We are using activeCollab for about two years now. We manage all our projects through it and encourage team members to track everything in activeCollab. We call this our Project Management System – PMS for short.
And for every day in these two years, I’ve felt my team is not using activeCollab to its fullest. We dealt with a lot of emotions – inertia, confusion, lack of clarity, overwhelm, neglect and resignation. I demonstrated activeCollab features to my team, had team leaders personally teach their subordinates, pushed people to log everything in PMS, offered incentives for it, threatened to cut salary wages if they do not log hours and a whole bunch of other tricks. Yet participation levels were below my expectations. Some members still found it difficult / unintuitive / out of their flow to get into activeCollab and track their work.
After months of fighting, I realized that this phenomenon is not limited to us. It’s universal.
Here’s the proof for it, results from our recent customer survey. Here’s what people said they find most difficult with activeCollab.
34% of 120 respondents to our recent customer survey said “My team hasn’t embraced it as much as I wanted them to”.
The number one reason for non-achievement is non-action. One way to encourage action is to make it very simple to take action. If people think it’s easy to perform an action, they are more likely to do it.
Sure, this is a core design principle for our products. One recent addition to our suite of products for activeCollab is Quick Add Plus. We installed Quick Add Plus on our system a while back. Only a few people knew about it so I got the whole team together and did a quick demo.
Here’s a comment I got on our PMS soon after:
My team found it less confusing and easier with Quick Add Plus. It lets you press “q” key on your keyboard to bring up Quick Add window. It even lets you add new tasks and track time on specific tickets / tasks right from that window. Basically, the most important, most common actions can now be initiated with a single key press – from anywhere in activeCollab.
This sudden discovery shot up team participation. The PMS is now a pleasure to use!
I knew Quick Add Plus is useful, but am delighted to see it’s brought people back to activeCollab!
What if you could simplify actions for your team? How can you make complex things enjoyable?
Do you use Quick Add Plus or any of our other products? What’s been your experience?
(Image courtesy Bassi Baba)