Last week I was very excited to talk about our new Team Security features, which allow growing companies to compartmentalize their strategic planning and priority execution into smaller, private groups.
In this post, I’ll be talking about Align’s newest feature: Project Tags.
Overview of Project Tags
Tags are user-generated labels that allow you to organize your goals and meetings around specific projects or themes. Tagging your strategic items can provide more focus and clarity for your team.
We made it very simple for you to search for or create new Tags on-the-fly across many areas in Align.
You can also customize the color of your Tags.
Next, I’ll talk about two use cases around which we designed Tags. This isn’t an exhaustive list of ways you can use Tags, but it does represent the most common problems we heard from our users that we wanted to solve.
Organize Your Priorities
A company’s strategy can get complicated quickly when it comes to fleshing out an execution plan. Sometimes you end up with dozens of priorities, with layers of sub-priorities, multiplied across different departments. Teams Visibility allows you to organize a lot of this complexity.
But what about when one of your strategic goals is built around a cross-functional project or theme? Tags provides a great way to wrangle these kind of priorities that cut across multiple departments or are temporary projects.
Priorities can be clearly labeled:
Filters can be applied to quickly check the overall progress and pulse of a specific project or theme:
And reporting can be aggregated at the Tag level to quickly export useful metrics about the project:
Focus Your Huddles
We tend to think about Daily and Weekly Huddles as “people-driven” meetings, where a particular department or office gets together to review their progress and activities. The Sales Strategy team talks about what the Sales Strategy team members are doing. The West Coast office does West Coast things. Everybody goes around the room and talks about their top tasks for the day.
Back to the scenario discussed in the previous section though: what if you want to focus, not on people, but a theme? How should you effectively run a Huddle in Align when 1) the attendees span multiple Teams; 2) only a portion of every attendees priorities are relevant to the discussion; and 3) some priorities relevant to the Huddle’s theme may be owned by people not actually invited to the meeting?
By tagging a Huddle with a specific theme or project, you get to change the structure of the Huddle to accommodate this structure:
Your Tag’s icon appears in the Huddle, reminding participants about the purpose of the meeting.
Within each participant’s update section, only Priorities with the Huddle’s Tag will appear. That way, instead of each participant’s updates being flooded with 100% of their daily activities, the discussion can be clearly focused only on relevant information
A “Tagged Priorities” section is added to the Huddle. This visual shows the aggregate progress of all tagged Priorities. Again, this gives the meeting an opportunity to focus less on the participants in the room’s one-at-a-time updates, and more about stepping back and looking at total progress against the project. Additionally, ALL tagged Priorities appear in this section, even if they are owned by people not participating in the Huddle. This feature is great for “Tiger Team” scenarios, where a small group is representing the larger team to move lean and quickly on a project theme.