Running a business is hard — there are many things a team could be doing, but only a small number they should be doing. Organizations waste a lot of mental calories figuring out where to focus and trying to track what’s actually being done and if it’s being done well. And as you move faster or grow larger, this problem gets exponentially worse.
Managers use ineffective (and annoying) techniques to cope with the day to day management of a business — micromanagement, unstructured 1:1’s, long email diatribes complaining about things that weren’t done that nobody knew should have been done, endless planning and “strategy” meetings, etc. And to track what’s actually being done, companies often resort to inane weekly review meetings and status memos.
There have been formal methodologies designed to create organizational alignment. Salesforce has V2MOM (Vision, Values, Methods, Obstacles and Measures); Google has OKRs (Objectives and Key Results). Both of these, and other systems like them, are fundamentally aimed at the same purpose: finding a structured way to articulate what is important to the organization, tying it back to the vision, and then outlining the metrics that drive a positive outcome against those specific objectives.
The art + science of articulating and measuring what’s important is not new, but the technology to do it was just never good or even really available. While thousands of companies have embraced these methodologies, they are, ironically, poorly managed, usually in a spreadsheet or a document of some sort. In the end, despite the time organizations spend trying to achieve organizational alignment, very few people know what’s important to the company and how they are contributing to the strategic priorities of the organization.
And of course, there’s now a much, much better way. And that solution is WorkBoard, a SaaS solution designed to help outline what’s important, measure progress against those objectives, and create organizational transparency by allowing team members to understand how their work is part of an overall strategy and vision.
WorkBoard is software for organizational alignment and facilitates the implementation of OKRs. Anyone who runs a business will recognize what WorkBoard does. Instead of the traditional HR-focused approach to OKRs where a manager might sit down with a direct report and create individual goals, WorkBoard takes an organizational approach, connecting objectives across people and teams. Going further, unlike spreadsheets or documents that quickly get stale, WorkBoard integrates with other business systems to automatically track key results. Is the objective to create 1000 marketing leads this quarter? WorkBoard ties into Marketo and can automatically track progress against that goal. Is the objective to successfully close all support requests within 48 hours and maintain an NPS (Net Promoter Score) over a specific threshold? WorkBoard ties in to Zendesk and myriad survey tools to keep track of that. It replaces status meetings and the drudge reporting that goes into them.
With WorkBoard, organizations can better capture the progress and pulse of the company and create organizational transparency by showing what’s important and how the company is doing against its objectives. What’s more, WorkBoard isn’t just for executives and senior management, but for every single employee in the enterprise, all the way down to the individual contributor. The horizontal nature of the product (it’s a great fit for any company that wants to achieve its strategy) has powered strong market pull from some of the biggest enterprise customers — Comcast, Cisco, Microsoft, Workday, Juniper and Reliance.
I first met Deidre Paknad, founder and CEO of WorkBoard a year ago during her Series B. I saw then what I know now – she’s a relentless founder with the rare ability to tie a big vision to very real and immediate customer problems and then deliver flawless results. For a SaaS company, upfront services that facilitate adoption can be crucial to create an enduring customer relationship and truly sticky product. Deidre and her team have designed and delivered exceptional training and onboarding programs, and the customer testimonials are truly incredible. She told me last year she was going to triple sales in 2019 from an already impressive 2018. She did what she said and we are thrilled to lead her Series C financing and support her in building a wonderful company.