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5 templates to manage your team efficiently

A ready to use template to start working with your team immediately
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June 8, 2022

Getting in sync, managing a project, staying connected and thinking together are the foundations of teamwork! Learn how visual management can help you collaborate effectively with our 5 templates. Anytime, anywhere.

Teams that choose where, when and how to work together, or collaborate “intentionally”, are three times more innovative than others. This is one of the findings of a study conducted by Gartner on hybrid work best practices. While effective collaboration is useful in the business environment, it’s vital in a hybrid work environment: in the office, working from home, working asynchronously, whenever you need to get in sync. In short, for all the new work modes.

This reality is becoming everyday life for employees around the world. The latest Work Trend Index revealed that one in two employees would now like to switch to a hybrid model or work remotely all the time.

For effective hybrid work and effective communication even between several teams, here are 5 templates you can use straight away! Whether you want to get in sync regularly, track your project, talk face-to-face, let everyone have their say or find new ideas, you will find yourself using these templates day in day out.

Visual management to facilitate communication

Before looking at these 5 templates in more detail, here's a brief reminder of the importance of visual management.

Quite simply, visual management means using identifiable visual information rather than spoken words. Just like the saying: "A picture is worth a thousand words." Don’t forget, the brain retains six times more information when it is presented visually and orally, rather than just orally.

But where does visual management come from? From Japan, and more specifically the car manufacturer Toyota. In the 1960s, Toyota came up with an ingenious idea - the "Andon" system: With this system, you can see the status of each workstation in real time. On the factory floor, on an overhead board, visible from anywhere, each production line is represented by a rectangle containing a number (for example, 1 to 10). Depending on the status of the line, the number lights up in the following colors:

  • Green = normal operation
  • Orange = minor fault that hampers work but does not bring production to a halt
  • Red = serious fault that requires an emergency response or a production line shutdown.

This Andon system achieved twin goals: to become more responsive and solve problems more easily on the factory floor. It makes information in the factory understandable, accessible to everyone and intelligent!

Other Toyota visual inventions include the Obeya. This room is a visual management tool which contains static tables (issues, goals.etc.) and dynamic tables (short-term planning, continuous improvement, quality monitoring, etc). The layout of the information in the room means that key information about the plant's production can be understood at a glance.

The Obeya has two goals:

  1. Getting employees out of their offices
  2. Encouraging them to get together on a daily basis in a central location where they can meet, discuss key information and solve urgent problems.

That's the history! And, what's more, you see it every day. For example, when you drive down the street, traffic signs and traffic lights are visual management tools. This is part of your everyday life, without you even being aware of it.

Today, for effective visual management on a daily basis, with your teams, even remotely, you can use a digital whiteboard, such as Board: an infinite workspace where you can collaborate visually and hold meetings with the integrated video conferencing tool to discuss, participate, and create together, anywhere, anytime. And to help you get started, you can use templates. These are ready-to-use tools for meetings and workshops, like those shown below. They are based on best practices from the Klaxoon user community around the world.

The Weekly meeting to get in sync, unify the team and head in the same direction

The Weekly meeting is the weekly team sync-up ritual. It’s an opportunity to share useful information with the whole team for the coming week.

A team of people in a room, running a Weekly meeting on a big screen, with an overview of all the tasks.
Teams who run Weekly meetings have aquick and visuel overview of the past and upcoming weeks thanks to the template.

Why do you need this template?

Because rituals are one of the secrets of successful teams. They create a known framework that is shared by all team members. To that end, the Weekly meeting is useful for several reasons:

  • Everyone participates: everyone can send their ideas and information ahead of the workshop. As a result, everyone is focused on the information.
  • It's short: during the meeting, everyone reviews the ideas they have already prepared.
  • It's effective: shared ideas are vital information for the group. For example, there are 4 types of ideas: key actions carried out during the week that need to be shared with the group for good team alignment; forthcoming actions in the next week; stumbling blocks; and favorites that celebrate individual or collective successes.
  • Everything is always available: anyone who misses a meeting can get information and ask questions if necessary, even when working asynchronously, because the ideas are placed on the Board.

 Sharing, communication and synchronization are three excellent ways of achieving effective teamwork. This template is the ideal partner for transforming your working methods. This synchronization workshop sets the direction for the team, can be used to share information and unify the team. Used by teams at Crédit Agricole, the sync-up ritual has become an absolute must. According to an internal survey, 94% of people participating in these rituals would like to continue them.

Kanban, more efficient management for all your projects

Let’s travel back to Japan and Toyota for this second template! Because it was a Japanese engineer named Taiichi Ōno who dreamt up this method to optimize production capacity at Toyota plants.

In Japanese, Kanban means label. At the origin of this system is the car manufacturer's desire to increase productivity. Faced with the need to optimize inventory management in plants in the car design process, Taiichi Ōno devised a system in which each product needed to manufacture a car is represented by a colored label. The number of labels listed and displayed on a board in the factory made it easy to see the production capacity of a unit at a glance and regulate it as quickly as possible. The foundation of project management.

Now extended to many sectors, the Kanban method is a way of checking the progress of various tasks in a project. Not started, in progress, complete - all steps are indicated and immediately identifiable, via a color code or chart system.

In template format, tracking is easy, on-site or remotely, both asynchronously by looking directly at the Board and at specific follow-up meetings. At a glance, you can see each item, where the project is moving forward and where it might be blocked. And act accordingly.

