Chapter Seven
Structuring Your Team’s Work

Best practices for using Rindle

This chapter is all about how to best adopt Rindle into your team in the least frustrating way possible. I have also included some board etiquette guidelines to help things run smoothly. These tips come from countless Rindle customer experiences, plus some of my own experiences with rolling out software and managing teams.

Tips for Adopting Rindle into Your Team

Rolling out software, regardless of the type of software, generally has implementation challenges. You could be rolling out a project automation solution like Rindle, a CRM, or a cloud-based file storage solution. Regardless of the type of software, user adoption within your team is a big challenge. It’s not as easy as saying, “Hey, we’re going to use Rindle starting today,” and everybody gleefully jumps right on board.

To prevent a total revolution from happening, I have come up with some tips on how to best adopt Rindle into your team.

Involve your team from the beginning.

Whenever you’re rolling out a new piece of software, or even a new workflow or process, I have always found that involving your team from the beginning is a lot easier. Many times the decision to use software like Rindle is made in a silo, in secrecy, because you don’t want to alarm anyone that a change is coming.

This is sometimes necessary to prevent mass confusion and anticipation. However, you don’t want to let your team know about a change too late in the process. That will cause panic, guaranteed.

If you are in charge of sourcing the initial solution and you’ve landed on Rindle, let your team know as soon as possible to avoid chaos and panic. This will also give you an opportunity to get input early on, so if anybody has concerns, you can address them before you’re so far down the path, you can’t deviate.

Explain the key benefits of Rindle.

Sometimes a reaction to a new software rollout is, “Ugh. I’m going to have to learn yet another software?” Taking the time to explain the benefits that Rindle will provide to the team will help, because sometimes it’s not as obvious as you might think. Your team might go directly into defensive mode and state all the reasons they don’t want to use it. This happens. But if you really lay out the benefits, you can convince them early on that Rindle is going to make their lives better, and provide them with the exact reasons why.

The benefits you get from Rindle will be unique to your team, but here are some examples:

  • Rindle is easy to learn due to its simple, clean interface.
  • We will be able to streamline the organization of work.
  • Working with remote co-workers will be much easier.
  • We will be able to automate processes to save time and increase reliability.
  • We can manage workflows, projects, personal tasks, and task lists from one system.

Communicate at every stage of implementation.

Sometimes team members feel out of the loop as to what’s happening when and where during a rollout. In my experience, depending on your team size and workflow complexity, it can take anywhere from one to six months to roll out a software solution and have everybody actually onboard with it and adopting it into everyday use.

Regardless of the complexity and time frame, you should create a rollout plan. This could be as simple as a one-sheet, or a multi-page document. This will give you the opportunity to lay out the stages of the rollout and use the plan as a tool to communicate it with your team. This will let everyone know what to expect when and, ultimately, make the adoption of Rindle that much smoother.

We explain how to create a rollout plan and provide FAQs, email templates, and more in our help center.

Don’t skip out on training.

Even though Rindle is easy to use, making sure that you and your team know how to use it is extremely important. You can’t assume that everyone will naturally know how to use it just because it’s easy. Making that assumption could make things very difficult and, in some extreme cases, could cause adoption to fail. Team training is a must!

You should start by mapping out the different training sessions you may need. If you have a small team, a single training session may do it. If you have multiple teams, each using Rindle a bit differently, it may require multiple sessions.

On that note, some training sessions may take as little as 30 minutes, while others might take two hours. It all depends on who you’re training and what you’ll need to cover.

For large teams, you will most likely find yourself custom tailoring training sessions for different teams. Or maybe each team leader will conduct their own training on how that specific team will use Rindle. If this is the case, I recommend the following:

  • Start with a company-wide introduction training going over what Rindle is and the core features that everyone will use.
  • Make Rindle Help resources available to your team.
  • Create a training manual specific to your team/company’s needs.
  • If needed, train each department head to conduct individual team training sessions.

