Collaborative planning gets all of your teams and departments in sync and aligned towards delivering continuous customer value
There’s no better testament than a company using its own product to run its business. That’s the case with Favro. The Favro team uses its SaaS collaborative planning platform to run all aspects of its company. All squads stay in sync with each other by using Favro. Product development, sales, account management, customer success, marketing, operations, HR, and finance all use the same platform they continuously develop, sell, and support as a live service. The Favro teams are their own ideal customers and have the luxury of beta testing and fine-tuning new features internally before releasing them to their many thousand customer organizations worldwide.
As many companies know, things move fast in the Software-as-a-Service (“SaaS”) world. Competition is fierce, and SaaS companies that aren’t able to stay in tune with and respond to changing customer and marketplace demands will quickly find themselves treading water.
Running a live service product requires all company functions to be aligned towards common goals, plan and execute collaboratively, measure and track progress, all with an ultimate goal of continuously delivering value to the customer.
Favro empowers SaaS companies to do all of these things, accelerating growth and scaling seamlessly with the company as it expands. In addition, the platform supports the essential operational pillars of any truly agile business: transparency, autonomy, and alignment.
Favro adapts to how your organization works, not the other way around.
And, it does it all with only four core building blocks that can be configured however needed by the teams themselves to collaborate across teams of teams organically.
Favro helps SaaS companies avoid organizational silos that so often appear as teams grow. That’s because everything happens through collaborative planning, keeping everyone on the same page.
In this article, we’ll show you how Favro is used to run all aspects of your SaaS company, ranging from leadership to development to quality assurance to live-ops to marketing, even supporting fast-growing recruitment efforts. We’ll also highlight recent feature releases, including agile dependencies, the new Relations column, automated status rollups, and enhanced timelines.
When moving to Favro, the first step is to create an easy-to-navigate organizational structure that everyone in the organization will recognize. This enables team members to quickly and intuitively find what they’re looking for.
Favro’s new Collection Folders are used to map your company’s existing team structure directly to the platform’s interface of capabilities. Collection Folders will be the containers for all your team level, product level, and leadership level collections. Favro collections are aptly named, containing all of the product backlogs, development boards, roadmaps, marketing plans, and recruitment pipelines that any particular team needs to collaborate and effectively deliver value to the customer.
Prior to creating these collections, it makes sense to map the structure of your company to your Favro organization with collection folders.
With your folder mapping complete, it’s time to start creating collections. Collections can either be built directly in each folder or dragged and dropped into their respective folders after the fact.
Now that everyone knows how to get around your Favro organization, teams themselves should start creating their own collections and filling them with boards custom-built to support their unique ways of working. We’ll begin with these team-level collections, move up to teams-of-teams product dashboard collections, all the way up to the big picture, company-driving leadership dashboard collections.
Whether your team’s focus is product development, DevOps, marketing, sales, recruitment, etc., you should have your own collection. It’s your space to capture, organize, and prioritize ideas and turn them into reality. The core of any team-level collection is a backlog for long-term deliverables and a Scrum or Kanban board to visualize and collaborate with team members to create the most valuable items out of that backlog.
Here’s an example of a product development team’s collection.
Crucial to continuous development SaaS teams is the need to synchronize with other teams in real-time. This essential cross-team collaboration is seamless thanks to Favro’s unique ability to have both cards and boards in multiple collections simultaneously.
For example, a product development team can add a DevOps team’s board to their collection and see what they’re currently working on. If they need to work together on an identical product feature, they drag and drop the card representing that feature to the other team’s board. Now that card exists on both boards. It’s not a copy; it’s the same card.
The communication between the two teams can also occur directly on the card, keeping everything in context and related to the work in progress.
SaaS companies create and improve products based on customer feedback, continuously improving their offerings. They don’t think in terms of projects but in terms of products. There are no project start and end dates. Instead, teams focus on the flow of value and want to ensure they maintain a steady stream of features and updates. To support this mindset, Favro boards can be instantly switched to flow-based charts and graphs, including cumulative flow diagrams and control charts like the one seen here.
Identifying bottlenecks, ensuring a sustainable flow, reducing average lead times, optimizing cycle times, and controlling work in progress are all capabilities built directly into Favro boards and are always only a few clicks away.
Another example of a team-level collection is a marketing team, with their prioritized backlog of advertising campaigns, social media assets, and marketing content pieces.
