Discover New Ways to Do Old Things

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Make use of collaboration tools to get work done.
  • Digitally transform your previous work routines.

Working During a Time of Great Change

For people all over the world, our everyday realities have changed dramatically because of COVID-19. Our previous methods of working, from in-person meetings to customer visits, are being transformed by the very real events happening around us.

This module is meant to give you actionable tips and guidance for navigating this brand-new normal. While there are commonalities in our experiences, each individual is experiencing this pandemic in unique ways. In practice, that means that the strategies outlined here may not work for everyone. As with any guidance, take what works for you, and leave the rest.

Specifically, you’ll learn:

  • How to adapt and transform your previous work patterns and practices.
  • How to stay productive with modern time management.
  • How to use your calendar to boost your productivity.

Let’s start with transforming the way work gets done.

Take Your Meetings Virtual

With in-person meetings now on pause, it’s time to reimagine how you hold meetings. You can use a video conferencing tool to set up a virtual meeting (if your company has an IT department, check with them to find out which tools they approve for use), but you should update your meeting practices in tandem. The good news is, these tips will make all of your meetings more productive, whether they’re virtual or in-person.

Before the Meeting

Set the agenda.
Add the agenda to the meeting invite in advance. Add durations and owners for each item on the agenda.
Send a read-ahead document.
Get everyone aligned by preparing a document in advance that aligns everyone around the goals of the meeting, desired outcomes, obstacles, and necessary background information.
Consider participants’ time zones.
Make sure you’re scheduling at a time when all of your required attendees can attend without having to wake up at 2 AM.

During the Meeting

Establish clear roles.
Name a moderator, timekeeper, and notetaker at the start of your meeting. When you’re in a room together, these roles may naturally fall in place as people gather around the table. With a virtual meeting, you must be intentional about assigning these roles at the outset.
Use cloud-based document tools for notes.
Add everyone in the meeting to the notes document and encourage them to contribute during the call.
Avoid side conversations and interruptions.
During virtual meetings, when two people speak at once, no one can hear. Practice active listening and encourage everyone to do the same.

After the Meeting

Send a recap.
Send out your notes document to everyone, and highlight important decisions made and next steps.
Schedule a follow-up.
If there was an action to have a follow-up call, schedule it now.

Introducing this additional discipline around your meetings will make your calls more effective in general, and increase productivity across your company.

People working collaboratively around the globe

Reduce Meetings Altogether

Why not forgo the meeting altogether by working asynchronously using Quip? Quip is a mobile-friendly, cloud-based document collaboration tool. You can create and share documents and spreadsheets, spin up project plans, and assign tasks, all in one place. Every Quip document has built-in chat, so the conversation you were going to have in a meeting can now be done directly alongside the work.

Quip allows editing by multiple people at the same time, and it has deep integrations to the Salesforce platform. One of the ways we use Quip here at Salesforce is to draft, review, and approve communications. 

For example, let’s say we need to announce a schedule change in the rollout of a new tool or process. We could have a meeting with all 15 stakeholders. But instead, we can create a Quip document to drive the change process.

Project plan document in Quip, showing project overview, proposed next step, the due date, and the approvals needed

The Quip document contains:

  • Short description of the project
  • Detailed explanation of why the schedule must change
  • Clear action item for each stakeholder
  • Due date
  • Stakeholder signoff checklist

The project manager invites the project team into the Quip document, where they collaborate on the schedule change and sign off. After all stakeholders sign off, the project manager posts the announcement in Chatter. No meeting necessary!

We’ve made the Quip Starter version free for you and your team to try until September 30, 2020

Take Your Collaboration Online

If you were accustomed to meeting in person with your colleagues and customers, now is the time to get well-versed at collaborating in Chatter, Quip, email, and instant messaging apps. And of course, using your mobile phone.

Try out these methods for getting in touch.

  • Schedule 1:1 virtual meetings with customers, colleagues, your employees, or your manager.
  • Organize group collaboration chats with your colleagues to share best practices and advice.
  • Connect with your employees via video chat or video calls.
  • Start an online collaboration group for colleagues or your customers.
  • Invite your customers to collaborate in a cloud-based document you’ve prepared.
  • Host a virtual meeting for all of your customers to share best practices among the group.

These are just a few ways you can transform the way you get work done and boost your productivity, using tools like Chatter, Quip, and your smartphone. Up next, we discover strategies for managing your time.

Resources

Trailhead: Collaborate with Quip