Drinking our own champagne


We have an expression “drinking our own champagne” – i.e. using our own products on ourselves. So how good is it?  Here are 2 perspectives of the same experience; Day 1 for a new summer intern who started this week.

Alyssa: Head of Operations

This week, the first new US employee started, on my watch as Head of Operations at Elements.cloud.  Exciting moment!  A smart summer intern, but an employee nonetheless who needs nearly the same induction process, as well as training in our systems and her role. It’s been an excellent test of our Elements Operations process map, that I’ve been building (on and off) since January.  Was the process flow what we actually did?  Was it correct and all necessary?  What had been left out?  And, what about the process flow for the very first task I asked her to tackle: qualification of new accounts? For us it involves using Salesforce and the web, and has up to nine steps.

Here’s my report card:

B- for my induction process.  Some of it was written soon after I joined, and I didn’t spend enough time thinking it through. It is long on HR law compliance, but short on covering all the bases of what you actually need to do when a newbie arrives.  For instance, granting access to relevant Google folders and inviting to some Elements.cloud Spaces.

solid A for the Salesforce account qualification process.  This is a task I normally do every day, so I could be clear about each step, and I took the time to match up what I do in the real world with every step in the process.  I imagined myself as a new hire knowing nothing about what I should be seeing on-screen, so I attached screenshots, notes and even links to the correct Salesforce pages. Our intern said it was easy to follow – hooray!

Drinking my own champagne for the first time has been reassuring that it is really, honestly, genuinely worth taking the time to write process maps, and link them to our Salesforce configuration – for example we built a report to enable the account qualification process flow. I’ve gotten much of the time back in the reduced training effort for a single intern, and I’ll reap recurring dividends for every new employee.

Maris Welch: marketing intern

On the first day of a new internship, one doesn’t expect to accomplish much. Meet some people in the office, get a feel for the company culture, and begin the training process at most. And so on my first morning, when I found myself already efficiently completing productive work, I was pleasantly surprised.

As a company, Elements certainly walks the walk; in addition to some basic training and explanation, the main tool available to me was Elements.cloud app itself. The process mapping cloud app served as a type of digital notebook. Maybe not as helpful as going to the lecture, but a great reminder and study tool to refer to at any given time.

My first thought when I opened Elements.cloud was that is was essentially a flow chart on steroids, and in a way, that was a fairly accurate assumption. It employs a relatively simple layout to organize a myriad of complex information, and it does it remarkably efficiently. As someone with absolutely no prior experience with Salesforce, Elements.cloud, or even working in a company at all, I had at least some comprehension, of how the entire company functioned within minutes thanks to a process map.

Sure, I’m just a summer intern, but having a visual representation of how the small task that I’m completing benefits the larger body of work being done by Elements is not only clarifying but encouraging. Personally, I think it fosters a more pleasant company culture in a lot of ways. I’m not doing a task simply because I was told to do it, rather I’m doing it because I understand why it must be done.

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