Product Team Q&A: How to Align Your Team with Flows

Meet Josh, Katya, and Brooke - part of an incredibly skilled and busy product team. Managing everything..

September 16, 2021

Meet Josh (Chief of Product), Katya (Sr. Product Manager), and Brooke (Product Designer) - part of an incredibly skilled and busy product team. Managing everything from bugs to feature design to overall strategy means there is little time for manual processes and tools that provide niche value.

We asked them about their experience with Flows and what has changed about their workflow.

1. What Flow have you found to be the most useful? 

J: Idea Management -- sourcing good ideas within an organization can/should come from anywhere. Gusteau from Ratatouille said it best, “Anyone can cook.” but in this case, anyone can have an idea. No reason to miss out on that. 

K: Our sprint retrospective flow has been super effective for our team. It has allowed us to significantly cut down on our meeting time by collecting the team’s feedback ahead of time and providing more structure during the meeting. It also creates another opportunity to recognize and reward teammates that have been especially helpful or amazing in the sprint.  

B: I love our Product Feedback flow. It allows our team to gather and analyze feedback from internal stakeholders before moving forward with important design decisions. Having a quick and succinct way to do this saves a lot of time in meetings since we’re able to temperature-check new designs and features before putting time on the calendar.

2. What have you been able to automate that was manual before? 

J: My one one-on-ones -- collecting the information was pretty manual and took a lot of time. Not only am I saving time, but I’m also getting better answers that I can look back on. In the past, I’d write shorthand and have a hard time going back through my notes. 

K: Sprint retrospectives and daily standup -- these flows have been a great supplement to our daily standup and sprint retrospective meetings. They provide a standardized and measurable record of everything we’ve worked on and/or discussed and create a more flexible alternative when someone is unable to attend any of the meetings.

B: We also automated our weekly Product Sync to set agendas and take meeting notes - it allows us to keep meetings focused by pre-planning, and it lets us define and reference clear action items coming out of it.

3. How do you use Flows every day? 

J: Daily standup is amazing. It’s really nice to see what the team is up to. 

B: As Josh said -- I use our Daily Standup flow every day to make sure I understand our progress as a team, and it also helps me keep track of my action items for the day to hold myself accountable to reaching our team's goals.

K: Three’s a crowd! Daily standup is an integral part of our workflow. I also really love our bug hunt flow that provides a space for anyone in the company, particularly outside of the engineering team, to report any bugs they find. It serves as a great medium between scattered Slack conversations about bugs and allowing anyone to directly report bugs into Jira. We have standardized all details required for a proper bug report in this Flow, and I use that information to either validate the issue and create a bug ticket in Jira, or close the issue if it is already a known/logged issue or not a valid issue at all.

4. What tools have you been able to replace with Flows? 

J: We’re now able to replace our survey tool and do surveys directly in Assembly. We used to use a standup tool to collect information. Now we do it directly in Assembly as well. 

K: Using Confluence to track retrospectives. I also used to collect GIFs from the team to describe how the sprint went for them (a really fun addition to our retrospectives) and put them into a deck. Using flows for retrospectives allows me to collect valuable feedback on each team member’s sprint, have some fun with their GIFs for the sprint, and a relevant space to recognize and reward their teammates. 

B: We’ve gotten rid of tools from recognition to retrospective, and now they all live within Flows.

5. What would your advice be to other product teams considering Flows?  

J: Leverage Assembly for your retros, standups, one one-on-ones, weekly wins, and idea management. Then explore how Assembly can fill other gaps for your team. 

K: Flows will not only provide you with the ability to build almost any tool, but it houses all of your tools and important information in one place. It’s pretty astonishing how much time you can waste in meetings without structure; flows will save you time (and money). Not to mention you still get Assembly’s signature platform of recognition which can be woven into any of your flows, providing countless opportunities to give praise and keep your team motivated.

B: My advice would be to go for it! Assembly is so flexible -- it works for tried and true processes, but it also gives you space to get creative. Take advantage of the inherently social nature of Assembly to foster valuable ideas and productive conversations.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Assembly SOC 2 compliant?

Yes, at Assembly, security is a top priority. Each quarter, we have ongoing security work that is everyone’s responsibility. While we maintain a strong security posture, it was important for us to prove to our customers that we do everything we claim to do. This led us to pursue a SOC 2 Type II report that would provide evidence of our compliance with industry gold-standard security practice.

What's the ROI for employee recognition?

There is study after study showing that employee recognition leads to increased engagement. This in return creates an environment where employees are happier and more motivated which increase productivity and reduces voluntary turnover significantly. In order to filled critical roles, companies tend to spend nearly twice the value of an annual salary. Assembly is an investment in your employees that supports your bottom line.

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Yes, we will offer contracts for companies with longer-term agreements to help larger customers have more certainty around future costs.

The minimum agreement term is a 12-month subscription.

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We do! Any new customer needing further support to get started with Assembly to ensure you're set up for success can request custom onboarding support. These one-time services start at $5,000. Improving your employee experience is about much more than just using our amazing software; it’s about transforming your business to create a workplace that people love. That’s much easier to do with the personal support and advice from our passionate people experts.

Is there a free version of Assembly?

Yes. We offer a completely free plan for up to 50 team members. This plan is intended for teams or organizations that are looking to get started with an employee engagement tool. Keep in mind, this plan is limited in features.

All customers can open an Assembly account for free and get started without a credit card. Then you can change plans as necessary.

How much do rewards cost?

At the time of redemption (when your employees exchange their points for a paid reward) you'll pay face value. If a reward is a $10 Amazon gift card, your cost will be $10. All paid rewards are billed for on a monthly basis.

The good news is that you don't have to pay for rewards upfront because we only charge you when points are redeemed, not when they're earned.

Does Assembly offer discounts?

We offer discounts or educational or charitable organizations. In order to secure a discount, you'll first need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

For all other organizations, we are willing to consider longer-term agreements in exchange for discounts. To set up annual plans or longer, you will need to book a demo with a customer support specialist.

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What customizations are available?

Great question! You can customize your core values to match your organization's to boost and track alignment. You can change your currency from the 🏆 emoji (our default) to any emoji of your choice. You can swap our logo for your own. You can also set up company culture rewards such as, "Lunch with the CEO," "Buy a book on us," and so much more!

Who can give or receive recognition?

While we recommend a peer to peer set up where anyone in your organization can give or receive recognition, you can set up Assembly however you want. If you need to limit the people who can give or receive recognition, that's perfectly fine and can be done from your Admin, here.

What integrations are available?

Assembly connects to the tools your employees use every day to offer an easy, seamless experience with minimal change management.  

Assembly has integrations with HCM/HRIS systems like ADP, Google, Office 365, and Slack. We also integrate with communication tools like Slack and Teams so you and your employees can access Assembly wherever they work now.

What's your average adoption rate?

That depends on the company's permissions set up. That said, over 90% of the employees on Assembly's platform are recognized on a monthly basis. That means nearly every employee across all of our customers are receiving regular recognition from their peers, managers, or leadership. We're extremely proud of this.

Must rewards be set up to use Assembly?

They are not required. You can use Assembly without having rewards set up. However, we don't recommend it if you intend to have a high adoption and usage rate. You can always keep the costs down by offering internal culture rewards that are fulfilled by you internally.

Are points required to use Assembly?

No, you can remove allowances from anyone or everyone. It's up to you but we do recommend using points whether they're worth a real dollar value or not. Companies that use points have a much higher engagement rate even if those points don't exchange for real dollars.

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