A bunch of small improvements

It's been a really busy month so far, what with lots of our customers coming back from holidays with fresh energy for tackling their frameworks. But we've not stopped shipping!

We have a mega feature coming up very soon, but in the meantime a few nice things have gone out.

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1. Simplified skills

Creating a skill was too hard to work out, involving a two step form and unclear dependencies. We watched people struggle to work out how skills were constructed and wanted to relax the rules a bit. So now:

  • Skills can be created in one simple page
  • It's clear what belongs to what in the UI
  • You can create as many examples as you want, and you don't need to tie them to a 'behaviour' if you don't want to
  • (coming soon) Create more (or less) than 5 skill levels

This will put this core atomic element of our product in a place to truly scale to whatever framework people need to create. We're helping all teams going for annual plans to get their frameworks into Progression, so this is also making our lives much easier... Dogfooding FTW!

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2. Create your own disciplines and see which templates fit

We were being asked to add new disciplines so often that we decided to let you do it yourself. You can now create any discipline you can imagine, and if it happens to match any of our templates we'll let you know.

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3. New frameworks for Brand Design and Generic Teams

We've been working with a couple of our customers to develop new frameworks for Brand Design teams – which we've opened up to be used by anyone! In addition we now have a set of frameworks which serve as a basis for any team, containing human and leadership skills which can sit across departments. Just add your own craft skills and you're away.


4. Add your brand colour for a personalised app

This was a fun evening experiment by Jonny which turned into a fully fledged feature. You can now make your app feel like home by adding your hex colour.

There's loads of other nice bits of cleanup going on too.

  • Manage people in different teams from yourself
  • View skills and teams on your org home ordered by when they were created
  • Bug fixes for check-ins and across the app

Keep feedback coming! The next one of these will hopefully be a biggie, but we're always making small improvements...

Check-ins 2.0

This one has been a long time coming and we're super excited to release it. Today we launched check-ins 2.0

We've always had the goal of making skill frameworks more than just static repositories of information. Check-ins are our way making these frameworks interactive tools which empower team members to take charge of their own professional development, in a way which is aligned with the goals of the organisation.

There are three key improvements in check-ins 2.0:

  1. Better UI
  2. Better process
  3. Better insights

Better UI

Ok, we admit it, the UI for check-ins 1.0 was just a bit... weird. And not particularly intuitive. So we listened to feedback, talked to users and put our UI designer hats on and came up with the 2.0 interface!

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Each skill presents the user with a simple choice of are they "working towards", "meeting" or "exceeding" what is expected of them. They're then free to write a short note to explain their answer.

Better process

Another important thing we learnt from check-ins 1.0 was that the whole process should be a collaborative one between report and manager rather than a solo exercise. To fix this we've now made the check-in a 3-step process: First you, then your manager and finally you resolve the differences together.

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Better insights

Finally we wanted to make the results of the check-in really easy to understand and help your team get insights into how they can best focus on their own development.

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This gave us a great excuse to fiddle with all sorts of data visualisation and charts. If you want to see the detail you'll have to complete a check-in!

We're proud of check-ins because it represents just the beginning of building this part of the Progression product. We're looking forward to hearing your feedback, especially the areas where things can be improved. Until next time, happy progressing!

PS As part of the data migration processes to the new structure we made some decisions on how we should transform the old data to fit in the new model. Broadly speaking if a check-in was previously completed it will still be completed, if it was incomplete it will remain incomplete.

A very small number of users may have an in-complete check-in where some levels are visible and others not. The best thing would be to either pick new levels for the answers or just delete the check-in and start again.

All free text content should be unaffected.

Organisation Home, multiple teams, shared skills and templates

We haven't updated this changelog in a while, but we've sure been shipping.

Org home

Org homepages

You now have an organisation homepage.

This is great because:

  1. You can create as many teams as you like without fear of messing one up.
  2. You can share skills and even frameworks across teams (some skills are company-wide, others are specific to a team)
  3. You can assign team admins or org admins. So whoever is paying gets org admin rights, but your design managers only need to edit their own team.

Much more coming soon, but this lays the baseline for entire companies to use one Progression account! Hooray :)

Creating a skill

Improved skill adding/editing

In the past, writing your skills and editing them was a pain on Progression. Hell, we were using spreadsheets ourselves to write skills.

It's now as easy as pie to create or edit a skill in the app. You can even find all the skills you've created on your org homepage, to be used by any team that needs them.

