I love automating things, speeding up team interactions, making everything move faster. Naturally, I love leveraging any digital system so that my team functions better, and communicates efficiently. My tools of choice in my current team are:
- Freshservice for all things tech-support ticket management, tech support agent reporting, asset management, asset-assignments, ongoing monitoring, software licensing management, etc… It is great! Not perfect, but perfect for our small team.
- Google Hangouts for all communications with my team. We have a small group created, and often will go one-on-one, depending on the situation. I have it on all my devices, so even if I leave my phone in the car or at home, I still get the message.
- LastPass for all things systems/users/pswd related. It keeps us organized and secure. If I need to provide an outsider temporary access to one of our systems, I can share the credentials without that outsider seeing the password. Very useful for the hundreds of username/accounts we use for the various subscriptions and systems we use.
- Google Docs/Drive helps us keep organized. Budget decisions and documentation, ongoing meeting agenda recording, etc., are all on a shared Team Drive for team members to find.
On this last one, the Google Doc piece, I’d like to share a bit of an insight into how I work with my team.
Each of my team members and I meet once weekly. I have a shared spreadsheet with tabs at the bottom for each of my team members. We can all see and edit this spreadsheet. Each row of the spreadsheet has an action item that the team member and I have agreed needs to take place. S/he will action that item and record the date once finished. These are my key performance indicators (KPI) for each of my team members. Whenever I get audited, I pull a sample from this sheet and on to the next audit item 🙂
As for team meetings, I like to rely on an agenda so we cover basic items of urgent need. I use a simple template, so we can breeze through and still record key points. Google, bless their programming fingertips, recently added a nice function to GDocs. You enter the name of a team member after “AI:” and suddenly that item becomes an assigned task that the person gets in their email and now has to complete. Read all about here; it’s a cool feature, and so timely!!!
The way I like to start meetings is to have a team member do a reading, share something personal that is not related to work, or show a video of a personal passion they wish to share with the rest of the team. I learned to like this idea after working at Vistamar School in El Segundo, CA. They start each day of the week with the whole community in a “morning meeting” where students/teachers/parents are free to come up to the mic and share something deeply personal to them with the rest of the community.
Any ways, back to the agenda. Linked here is where you can get yourself a copy of a template I’ve created so you can use it with your team. Add it to your own Google Drive, update the name and start using it. Modify and use as you need. Following are two screenshots with a quick description of what each part of the document is meant for:
Hope this was helpful to you. I always welcome comments and suggestions, so add a comment and I’ll reply as soon as I can.