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How we found the time to build 50+ product enhancements

January 31, 2024

A woman in a blindfold rowing a boat.

Hot off the SMB press this week: 

  • A process template for project management success.
  • The impactful reason we skipped our holiday party this year.
  • Celebrating 6 years of Trainual with 50+ product enhancements.
  • How to mitigate the risks associated with DEI programs.

STARTER PACK

Template of the week: Project Management Process

Project Management Process template

When you encounter the words “project management,” you probably think about those quarter-long initiatives that will have a transformative impact on the business. And while you’re not wrong, you’re missing out on the hundreds of tinier projects that have a smaller, but no less significant influence.

Think of a customer onboarding, or a one-week-long product enhancement plan — these projects, usually spearheaded by your employees, require just as much management as the larger ones that your managers or leadership take charge of. Which means that your wider team needs a streamlined way to organize and set targets for their individual projects.

👉 So, why not set them up with this Project Management Process template? Having this procedure in Trainual will help your employees define objectives, plan, and execute the projects that make up the bulk of their working days. Just edit the template so it fits your business’ needs, and your team will thank you for it.

Want more templates to help you build your business playbook? Check out our entire template archive of free, multimedia-enhanced, and customizable policy, process, and role starters. New to Trainual? Get a demo.


PARTY PAUSE

Why we skipped our holiday party last year

"You didn't. Well, of all the cheap, lousy ways to save a buck!"

Okay, calm down, we’re not total cheapskates. (In fact, we’ll spend big on the things that matter.)

But we did make the intentional decision to skip our holiday party at the end of 2023 — moving it to the beginning of 2024 instead. (After the holiday season, but hey — a party’s a party, right?)

But why?
We’re glad you asked. The reasons are simple:

  1. Lots of folks take time off during the holidays. And we don’t want anyone to miss out on the festivities!
  2. We used the month of December to double down on a gamified version of the way we work. The result: over 50 product enhancements for our customers. 🤯(Just in case you need us to spell it out — that’s a lot of progress in just one measly month.)

Wow! So how did it work?
First, we took our product and engineering teams out of their day-to-day schedules. Bye-bye, recurring meetings and so long, roadmaps. 

Then, big to-dos — you know, those things we’ve wanted to do for months that we just never got around to — went up on a Jeopardy board. We put up small monetary prizes for the projects, and teams got to pick and choose which tasks (and corresponding prizes) they wanted to aim for in the month of December. 

Finally, we created a system that let people collaborate outside the bounds of normal schedules. Helping boost productivity through a continuity of operations. 

After all was said and done, we found that switching up our processes for one month not only helped reinvigorate our team, but also helped deliver on a ton of features we had put on the back burner. Good thing we scooched that holiday party into the new year.

👉 See the full story.

P.S. Curious to see what new features we’ve got for ya? Keep reading 👇


THE 5 DAYS OF TRAINUAL

Happy birthday to… us! 🥳 Here’s our gift to you.

To celebrate year six, we’re launching a “You asked, we listened” edition of over 50 game-changing updates and enhancements

Introducing: The 5 Days of Trainual. Five days full of the most exciting app improvements we made over the last month — helping you further automate and streamline your operations like a champ in 2024. 

If you haven’t seen our announcements about days one and two of The 5 Days of Trainual, we got you.  

Day 1: Enhancements to tests.
This is one of our favorites. You can now auto-generate complete multiple-choice tests based on your content (thanks, AI!). Plus, there are three new testing options, including:

  • Video responses. Say hello to in-app presentations and mock exercises! Just click, record, and submit.
  • Multiple-select questions. Your team can now pick more than one correct answer when filling out multiple-choice questionnaires.
  • True/false test questions. Can your team tell the difference between true info and misconceptions? Let’s see! Time to get tricky.

Day 2: New content creation tools.
Now you’ve got everything you need to enhance, outline, summarize, and update content. Including: 

  • Smart outline. With smart outline, all you have to do is put in a subject title, and Trainual will generate new, relevant topic suggestions and some starter content. And just like that, starting to create new content isn’t so hard after all!
Trainual smart outline example
  • Auto-generated subject descriptions. After your subject is all buttoned up, just click to auto-generate the perfect subject summary in seconds with AI.
  • Verification reminders. You can now set reminders for your team to update content! Just prompt the subject owner to read through and verify the content every 30 days, annually, or however often you’d like that subject to be reviewed for accuracy.

Days 3-5: Enhancements to invitations, account customization, branding, and exporting.
And there’s so much more where that came from. Over the next three days, you’ll get all the deets you need on all the new features that are live in your account as of today! Keep your eyes on your inbox.

👉 Want a sneak peek of all the updates? It’s all right here.


GOING THE DISTANCE

Committed to DEI? Here’s how to mitigate associated risks.

Given last year’s Supreme Court ruling on student affirmative action and recent high-profile comments on diversity and inclusion in business, there have been some questions about the future of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) efforts in the workplace.

DEI programs may have to face new legal standards, and business leaders can prevent future pain and expense by adapting their efforts sooner rather than later.

Our business is committed to DEI. What can we do to mitigate risks?
According to the Harvard Business Review, DEI programs carry more risk if they meet three criteria:

  • It gives preference and favor to some individuals over others.
  • That preference is bestowed upon members of legally protected groups (like race, sexual orientation, religion, etc.).
  • There is a significant benefit attached — like a job, promotion, raise, or special work assignment.

While some would argue that these programs are meant to compensate for biases that have traditionally kept groups from opportunities in the workplace, it’s unclear whether this reasoning would stand against legal action. 

For business leaders looking to transform their programs, avoiding these preferences can help mitigate these risks. Here are some ways you can update your DEI programs:

Level the playing field.
Rather than “lifting” certain groups over others, you can “level” the company for everyone. That means implementing DEI actions that are identity-neutral while also removing the opportunity for bias. 

One example action would be creating clear-cut hiring and promotion processes that outline transparent, merit-based criteria. Another is reviewing your employee benefits packages to make sure they’re being applied equally across your organization.

👉 Find out more ways to transform your DEI efforts.

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