Download check-ins as CSV

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Some of our users told us they'd love a way to create a "print off and keep" version of a check-in so they could take it along to a 1-1. We've created a super-MVP version of this with a CSV export of a check-in.

You can find the link at the bottom of a check-in page, it generates something like this:

Screenshot 2019-06-27 at 09.13.24.png

Improving check-ins: Add free text responses

check-in question

You can now add free text to a check-in question, meaning that your manager and future you can know why you picked the answer you did.

Also from now, your manager's manager (and their manager and their manager's manager) will be able to see your check-in results, so those planning the team can know what everyone's strengths are. Hooray!

Finally, you can now have control over whether your team uses check-ins by switching 'edge features' on and off. You can do that from your edit team page at any time.

Huge update: Check-ins and Organisations

All has been fairly quiet on the western front for the last week or so, as we've been heads down working on a couple of big pieces of functionality. We're really excited to get these out to you over the coming week or so, but the first step just rolled out.

1. Organisations

As we've chatted to some of our bigger teams we've realised that just having a team layer isn't enough. This first release of 'organisations' introduces a layer above team for billing, shared skills and frameworks and aggregated data for companies with multiple teams using Progression.

  • Join up multiple teams under one organisation (shipped, let us know if you want this)
  • Be billed across all teams, rather than one team at a time
  • Allow for teams to have visibility of their own frameworks and peers, while sharing skills, definititons and frameworks with the rest of the company (coming very soon)
  • People teams and org admins can see which teams are using and growing in one place (later)

2. Check-ins (gradual rollout)

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So far Progression has been useful for designing and displaying the framework, but hasn't been able to help with measuring team members against it. That changes starting today.

The building blocks of what we're calling 'check-ins' is now live. You'll be able to answer a set of questions, based on the requirements of your position, which will give you a bunch of insights about how to grow, some goals to aim for and guide conversations with your manager. As you add to these skills over time you'll be able to see a graph of your personal development, measured over days and weeks, not bi-annual reviews.

This is the very first step for us, but we believe the possibilities are endless.

  • Complete a check-in against your current position (shipped)
  • View the check-ins of anyone for whom you're their manager* (shipped)
  • View aggregate data across the team - where are the team strong and weak? (coming soon)
  • Measure growth over time (coming soon)

If you want to enable check-ins for your team or try it out in a sandbox environment, just speak to us. We're rolling it out carefully as we learn what's working and where we need to improve.

*coming soon - entire chain of command can see check-ins, for larger organisations

There have also been several smaller improvements and bug-fixes, but as always if you spot issues or have feedback please let us know!

Jonny and Neil

Improved position editing and friday fixes

Some small improvements and fixes out today. Positions are now much easier to modify: you can seamlessly add and remove skills without waiting for page reloads.

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We've also improved the experience of adding users to positions whereever you see the "+" sign.

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Finally there are several small tweaks and fixes around inviting team members and logging in with your Google account.

Add your team members to your framework before you invite them

Sometimes you need to see your team on your framework to finish writing your content. Don't worry, we've got you.

You can now add everyone on your team to your framework, but hold off on the email invites until you're ready. Tweak away, and when the time is right just send those emails so everyone can create an account.

inviting a team member

We've also improved the inviting process so your team can join without you needing to add them again, and created a team members page so you can see everyone in one place.

memberships page

Team members that haven't been invited yet will have a stripey faded avatar wherever they're displayed, so it's easy to work out who's invited.

Hopefully this release will make the basics of getting the team onboard much easier. It also paves the way for more improvements around team management in the future!

Performance improvements to Skills view of framework

A Sunday Special: two small updates going out today which should help with performance of the skills view of your framework.

  • Firstly, we've added a layer of caching to improve page loading time.
  • Secondly, we've made adding a skill level for a role an AJAX action rather than requiring a page load.

Combined, these should make for a much snappier and smoother experience of configuring your framework.

Re-order categories and disciplines

Big release: You can now change the order of your categories and disciplines

Good morning campers! Lots going on at the moment so this has taken longer to ship than we hoped, but you can now re-order your disciplines and categories within your framework.

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Just hit 'Edit' in the top right hand corner of your 'Team' or 'Skills' page to drag and drop to the order you want. They'll update automatically wherever they're shown.

Other smaller improvements

  • Notifications no longer block the menu
  • Long skill and requirement descriptions are truncated on the skills page
  • Positions are organised by discipline on the position page
  • some other smaller bugfixes and speed improvements

As always, please let us know if you have any feedback or want to report a bug.