Today I have a great case for you if you’ve ever wondered how other companies use their collaboration tools. I interviewed Simon Hird from Cedar Consulting, an international company that specializes in providing Oracle HCM Cloud, ERP Cloud, and PeopleSoft services and projects.
They use Huddle, one the most popular tools for collaboration (find out how common it is in my earlier collaboration tools survey).
Simon shared the benefits it has made to their project teams, and how they use it.
Simon, what is Huddle? What are you using it for?
Huddle is primarily for internal use. It is used to secure company financial records, HR records and policies. It also serves as a collaboration space for staff to share work and issue documents related to delivery projects. Support projects, bids, specialisms etc.
How did it all get set up?
Cedar had no policy regarding where project collateral should be stored when I joined it. Although there were many shared drives within the company, they had no owners and no one seemed to know where it was or how current it was. This created a culture where all work was kept on individual laptop hard drives. This led to several problems, including the inability to share collateral and lessons learned from engagements and the risk that hard disk failure could occur.
After using SharePoint with other employers, I realized the urgent need to create a knowledge sharing platform at Cedar. Asking around, I discovered that there was not much support for the idea. In fact, several initiatives had been initiated in the past, but never reached the investigation stage.
I suggested that we set up an internal project to review this. We set up a project with formal Terms of Reference, and assigned individuals to the team.
How did you choose Huddle?
We looked at many products, including SharePoint. I found Huddle in the newspaper, and began to research it. We mapped them all using selection criteria. Huddle met almost all of our requirements, was cost-effective, and required very little maintenance. It was also very easy to use so we could get started immediately.
It was easy to get started.
Yes. Yes. I created a project directory structure with a colleague (PM, Functional and Technical, Training, Testing, Upgrading, etc. with sub-folders). This allowed us to quickly create templates to duplicate standard structures for all Cedar delivery projects.
Are you using it to share information with your customers?
Huddle was not designed to be used by clients. Many of our clients already have SharePoint or another collaboration tool to use for project collateral and key documentation.
However, Huddle has made it possible to share documents by publishing links in a public share area. This functionality is something I will promote throughout Cedar to allow clients to share documents.
How have the project teams reacted to it, as it is mainly used internally?
It has been very successful. It has been a huge benefit to all those who have joined a project and have used the same folder structure to help them find their collateral.
It has been rolled out to the support team, but they already use Service Now, a ticket management system that is used in conjunction clients. It can store documents like SLAs and support manuals, so we need to be careful not to use them both for the same thing.
Your project teams are virtual with members all over the globe. How has Huddle helped manage dispersed teams?
Communication with offshore teams can be difficult due to language restrictions or geographical distances and time zones. We use Huddle for several activities during an engagement such as sharing design do