How training & performance consultants electra Learning stay connected across continents with Podio

In a world where our workdays are dictated by inboxes and processes, it can be challenging to get work done efficiently in a way that still builds culture and transparency among coworkers. For distributed teams, it can be especially challenging to maintain both an effective workflow and a cohesive culture.

Murray Duguid, electra’s Process and Planning Lead, was tasked with enhancing electra’s processes soon after they opened up their second office in Calgary, Canada. With electra’s headquarters located in Aberdeen, Scotland, Murray quickly realized electra “needed a common structure to help align the teams and manage projects more effectively—the previous way we worked had to be reviewed from being recorded on spreadsheets.”

Murray implemented Podio in hopes of helping Electra’s 20 employees maintain sales momentum and create transparent projects between their Aberdeen and Calgary teams. We connected with electra to learn about how they succeeded in growing their business with Podio – just as they set out to do so.

How does electra use Podio?

A team of eight electra employees worked together to build out a Project Management Process (PMP) supported by Podio. The Podio-powered PMP created an efficient workflow that tracked a project’s status, time spent on the project, and the project’s budget. While it’s still a work in progress, since rolling out Podio across the business, Murray explains electra’s employees had what he referred to as a “lightbulb moment,” as the new process aligned teams and improved transparency and communication—despite the distance:

“One of the reasons we implemented Podio was to share a common and open framework to create, plan, organize and monitor all our projects and mitigate risks. Podio’s easy interface has helped electra create a structured flow to manage project tasks and deliverables.

There is now a common organized structure and process to help everyone work and manage a project – anyone can go into workspaces and app entries and have full visibility of the project.”

The Electra team in a meeting discussing a project on Podio that is displayed on a screen in the meeting room.

 

electra has even moved beyond unified processes and transparent projects; they’re also using Podio to automate parts of their workflow so they can continually improve:

“We can review if all the stages, steps, and supporting documents worked for the project and team, so we can continually improve how we’re working. We’ve set up automated workflows that are triggered at different stages of a project to reduce the rework and create links between all parts of a project. With the implementation of workflows, we have saved over 90 minutes when creating and tracking each project!”

While working efficiently can greatly increase a team’s morale, electra recognizes that teams need to feel culturally connected to each other in order to work at their best. To bridge the gap across the Atlantic, Murray uses Podio to schedule weekly team meetings to discuss adjustments to their setup, share new Podio tips, and gather feedback on what can be improved when working internally and with clients. While their processes continue to change in order to improve efficiency, electra’s core values, and its employees’ commitment to them, is stronger than ever.

Will electra continue to use Podio?

Ultimately, Podio has helped electra deliver more value to clients as automated workflows have allowed electra employees to work more efficiently and easily share knowledge. And, a simpler more efficient workflow has given the electra team a renewed enthusiasm and focus. It’s because of this success, Murray explained, that electra is now looking at moving their Administration, CRM, Finance, HR, Appraisals, and Personal Development Plan processes onto Podio.