In a small- or medium-sized business, information often goes through 2-3 layers of reporting. Employees report project progress and results to middle managers who then report it up to senior leadership. This often takes quite a bit of time and resources, since it involves active work from several different people.
But in a large global enterprise, there can be five or 10 different layers of reporting. This means that hundreds or even thousands of employees are responsible for identifying, packaging, and sharing key information up the chain on a weekly basis. Each additional layer requires more time spent digging through data and updates and pulling out essential information from every person involved.
Unsurprisingly, companies have started to rely on software to help simplify that process. Here’s how one global tech enterprise eased executive reporting with Trello and Unito.
To gather updates for their monthly operational reviews, executives at this enterprise source information from middle managers in offices around the world. This information gathering would usually take place in meetings or in email.
Executives would need to reach out to their team managers or meet with them to request updates, help prioritize, and ask for clarification on specific points. Managers repeated this process within their teams. And so on and so forth, down the many-layered chain of reporting. This process was inefficient, eating up a ton of time and resources on all layers of the organization.
So, the organization sought out a solution to help align their teams and ease information gathering. They found one in Trello. With Trello, they were able to gather key updates into boards specifically built for operational reporting. However, as executives might have five or more teams reporting into them, they were still forced to check five or more different Trello boards, as the tool doesn’t allow you to natively connect boards together.
The constant jumping between boards, duplicating of cards, and copying and pasting information was still taking a substantial amount of time and effort. And relying on manual updates across boards increased the chances of key information being missed, lost, or outdated.
While the creation of dedicated Trello boards was a great first step in simplifying executive reporting, this major tech enterprise needed Unito to make the process seamless.
Unito is a workflow management solution that allows you to connect your company’s tools and boards together, so information can flow seamlessly between them. These connections are bidirectional, meaning updates made in one synced board are reflected in the other.
With Unito, all of the team boards were synced to a single operational review Trello board for each executive — a master board. This workflow allowed middle managers to feed essential information to executives in just a few clicks without leaving their own environment. The executives had access to key information from all of their teams in a single board. Updates would appear in real-time, automatically, meaning information was never out of date and no one had to spend time copying and pasting. They could ask for clarification or make comments within the Trello cards, instead of relying on backchannels.
Essentially, the executives could now build their monthly operational reports from a single source of information. From there, they further simplified the process by creating a top-level operational review board that was synced to each executive board. This allowed multiple executives to consolidate the most vital information from their teams into a single board for collaborative review at the very top of the enterprise.
The impact of this new operational reporting workflow was immediate. Middle managers and executives each saved several hours of work each month gathering information ahead of their review meetings. Since these business leaders are at the top of the organization, those saved hours can be hugely impactful when spent elsewhere, and therefore represent a massive strategic advantage for the company.
The information being presented at the reviews is now more timely and accurate, and no important updates fall through the cracks. The efficiency of this workflow is felt from the top of the organization down. And all of this is the result of software implementation that can be made in minutes.
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