Meet Alexander Powell, Product Manager at Greenhouse a tool that helps companies source, interview, hire and onboard the right talent.
Recently, Alex shared how his team uses Trello to maintain meaningful communication between departments and across time zones. With a distributed team spread between New York and San Francisco, it’s imperative for everyone at Greenhouse to receive timely and organized feedback from all members at all times.
With a background in customer success, Alex knows first-hand that users provide the best feedback. That’s why he championed a simple, streamlined way for customer-facing teams like Sales and Support to share valuable feedback with Product and Development colleagues.
The result is an active internal feedback Trello board that promotes collaboration and provides all Greenhouse team members with a centralized location for customer-related matters:
Alex has found that sharing customer feedback openly between teams solves a lot of distributed communication issues by keeping discussions, assigned team members and relevant context out in the open. But the biggest key to making it a success is keeping that feedback loop active and up-to-date. Here are his three big takeaways for maintaining an active internal feedback board.
3 Ways To Make Your Feedback Board The Best It Can Be
1. Hold your teams accountable
To maintain a sustainable and active Trello board, members need accountability. In other words, it can’t be a place where ideas go to die—there needs to be follow-up from both those who submit the feedback and those who process it.
At Greenhouse, the Customer Success team adds product issues and, during a weekly structured discussion, explores potential solutions with the Product team. The board acts as the meeting’s agenda so updates are required on a regular basis to ensure the meeting is productive.
The details included on each feedback card also allow them to review the problems historically and track progress through comments, checklists, and attachments.
2. Provide a template for “how to use this board”
The board should have a documented process to maintain consistency and ease of use for visitors and new members. For organizing feedback, Alex’s team relies heavily on labels, markup language and assigning members to cards. If a member provides feedback, they add themselves to the card and take responsibility to speak to it during the weekly meeting.
In fact, multiple team members often add themselves on the same card. This practice of keeping all key members involved has actually solved a couple of communication issues at Greenhouse:
- Less conversation redundancy
- An at-a-glance understanding of how significant a piece of feedback may be and how widespread its impact
- More emphasis on transparency within the feedback loop of Product and Customer Success regarding priority of product plans.
Over time, a card tagged with seven Customer Success members has come to visually alert Product that an issue is impacting multiple customers and should be reviewed as soon as possible. This is a perfect example of organic process development to document on a board instructions list!
3. Know what the core of your board is meant to do
Part of the reason the internal feedback Trello board has been so useful for Alex’s Product team is because it does one thing very well: It collects internal feedback from customer-facing teams.
Many times, people try to make one board do everything and the process complexity leads to problems like lack of adoption, disorganization, and redundancy.
Rather than use one board for both feedback and bug tracking, Alex’s team uses tools specifically for product development and then integrates the work into the feedback board accordingly (with some help from relevant Power-Ups).
Adopt the Greenhouse Feedback Board Flow
The internal feedback process at Greenhouse is an inspiring example of keeping cross-company teams connected, regardless of distance or department. In the spirit of collaboration, here’s a sample of Alex’s board that you can copy and use for your own Trello team’s feedback flow!
Good or bad, we’d love to hear your thoughts. Find us on Twitter (@trello)!