-down approach, with a single project manager. In our case, each team member is a “chef de projet”, which requires them to take full responsibility for projects and the team communication they involve. With a pressing need for alignment, MeisterTask has vastly improved our communication internally and with external stakeholders.”

However, CREA Mont-Blanc’s projects are complex and involve collaborations with different organizations. Communication can be challenging because project stakeholders can be:

  • Distributed geographically and thus not all available in the same place, at the same time.
  • Both internal and external.
  • Diverse: projects involve the scientific community and the general public.

MeisterTask Boosts Meeting Efficiency

Célia Bonnet-Ligeon is responsible for day-to-day project management in the team, so her time is precious. She points out a major benefit of MeisterTask: by streamlining communication, decision-making and meeting efficiency have improved significantly. “With MeisterTask, we finish over half of our weekly team meetings on time. Before, 90% of our meetings overran.”

Find out how you can use MeisterTask to improve team communication and collaboration, wherever your team members are located, in this blog post.

MeisterTask enables CREA Mont-Blanc to approach project management in a more agile way. Using the tool, they have created a “project table” to visualize projects, which are classified by maturity level, i.e. where they are on the progress timeline.

“MeisterTask provides a clear vision and allows the team to build trust when shifts in responsibility occur – everyone can still see when tasks will be completed,” says Célia Bonnet-Ligeon. “If someone is off sick or leaves the organization, we can hand over projects with no knowledge loss.”

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Key Features for Embracing a Distributed Management Model

MeisterTask helps us communicate effectively across communities, especially in citizen science.

Hillary Gerardi

According to Célia Bonnet-Ligeon, the improvements enabled by MeisterTask are more qualitative than quantitative: key components in the digital transformation. The recently-adopted distributed management system reflects the values of its employees: shared leadership and the distribution of responsibility. They list the key features in that shift as follows:

Roles and Permissions


MeisterTask’s Roles and Permissions are central to CREA Mont-Blanc’s distributed management model, in which there is no one project manager and a drive behind CREA Mont-Blanc’s decision to upgrade to Business. By assigning the relevant permissions to project collaborators, CREA Mont-Blanc can define exactly what stakeholders may access and edit in any project. 

Learn more about MeisterTask’s features for admins and how they make it easy to orchestrate your team.

The assigned roles align with the organization’s RACI-based accountability structure. RACI (responsible, accountable, consulted, informed) ensures that project stakeholders are assigned a role at every step of any given process. For external stakeholders, the Guest role provides volunteers, land managers and decision-makers with read-only access to projects. 

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Hillary Gerardi: “MeisterTask helps us communicate effectively with different communities, especially in citizen science. We can provide a better vision of scientific protocols and a timeline of what is happening, where.”


Timeline, available on MeisterTask Business, helps the team plan and schedule project tasks in calendar view. This Gantt chart-style function has replaced a shared Excel spreadsheet and synchronized schedules. 

Learn how to use the Timeline feature in MeisterTask to keep your projects on track.


MeisterTask’s compatibility with other tools, namely Slack and Google Workspace, is crucial to CREA Mont-Blanc’s strategy for reducing its digital footprint. Its roadmap for “sobriété numérique”, digital sobriety, largely depends on MeisterTask to self-regulate the use of digital tools. 

Hillary Gerardi: “MeisterTask allows us to send fewer emails, with fewer attachments, which reduces our overall footprint. Integrations are vital to enriching our digital ecosystem.”

Learn how to integrate MeisterTask with the tools you already use, such as Slack, Google Workspace, or Microsoft Outlook.

Summing Up

As a research center, rather than a business, CREA Mont-Blanc’s achievements with MeisterTask are difficult to quantify. However, Hillary Gerardi sees the bigger picture: “Science is never done: some tasks are never finished in the traditional sense. Others, like the project table, will never be completed, while long-term monitoring of ecosystems can rely on decades of data. Our use of MeisterTask reflects exactly how we work right now: we’re really excited about how we can collaborate even further with Meister.”

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