A week ago I wrote a blog post about switching to a trust-based culture that seemed to have resonated with the dev.to community. This was a bit unexpected, and a few people ended up signing up for our service after reading that blog post. So today, I thought I'd be a bit more formal and explain why, what and how we're building Squadlytics.
Start with the why
Over the past couple of years, technology has significantly evolved to give us more flexibility. Collaboration tools enable async work, Slack helps us stay connected, conf calls are easier than ever. The need to be in the same space at the same time to work is fading away, and people are rightfully looking for better work arrangements.
Remote work and flexible hours are becoming the ultimate perks that companies can offer to attract and retain talent. On top of that, it's also a great way to support people that can't do 9 to 5 and level the playing field. The traditional organization with complex layers of management is disappearing in favor of smaller autonomous teams that can execute better and faster. But that means that we need new tools to promote the vision of the company and make sure that we're all working towards the same goals.
What's the easiest way to keep projects on track?
Here's a classic scenario. You meet with your team a couple of weeks before the beginning of the quarter and do a few intensive workshops to decide what your goals are. Everybody is aligned, and now you go to get sh*t done. But after a few weeks, barely anyone can remember the objectives that were set. Focus starts drifting away.
The easiest way to prevent that is to repeat the strategy, repeat the goals, early and often. It sounds boring, I know, but it's effective. Everybody gets busy, and many unforeseen problems will pop on our roadmap. That is why we need periodic reminders of the "why"s because it's really hard to be both solving a problem and thinking about why it's there.
What we've built to help with that
We started Squadlytics to help teams switch to a better work culture which would empower people to achieve goals. And what we ended up building is a tiny, lightweight reminder engine.
I know, it sounds silly.
But we wanted to achieve a few things:
- Keep the tool simple so that it doesn't become a chore.
- Make it accessible to everyone in the organization and avoid domain-specific language.
- Make it easy to share with other teams.
So, in a nutshell, Squadlytics is a goal tracking platform that sends reminders to make sure that (a) you know your goals and (b) you know how much progress you've made and (c) you know your team/company priorities.
To use Squadlytics you just need to do the following:
- Create a project
- Set some goals with owners
- Add update every week (or month/quarter)
We kept the updates super simple, using traffic lights colors to indicate if you're on-track, at-risk or off-track.
Last but not least, we have a bot that will chime in to send you reminders, and that will downgrade the status of your goals if you forget to update them 😬. We're still experimenting with this, but we're trying to add built-in mechanics to help keep teams accountable.
Sign up for our beta today
While there's still a lot for us to do I'm super proud of what we've done so far. Tracking goals is only the tip of the iceberg for us, and we aim to promote better ways to work.