Archive for : August, 2011

Tips to Getting the Thumbs Up from your Clients and Team in activeCollab

A.K.A. — Silence the Haters & Get Everyone else Excited

It seems like everyday we’re talking with someone who’s getting started with activeCollab or asking about how they can get their team interested in using it more. To help you with this goal, we’ve put together this list of tips inspired by our personal experience and conversations with other activeCollab users around the world who have shared their challenges…

First step, get yourself ready…

Before we get started, take a few seconds and open up your mind to some new possibilities — if you are trying AC for the first time, forget your past experience with other systems and if you’ve been at this for a while already… don’t let the past challenges cloud your mind while you read. Open up to the possibilities and see how you can look at these tips with fresh eyes! Also keep your users in mind, they may not all be just like you… (OMG I hope not, that would be quite the one dimensional team)…. so what do they need? how would these tips help them? and which tips apply to the different users in your sphere?

1. Name that Puppy….

activeCollab custom login screenHow sad is it when you call your new puppy “puppy”? Give your activeCollab a new friendly name that everyone can use to refer to it…. so they know what to call it and they can feel a part of something great, instead of just having some productivity tool forced on them! (Added bonus, now the focus is on this great tool you have called ______ and not some great tool someone else created ) Keep in mind this name needs to work for Team, Clients and Vendors — or whoever you may include in the future. A name ensures everyone is talking about the same thing and it also relays that this is something more permanent not just “another thing we are trying”. Examples: HQ, Projects, Dashboard… these might be a bit too generic on their own but add your company name or get creative! The best fit depends on your organization — give it some personality if that works with your brand…. we might call ours The Lab :) Added bonus, setup a subdomain or custom domain — i.e. hq.yourcompany.com, yourdashboard.com so users aren’t always trying to remember how to get there.

2. Timing is everything….

Choose the right time to introduce them to your project management system (insert your name here). Mentioning you use a project management tool to responsibly track the progress of projects and allow customers to oversee the process and provide input is great but don’t send them their logins at the first client meeting (probably obvious). When should you get them started? That’s a great question… I’d say it’s different for every situation, it depends on the client, type of project, how you use activeCollab (or any system) and how prepared you are for that team member or client to be involved. Adding them at the wrong time adds to the confusion and they are less likely to use it again…. remember the sayings about first impressions… give your system a good first impression.

3. Video is your friend….

We highly recommend using video screencasts to show your team, clients, vendors or anyone the proverbial ropes of the system. (Actually using screencasts can be an amazing tool in your day to day work too). It doesn’t take long to create a quick screencast of the whole experience from each role’s perspective. Any time you invest here will save you a TON of time when it comes to getting new users oriented, fixing things they’ve done incorrectly and/or processing information they have sent from outside the system because they didn’t understand it :) Not to mention, you will hear things like “wow, that was so easy to follow” and “these guys have it all together”. Those bonus points will come in handy :)! Users being comfortable is the top priority mission — it allows them to be productive and confident when clicking submit on that new ticket or comment. Another great thing about video, post it where they can go back and watch it again if they haven’t used your system for a month (no they don’t log in everyday to just see your sexy avatar and browse the progress). Again saving you another phone call about, “I can’t remember how to login” or “where do I go when I get in there again?”. This same principle has worked great for us with our activeCollab products, but not everyone thinks to use it for their own systems — here’s an example ….

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7 Tips to Getting the Thumbs Up from your Clients and Team in activeCollab

A.K.A. —  Silence the Haters  & Get Everyone else Excited

It seems like everyday we’re talking with someone who’s getting started with activeCollab or asking about how they can get their team interested in using it more.

To help you with this goal, we’ve put together this list of tips inspired by our personal experience and conversations with other activeCollab users around the world who have shared their challenges…

First step, get yourself ready…

Before we get started, take a few seconds and open up your mind to some new possibilities — if you are trying AC for the first time, forget your past experience with other systems and if you’ve been at this for a while already… don’t let the past challenges cloud your mind while you read. Open up to the possibilities and see how you can look at these tips with fresh eyes!  Also keep your users in mind, they may not all be just like you… (OMG I hope not, that would be quite the one dimensional team)…. so what do they need? how would these tips help them? and which tips apply to the different users in your sphere?

1.  Name that Puppy….

How sad is it when you call your new puppy “puppy”? Give your activeCollab a new friendly name that everyone can use to refer to it…. so they know what to call it and they can feel a part of something great, instead of just having some productivity tool forced on them! (Added bonus, now the focus is on this great tool you have called ______ and not some great tool someone else created )

Keep in mind this name needs to work for Team, Clients and Vendors — or whoever you may include in the future. A name ensures everyone is talking about the same thing and it also relays that this is something more permanent not just “another thing we are trying”.

Examples:  HQ, Projects, Dashboard… these might be a bit too generic on their own but add your company name or get creative!  The best fit depends on your organization — give it some personality if that works with your brand….  we might call ours The Lab :)

Added bonus, setup a subdomain or custom domain — i.e. hq.yourcompany.com, yourdashboard.com so users aren’t always trying to remember how to get there.

2. Timing is everything….

Choose the right time to introduce them to your project management system (insert your name here).  Mentioning you use a project management tool to responsibly track the progress of projects and allow customers to oversee the process and provide input is great but don’t send them their logins at the first client meeting (probably obvious).

When should you get them started?  That’s a great question… I’d say it’s different for every situation, it depends on the client, type of project, how you use activeCollab (or any system) and how prepared you are for that team member or client to be involved.  Adding them at the wrong time adds to the confusion and they are less likely to use it again…. remember the sayings about first impressions… give your system a good first impression.

3. Video is your friend —

We highly recommend using video screencasts to show your team, clients, vendors or anyone the proverbial ropes of the system. (Actually using screencasts can be an amazing tool in your day to day work too).  It doesn’t take long to create a quick screencast of the whole experience from each role’s perspective.  Any time you invest here will save you a TON of time when it comes to getting new users oriented, fixing things they’ve done incorrectly and/or processing information they have sent from outside the system because they didn’t understand it :)   Not to mention, you will hear things like “wow, that was so easy to follow” and “these guys have it all together”.  Those bonus points will come in handy  :)!  Users being comfortable is the top priority mission — it allows them to be productive and confident when clicking submit on that new ticket or comment.

Another great thing about video, post it where they can go back and watch it again if they haven’t used your system for a month (no they don’t log in everyday to just see your sexy avatar and browse the progress).

Again saving you another phone call about, “I can’t remember how to login” or “where do I go when I get in there again?”.

This same principle has worked great for us with our activeCollab products, but not everyone thinks to use it for their own systems  — here’s an example

….

 

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