Overall, training your team on Rindle is a huge factor in successful adoption. It will provide a level of comfort and allow people to ask questions to make sure they understand how you and your company are going to use Rindle.

You lead, they will follow.

If you don’t use Rindle yourself, you can’t expect your team to use Rindle. If you don’t follow the process, you can’t expect your team to follow the process. It’s vital that you, the person in charge of implementing Rindle, lead by example. If you do, your team will follow. If you don’t, you will create inconsistency and encourage boycotting from the very start.

Leading by example will also show your team how Rindle helps you, as well as the benefits you’re experiencing. From that, you will create a natural attraction to the tool instead of unwanted pushback.

Be patient and nurture your team.

Being patient and nurturing to your team should be obvious, but it is sometimes overlooked. Keep in mind that everyone on your team is busy, so you should expect them to have a level of frustration when you introduce them to what seems like a whole new way of working.

Saying things like, “Oh, it’s so easy, just use it,” or “I already explained it to you,” or “You should just be using it by now; change your habits,” will only frustrate people more.

Habits are hard to change. In fact, it takes 21 days to change a habit. If you’re expecting everybody to change their habits in a single week, it’s most likely not going to happen and will only result in them needing more time and assistance to be successful.

Being patient and nurturing goes a long way. Answer their questions. Lead them to helpful resources. Take the time to talk it through. A little extra effort now will provide much better results later.

Collect feedback along the way.

With most things, it’s important to collect feedback, especially when you are working with others. With regards to adopting Rindle, you should be asking your team how everything is going:

  1. Do you have any feedback on the new workflows and processes?
  2. Do you have any feedback about Rindle (features, issues)?
  3. Do you have any feedback on the Rindle rollout (was it smooth or painful)?
  4. How can things be improved?

The fact of the matter is, you might have thought you would use Rindle a certain way, or a workflow would be structured in a certain way. However, you may learn that things aren’t exactly as you planned after implementing practices in the real world. This also applies to external users of Rindle working with your team (clients, freelancers, etc.).

You may want to create a board in Rindle called Rollout Feedback and invite your team members to it. This will provide a central, shared environment to share feedback, make suggestions, and update progress on changes.

You can listen to Tom (the other Rindle co-founder) and myself talk about this on our podcast: Episode Six: 8 ways to drive software adoption in your team

Board Etiquette

I wouldn’t be doing you any favors if I didn’t talk about something we call “board etiquette.” This is where you’ll get really intricate about how you want to manage your team and, therefore, your boards and workflows.

You may already have a set of rules or guidelines your team needs to follow while managing projects. If not, I’ve outlined a baseline set that you can use to get started and tweak as you go:

  1. Every task (online and offline) should be captured in Rindle (meetings, side conversations, chats, etc.).
  2. If someone is responsible for a task, assign them to it. That includes yourself.
  3. If you want a specific person’s attention or input on a task, @mention them in a comment.
  4. Before asking a question or adding a new task, always check the board first.
  5. When adding tasks, keep the task name short and relevant.
  6. Use the description field to expand thoughts, add notes, paste links, etc. about the task.
  7. Tasks should be ranked in the order you want to complete them, top being the highest priority.
  8. Add tags and outline how your team should be using tags.
  9. Tasks that cannot move forward should be moved to Blocked. Comments should be added to explain why a task is blocked.

In order to communicate the board etiquette with your team, create a pinned discussion in one or more of your boards in your structure. If you have one global set of rules for your team, they might live on your Team Board. If you have unique rules for different boards in your structure, they may live on each board respectively.

Regardless of your structure, you want to make sure your board etiquette rules are readily available for your team when they need them. In the discussion, you can also link to a board etiquette document, or attach a Google Drive file, making it easy for your team to see the right information at the right time. If they have to dig for it, they won’t use it.

Having your board etiquette defined not only helps your team with the day-to-day requirements for the board, but also helps onboarding new employees, clients, and freelancers into your workflow.