We had a similar situation with notes: someone was using Windows stick notebooks, someone was writing in a text editor. The main product of the manager was actively using OneNote, but he did not rummage with anyone, his subordinates wrote notes in Evernote and Trello. Then everyone got carried away with mindmaps — and they bought us XMind, but the designers used a nicer Miro.
Then someone from the managers read that Google had achieved such heights mainly thanks to the OKR (Objectives and key results) methodology, everyone was urgently gathered for training, told to set high (not) achievable goals and measurable results. And of course we bought Betterworks super-software, which also has questionnaires, 360 feedbacks and much more. But in the process of filling out the OKR, everyone cursed terribly – it was impossible to even find all their tasks, and if someone changed the top-level goal, all your related goals disappeared somewhere. All the employees who did not use the gira (salespeople, marketers, consultants) were delighted, because now it was possible to show that they were busy with something important, but the engineers were just furious and considered such a tool to be just a duplication of the gira. The biggest mistakes when filling out OKR were individual goals instead of team goals and a huge number of them, which made it almost impossible to analyze and update such goals.
Well, since I mentioned Betterworks and stepped a little into the territory of HR, then let’s talk a little about software that helps save time and makes HR life easier (People ops, Business partners or whatever is the most fashionable name there now). As long as the company is small enough, any self-respecting director will force HR to conduct all business in Excel. And only when they howl, start messing up, quit or stop fulfilling plans, they are bought some kind of HRM, for example, Comeet.
If you have a distributed team or the number of employees is already more than a hundred, then an attachment that shows the structure of the organization (Org Chart) and the status of each employee, for example, Pingboard, may be useful. There is an interesting bonus game “Guess the employee by the photo” with a rating.
Also, HR people liked to conduct all sorts of questionnaires “how do you work”, “what do you want to improve”, “did the boss praise you over the past week” and always used different tools for this: SurveyMonkey, Typeform, Google forms, Microsoft forms.
Here’s what I can advise about Tula for questionnaires:
It is better to choose one tool and have it integrated into your stack.
If you do not provide and prove confidentiality, no Tula will help you. Of course, you can hire a third-party organization, if finances allow, and conduct all sorts of fashionable DiSC assessment.
The questionnaires should be brief, and the results should be sent, visualized and discussed as soon as possible.
By usability, TypeForm is beating everyone up
In startups, everyone believes in going to an IPO and wants to understand how many options they have, what face value, and how many there will be in a year. It turns out that there is software for such purposes – Carta. A convenient and intuitive interface of the web version, but a completely useless and miserable mobile application (outsourced like Boeing or something
And now let’s move on to messengers and video conferences. Like many people, we started with Skype, but then we switched to Slack, where we created thematic channels – and productivity just increased enormously, and then fell, because chat channels were created every day. For some reason, GoToMeeting was chosen for video calls and conferences, although many of the clients (especially banks) allow only Webex and Teams (formerly Skype for business). Therefore, I also had to buy Webex for a select few, so always think about which tool for calls most of your customers will be ready to use.
And where to store the files? You can’t send them all the time in the messenger. At first, we used only Amazon S3 (Simple Storage Service) along with the speed accelerator and used the S3 Browser desktop client. But business users simply could not live like this – setting up a client for them was simply an impossible task, and there is no offline access. And then they decided to buy Dropbox: everyone just jumped with happiness and immediately began uploading their funny videos and videos to the cloud. The scribe crept up unnoticed after about half a year – the shared folder began to weigh 50 GB, the sink took a lot of time and traffic, no one understood where to look for documents, and the check from the dropbox turned out to be so big that I had to think … And then the best minds just remembered that we bought Office365 a long time ago, and there is OneDrive and SharePoint, and if there is no difference, then why pay more?
Tips for companies that work with Paranoid bank clients:
Get yourself an FTP server, and on your domain and located in the client’s country.
Quite a dirty trick. If the deadlines are burning, and the IT specialists of the clients are freezing, try using your Confluence (Jira or another portal authorized by the client) to transfer files as attachments to pages
A small note about Tula for marketing. There are two alternatives here: try to integrate dozens of bodies from a higher-level image or buy a comprehensive ala Marketing Cloud solution. We first used HubSpot and a lot of small bodies for individual tasks, and then switched to Eloqua. However, they continued to use Salesforce in parallel (maybe there were some reasons for this).
Since we’re talking about marketing, I remembered some more funny details about the company’s website. At the very beginning, there was some typical website with nauseating stock photos in which mannequin people were writing something on transparent boards with a smart look. Then they gave full control over the site to a designer who was trying to do something on WordPress – links, images disappeared periodically, the layout jumped, but everything was OK for the management. Having had enough with WordPress, the designer discovered a website builder and piled up a lot of pages in a short time. The disadvantage of using such a solution was poor performance, because all resources were stored on the servers of a third-party service, as well as restrictions in the settings. As a result, it was decided to outsource the design and development of the site from a third-party company, of course, it’s expensive, but the result is beautiful and GDPR popapchiki all work like clockwork.