Internal marketing teams often need to work directly with external creative agencies and freelancers, possibly with marketing assets from the same backlog feeding both internal teams and external partners. Favro has support for both guest users and external member accounts, which help bring external teams together with internal teams, acting more like dynamic extensions of your company.
This Marketing Director dashboard collection shows how straightforward Favro makes working with externals.
Because Favro Cards can be worked on simultaneously by multiple teams, lead times are drastically reduced. It’s also much easier to track overall progress without aggregating the status of multiple tickets, as you’d have to do with other tools. The newly released Favro Relations Column makes this even easier, as seen in this product backlog example.
Product Managers and Project Managers need to see a comprehensive overview of the entire SaaS product under their responsibility. A product dashboard collection is their command central, bringing together all teams across multiple departments, empowering them to define the vision, set goals, prioritize, create roadmaps, and track progress all from a single screen. The pain of having to jump back and forth between various team projects and boards, as they’d have to do in other tools, is completely removed. Plus, it also helps them avoid some common mistakes that slow the flow of customer value.
As you can see in this example dashboard collection, multiple product development teams, quality assurance, DevOps, and marketing are aggregated into one place. This makes it much easier for Product Managers to keep their finger on the overall pulse of the product and ultimately provide a much better customer experience.
When a SaaS company scales to teams-of-teams, managing dependencies becomes even more important and potentially more difficult. Dependencies are best resolved before they happen with proper backlog prioritization and autonomous teams delivering end-to-end value. However, some cross-team dependencies are inevitable. Favro’s new Agile Dependencies allow you to visualize impediments and to resolve them quickly with dedicated communication threads.
Here’s a closer look at bringing quality assurance closer to development, including the newly updated two-way Jira integration.
Favro’s automations are a huge time saver for SaaS teams. When it comes to a process, if you can think of it, then it can probably be automated. Everything from recurring meetings to Product Manager reviews to automatically synched teams-of-teams release plans can be automated by the team members themselves, without involving IT or a centralized resource.
Shareable links are another recent Favro feature that is of particular benefit to product teams. Product Managers often need to share information with executives, external partners, and even customers, all of whom may not have Favro accounts. In this situation, a shareable link is the best way to give secure real-time access to specific boards or entire collections. In transparent organizations, this typically removes the need for reporting and the time it takes to create those reports.
SaaS company founders and executives don’t want to jump between different tools and apps to get the information they need or to drive business initiatives and set company goals. Thankfully, with Favro’s company dashboard collections, they don’t have to.
From a single company dashboard, leaders have a real-time, big picture of the entire organization. If they see that something is blocked or taking longer than expected, drilling down into the details to analyze and resolve the problem is as simple as following the Favro relations.
There’s no need for a separate tool to implement goal setting and progress monitoring methods like OKRs and KPIs since they can also be created and tracked directly in Favro. For example, OKRs can live in their own collection visible to the entire company, in the company dashboard collection, or both, with links to supporting details.
With Favro’s new Status Rollup Automations, the aggregate progress of key results or even cascading OKRs can be automatically rolled up to the overall Strategic OKR status.
Fast-growing SaaS companies are constantly recruiting and onboarding top talent. Because of this, two additional components of a company dashboard are typically recruitment pipelines and onboarding flows.
SaaS companies have come to heavily rely on roadmaps to plan strategic initiatives and product release plans. Favro’s enhanced timelines allow company leadership and product owners to visualize all card data, including custom fields, directly on their roadmaps. The timeline views can also now be better organized with the ability to split roadmaps into expandable and collapsable swimlanes.
Delivering continuous value to customers is the sole purpose of SaaS companies. Therefore, they must stay in close contact with the daily users of their products. With this in mind, it’s imperative to share upcoming planned features and updates with your customer base and receive feedback before those features are even released. A Favro public collection is the perfect place to share your product roadmap and receive that all-important customer feedback.
Things are moving too fast in the competitive SaaS landscape to be slowed down by an outdated organization or tool silos. Instead, all teams, departments, leaders, and external partners can efficiently work together in a single platform that supports all of their unique ways of working and brings them together to support shared goals.
With Favro collaborative planning and working together are taken to a new next level. Discover why so many of today’s most successful SaaS companies are already moving to Favro by giving it a try. Also, feel free to contact team Favro for a personal demo or best practice discussion.