To be honest, we love our progress report users. Not just because Weekdone wouldn't survive without our subscribers, but also because they are often the source of great ideas. We are always grateful to get feedback and advise from our customers. Every now and then, instead of helping our clients, they help us learn a valuable lesson.
Therefore, we reached out to Dariusz Zdziebkowski from American Bird Conservancy (ABC). Luckily for us, he was ready to chat longer about his team and how they are using progress reporting. Dariusz, being the director of information technology, gave us some amazing insights and fresh ideas that surely have found a place in our product road-map.
With no further due, here is how the American Bird Conservancy has successfully implemented progress reports to keep everyone in the organization aware of progress:
To start off, could you tell what American Bird Conservancy does?
Yes, sure. We are a non-profit organization with a mission to help conserve native birds and their habitats throughout America. We operate in both Americas to ensure that native bird species and their habitats are protected. Actually, ABC is the only U.S. based group that has a major focus on bird habitat conservation throughout the entire Americas. ABC acts across the full spectrum of threats to birds to safeguard the rarest bird species, restore habitats, and reduce threats.
This is a noble and ambitious path your company has taken. How many of you have come together on this mission to conserve native birds on such a large area?
At the moment there are 63 people working in the company. It's a great punch of people to work with.
And why did you feel the need to start using Weekdone's progress reports?
Well basically, for us, Weekdone is an application to give a picture of what is going on in the company. As simple as that. Across various departments, team-members can view each others plans, progress, problems and there are no secrets. So, we needed a simple and effortless way to keep everyone in the company updated on a regular basis.
That's great. Keeping the usage process easy is exactly what we are aiming for. But how did you discover our progress reporting process?
I searched, through the mighty Google and ended up trying couple different companies. I had four other options on the table, but found that your progress reports suited our organization's needs. To tell you the truth, none of the other solutions were quite as cool. There were alternatives, but these were boring, old-fashioned ways to report. Especially the younger generations dislike these outdated reporting tools. But Weekdone is cool, colorful, beautifully designed and easy to use. So, I guess I can say that I chose your progress reports because yours was most attractive.
That's great, I'll forward these compliments to our awesome designer. But as there are 63 team-members in ABC, you must have encountered some resilience to the idea of using progress reports. How did you manage to get a buy-in from all the employees?
All of us should use it, but I am guessing, on a regular basis 55-60 people use Weekdone. Overall, it's been a great experience. Some of use picked it up quickly, some of us had few questions. But we had a big webinar with you guys. We came together and went through the progress reporting system step-by-step.
Luckily there wasn't any great deal of resistance to these kind of progress reports. I think it's important to understand that Weekdone is not a following app. On a psychological point of view, if you have a boss and your boss is constantly pushing you to write every single detail down, kind of checking you, naturally you will get the resistance. But for us, everybody already had a clue what was going on. Weekdone gave a proper structure and a lay-out to the important data.
So, these progress reports give a necessary structure to the existing information.
And also the tool helps to achieve certain goals. Using progress reports helps us to view what is going on on different company levels and map out the road to achieving certain goals.
One more thing, we love that this is automatic. It's basically that people are typing their achievements, plans and problems in, everything gets saved automatically and we receive reports automatically. Instead of spending someone's time to gather the data, type it in and send it to all involving parties, we get the job done automatically.
Overall, seems like everything is going as planned, but maybe there are some unexpected benefits or challenges you have seen using Weekdone?
There is one observation: I haven't heard complaints from my team. Everything is running smoothly and there haven't been any complaints, which is a huge compliment. Its like your car. You don't compliment your car because its driving everyday, but overall its great. You use it daily and its always running.
Our team is not yet responding to "like" and "comment" features, but I hope that's coming because Weekdone is also a social tool. We are not using progress reports for social collaboration yet, but hopefully people will start using these features more. I love the thought behind it. Overall, I think it's a good idea going in this social direction.
So overall, it's easy to use, yet sophisticated enough to provide us with the necessary information. It's definitely useful and helpful for our board and the president.
Your team is a great example user. Perhaps there are any additional features you wish our progress reports would include?
I think you guys could benefit from providing users with the option to add documents and images straight to the progress reports. We have a specific tool where we collect reports, documents, memos from our field stuff. It would be nice to add documents and images straight to Weekdone as well. But I understand this is difficult to do, you end up with security issues and huge amounts of data.
Some smaller suggestions include having the option to send more progress report deadline reminders and having the ability to customize the happiness level. Some of our team-members aren't a fan of happiness level. But it's not a big deal.
That's a refreshing note to hear that you would desire even more reminders. We often feel our users might get too many e-mails from Weekdone. But we'll talk this through with development. Are there any other tools you use on a weekly basis to collaborate? Any cool tool suggestions?
Of course everyone is using Skype, but other than that, it's just Weekdone that is used across the company. Different departments are using various other tools, but as a whole company, Weekdone is the only tool we need.
It's such a motivation booster to talk to you. Before I let you go on with your busy day, perhaps there are any additional thoughts or remarks?
Well, perhaps the last compliment to you guys is that every time I send a request, I get a quick response. The issues that can get fixed will be fixed almost immediately. So thank you for that.
So that's how a non-profit ABC uses progress reports on a regular basis. Doesn't matter if you operate in the public, private or third sector, you can still benefit from the regular reporting process. Give Weekdone a try, if you wish to get a clear picture of what is going on in your company.