In the latest version of Org.ly we have added a much anticipated feature - Groups. In this first issue of 'Feature Focus' we are going to have a look at this fantastic new feature to see what you can use it for, how you create a group, etc. Do let us know if you found this feature useful, and what feature you would like us to write a 'Feature Focus' about next. We'd be delighted to oblige.
Go on then, tell me what I can use Groups for....
OK, since you ask nicely! As you know, Apple just gives you a big long list of all of your contacts on the phone, which is a nightmare if you have a lot of contacts, so Groups is a great way to assign your contacts into, well, Groups. It gives you a really easy way to give some structure to your contacts.
The same contact can be in many different Groups, in addition to the Company that they actually work for, which, as you already know, Org.ly automatically creates for you. The ability to have people in multiple Groups means that you can have someone in a couple of different project Groups, their Company group of course, your friends Group, your Golf Club group, etc. so no matter what you are looking for, your contacts will always be in the right place.
Of course, you can create an Org Chart for any of these Groups – each of which will be different for each group.
Let's have a look at these different type of Group in more detail.
Many organisations are adopting and more flexible and agile approach to team structures, and so being able to map out these new matrix structures is really important. The formal org structure within a company tends to remain in place for a long period of time, but these matrix teams can be put together quickly to address a specific project, for example, a new product development, but then can be broken apart once the project has been completed. Keeping up to date with who is involved is really important if you are trying to sell to these groups.
Project Teams can also include people outside of your company. Using the same Product Development example, your project team will likely include internal product management teams, developers and engineering, but perhaps external graphic designers, PR and Marketing teams. Groups on Org.ly allows you to bring all of these people together so that you are instantly able to see who is working on the project.
So you want to map out the structure of a Holding Company and all of it’s subsidiaries? Groups is perfect for this. Take the Chairman of the Holding Company and then add in all of the CEO’s of the Divisions. Once they are all in the Group, add in the Org Structure and you automatically have an Org Chart. Beautiful!
Inner Circle/Political Influence Maps
If you’ve ever been on any ‘Strategic Selling’ training courses you will know the importance of understanding the political landscape within your customer. Who does the CEO really talk to for advice? This can often skip many levels within the traditional company structure, especially if it involves technical or other business specific knowledge, and you need to know this – it is a key way you can influence an Executive’s thinking without speaking to them directly. This has always been really difficult to map out as traditionally it involves overlaying groupings on top of a traditional Org Chart. Org.ly changes that.
Create a Group for the ‘Inner Circle’ for the CEO (or whoever you are mapping it for) and simply add the contacts that you believe influence them. No messing around with overlaying diagrams on other Org Charts – that adds no value – let’s keep it simple and just focus on who is important to them.
It's maybe not quite so relevant to create an Org Chart for this Group, but you still can if you want to.
Simple Groups perhaps don’t need an Org Chart as an output – you just want to group people together in a manner that helps you keep track of things. How about a group for all of your Family? Perhaps your Golf friends? People you were on a training course with? How you group is entirely up to you – the great thing is that you now can group!
OK I’m hooked - how do I create a Group?
As with everything Org.ly, this couldn’t be easier. There is a simple three-step process that you have to go through:
- Create a Group and give it a name
- Add users to a Group
- Add an Org Structure to a Group
Simple as that. Of course, you might not even need to do step three if you don’t need to create a structure within the Group, so maybe it is just a two-step process ;-)
Each group is given a different colour so that you can easily identify which group you are in.
How can you see what Groups is a Contact a member of?
We have added a new tab at the bottom of the Main Contact Screen that will show you which groups a contact is a member of. Tapping on any of these group icons will take you directly to that group so that you can see who else you have in there.
Each Group is a different colour so that you can always keep track of where you are, and of course each Group has its own different Org Structure if you have chosen to configure one.
The company that the contact is a member of is also shown in the Groups tab so that you can always get back to the Company with a single tap.
There is no limit to the number of groups that a contact can be a member of - and remember that in this latest release you can now 'Favourite' a Company and a Group, in addition to an individual Contact, making it super-fast to get to where you want.