Implementing Podio Wisely

23 Oct

“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is knowing that a tomato doesn’t belong in a fruit salad.” – Miles Kington

Podio has achieved stellar traction in the last couple of years, with hundreds of thousands of organisations taking it on. As with so many things in life though, it’s what you do with it that counts. That’s when getting the right advice can make all the difference.

Tomato (1)

Getting the right advice

We’re often asked – “If Podio is a tool designed to be configured by the end user, why would we need to engage a consultancy?”

Podio is indeed ideally set up to allow users or teams to configure their apps from scratch, or to grab ‘app packs’ from the Podio Marketplace. That’s one of its great strengths, and can work really well. However, I would liken getting to grips with Podio, to taking up a new sport such as golf or skiing. It’s possible to get plenty of enjoyment and success by quickly reaching a certain standard. But then you hit what’s widely known as the intermediate plateau; a stage at which you’re not making any noticeable improvement, things begin to stagnate and most importantly, you’re not getting the most out of the time and effort you put in.

Seeking professional advice (be it a professional sports coach – or to quit the analogy and return to Podio - a Podio Preferred Partner), will help you to transcend the intermediate plateau and achieve amazing results. We’d caution against waiting until you’ve already floundered though. Get the pro’s on board before apathy and disengaged users become the hallmark of your system.

A Preferred Podio Partner will have seen many implementations and worked with a diverse range of clients. We can bring some seriously valuable expertise to the table.

An example: Break down silos, don’t re-create them

Consciously or subconsciously, it’s all too easy to mimic the status quo, rather than creating something new.

We’ve encountered the following scenario with more than one Podio client; They have multiple teams, such as sales, marketing, finance, HR – as well as teams to manage specific projects. Along comes Podio. The client naturally sets up workspaces for each of those teams. A few weeks later, they realise that nothing has really changed. The collaboration tool that was supposed to fix their collaboration culture, hasn’t really had the desired impact.

The problem? They haven’t done anything new; they’ve just re-created their existing team silos in the cloud. Sure, there will no doubt be some improvements within teams, but nothing has happened to tie the organisation together as a whole, or to create somewhere new to celebrate the company’s ethos.

In this situation we would always set up a master workspace that everyone in the whole company joins. Okay, Podio has an Employee Network by default, but you can’t add apps to it. Creating a master “intranet” workspace provides a natural home for a company-wide blog, a “good news” or “high-five” app, policies and procedures, ideas and all sorts of other apps to create a sense of unity.

Perhaps controversially, if the client already has an intranet, then unless it has a major and compelling feature not found in Podio, we’d often recommend they jump ship. Why? Because if you create one great place where there are multiple reasons to visit, you’ll boost user participation no end – especially if work, play and people converge there.

We have plenty more examples of how Podio Preferred Partners add value. Sometimes it’s through simple advice; sometimes through technical integrations. Either way, it all adds up to getting a better return on your Podio investment by implementing it wisely.

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  • Joy Ong

    Hi! We’ve been using Podio for a few yrs, and I must say there is a concern that we may be stretching Podio too much. What I would like to understand is if there’s a better approach or set-up to the requirements we have.

    There weren’t any preferred partners then we we started with Podio. Regardless, do any of these preferred partners do free assessment to sort of diagnose how healthy are current state of Podio is, from an outsiders’ AND experts’ point of view.

    The two areas we have not explored deeply:
    1) API for exntions using JS
    2)Third party addon like global task list