A laptop showing a Kanban template with the pictures of the team and the color labels.
With Kanban template, it is easy to collaborate efficiently, even through several teams.

For projects involving cross-disciplinary teams, it’s a must that helps you to check the progress of a project even if it is managed by several teams.

Vladimir Kelava is an agile coach at Schneider Electric. He supports teams in their transformation to more efficient ways of working. He regularly uses the Kanban method for his project tracking. With just three columns – To Do, In Progress, and Completed – he can easily see the progress of his teams and monitor them. All of this, anytime, anywhere.

One-to-ones, a must-have for good relationships

One-to-ones help to drive employee engagement. They are an effective way to motivate your teams. This is one of the findings of a study conducted by business collaboration specialist and university professor Steven Rogelberg. Conducted in partnership with Klaxoon, this is formal research: people who have regular one-to-ones are much more engaged than those who have very few or none at all. Another positive highlighted by this study is that employees like one-to-ones, because they are an opportunity for in-depth discussion.

To make these one-to-ones more effective, use the One-to-One template. It’s the ideal template for building a roadmap together, that's shared by the manager and the employee.

With this template, you can easily get in sync. In one place, you can find your goals, your action plan to achieve them, indicate possible stumbling blocks and more generally track the progress of your projects. Available at any time, it can be used asynchronously to check information or prepare for your next meeting.

This is precisely the template used by Nelly and Jerôme for their weekly review. An essential get together for the apprentice and his manager, both members of the Innovation and Digital Transformation team at ENGIE Engineering Solutions. As Nelly explains: "This template makes me better organized. And it’s much simpler for me because everything is there: missions, deadlines and a view of Jérôme’s projects. This visual management has nothing but benefits for me. I feel more proactive and more effective."

The Team Relay, to harness collective intelligence

Brainstorming about projects, seeking solutions, coming up with new products are the foundations of business innovation. Every day, we have to share, discuss and exchange ideas. One of the challenges is to do so effectively, to keep track of the thoughts of the people present and encourage everyone to have their say. So how do you do that? By using brainstorming methods.

Contrary to what you might think at first sight, coming up with new ideas doesn’t just happen.

And what better than a specific template to immediately visualize the group’s ideas? For example, the team relay that combines numerous advantages.

A team working on lapops and big screens in a meeting room, with ideas being added on a Team Relay Board.
The Team Relay template makes it easier to interact and share ideas, both on-site and remotely.

On any given topic, one person comes up with an idea and passes it on to someone else, who thinks about it and improves the original idea. Then, they pass it on in turn, and so on, until all the people present have had a chance to improve the idea. So, everyone passes the baton like a relay, as the template’s name suggests.

This method is attractive because everyone can express themselves freely, regardless of their personality traits. Those who are brimming with inspiration can suggest the original idea, and those who prefer to rely on suggestions will be more comfortable with the next steps. Everyone can assert themselves regardless of their natural predisposition.

Passing an idea on to the next person helps to avoid duplication, because everyone keeps track of all the ideas being shared.

Another advantage is that it can easily be used for asynchronous work. Like a turn-taking game, ideas grow and improve by being passed from hand to hand. This method can be used asynchronously where everyone has to take the time to think and post their ideas as they come, once the previous person has provided theirs.

There's nothing stopping you from launching a topic one morning, leaving your group to themselves to develop their ideas and seeing the results later on. This is what makes visual management so appealing: ideas are available anywhere, anytime.

With the Team Relay template, you develop collective intelligence at your team's pace.

Encourage the competitive spirit with a team challenge

Another relatively unknown template to have at your fingertips is the Team Challenge. With a bit of group rivalry, you encourage your team to outperform itself.

Whether it's to generate leads, get customer feedback, target prospects or speed up a recruitment campaign, this template is ideal for mobilizing your entire team around a unifying goal, in which each member has a role to play.

 And getting started is easy:

  • Set a clear and unique goal for everyone involved
  • Set rules: how long the challenge lasts, how to win points
  • Keep track of scores: to encourage people and engage your group.

At the end of the challenge, don't forget to reward the winner, and you will be able to see the results of your challenge on the whole group.

As a proof, check out the results of the sales challenge set by Guillaume, manager of an eyewear store in Rennes. When he launched a challenge for his employees, his store sold 30% more frames than average.

A pad displaying Guillaume teams' Challenge template, and surrounded by glasses.
The Team Challenge template allowed Guillaume's teams to increase sales thanks to a gamified environment.

The playful touch helps boost your business. Using the template means you can keep track of the challenge anywhere, anytime. It helps to keep everyone motivated, and strengthens team relationships.

So from time to time, make sure to have some fun as a team. By setting regular challenges, coupled with the team's performance indicators, you will energize the group as a whole.

And to find out more

If you would like to discover other templates, suitable for hybrid project management, take a look at the Managing remote teams set of templates, which suggests 6 more templates to improve team collaboration in any situation, in the office, remotely, asynchronously or all together. There's bound to be one for you.

And because we need to collect feedback all the time and share information with the whole team, what about a Memo? In a few clicks, create your content using text, photos or videos, and encourage everyone to participate by inserting quizzes and surveys. Prepare a workshop, check that information has been understood correctly, or make your work sessions more interactive - you can do it all with Memo, even asynchronously.

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