The Dots is a professional network for the people and teams that don’t wear suits to work—creators, freelancers, entrepreneurs and millennials. The community allows the no-collar generation of professionals who have a portfolio—rather than a resume—to connect, exchange ideas and find new opportunities. The Dots was launched September 2014 and has 275,000 members from over 10,000 companies.
The Dots is a young, thriving, and growing professional network, constantly adding new users, brands, and content. While rapid growth is great, it also poses challenges around prioritisation of work and managing capacity.
To help the team focus on projects that really mattered, the business introduced a method of work prioritisation called “Objectives and Key Results” (OKRs).
The management team sets company objectives on an annual basis which then cascades down into the quarterly goals for each department and team. The primary goal of OKRs is to focus the team’s work on activities which align to hitting the overall company goals, thus making the organisation more productive.
However, the key to making OKRs effective is being able to track progress against each goal—which is where Grow comes in.
Harry Harrison, Head of Product & Growth at The Dots, did have access to another reporting tool, but it simply wasn’t fit for the purpose as it was taking up too much time and only producing static snapshots. “The old reporting system created a bit of a blockage” explains Harrison.
Grow has enabled Harry to provide the company with real-time, automated reporting, accessible to anyone at any time.
They have a dashboard for each of the four company OKRs set for the quarter, which they use to track the progress against the goal. These are executive, high-level dashboards which indicate the progress made by all departments against the overarching goal.
At the team level, each department will have dashboards for the four OKRs, but will be specific to their department. These dashboards are used on a more day-to-day basis to track projects and initiatives which contribute to the progress of the overall objective.
Everybody in the company has access to the main OKR dashboards via the shared links, but some operational dashboards are restricted due to the confidential nature of the content. Regular PDF reports are sent out to main stakeholders so that they get the key results in their inbox meaning they don’t need to go searching for information.
Since switching to Grow, The Dots team has seen several benefits including saving time and resources on reporting and being able to share data with the whole organisation, but the main impact has been the improved company focus.
Combining OKRs and Grow dashboards has enabled The Dots to focus on the activities and projects which matter most and track progress against the company goals, making the whole company more productive.