With the beta launch of Onboard now in full swing we’ve been able to spend the past couple of months observing how product features are being used and collecting detailed feedback from users. If you’ve never released a new software product from scratch, the beta process is a humbling yet critical process to go through as it inevitably leads to additional discoveries that improve your product roadmap.
When choosing the features to include in the Onboard beta we focused primarily on process automation for new hires. It included things like importing accounts, setting up the company SaaS product catalog, and assigning users to products and teams.
Last month the time arrived to begin onboarding new hires for our beta customers and (drum roll please…..) gaps in the product slowly began to reveal themselves (sad trombone). On the bright side, it was apparent we were on to something. The problem we set out to solve was a real one. It turns out what we had done was put in the pipes to help get new hires setup quickly, but this was only the beginning.
We’re discovering the journey a new hire takes is a longer and more complex process than companies plan for. It requires effort that goes beyond powering through an HR checklist. If you think about it, what you have is a person, who under immediate pressure, needs to understand the mechanics of the unfamiliar environment they’ve just landed in.
They need answers to things like:
• What tools does the company use? What do I need to know about them?
• How do I get access to these tools with the least amount of BS required?
• I already know how to do task X-Y-Z, but how does this company do task X-Y-Z?
• Where are the bodies buried? Who can explain why?
• How can I figure all this out quickly?
• How can I start making contributions right now to prove they hired the right person?
What’s interesting is that the answers to all these questions are different for every team out there. We’re finding every organization has a unique SaaS fingerprint that’s a reflection of how they work, how they collaborate, and how they make decisions.
The challenge for companies is this, none of these concepts are things that can be quickly communicated in a new hire packet during orientation. The most amazing slide deck in the world won’t provide this specific level of knowledge. The best way for a new hire to be successful is to begin doing meaningful work right away, learning by figuring things out, and through the support of their peers. The companies of the future that understand this will be the ones who are most successful.
To wrap things up, instead of being disappointed by not nailing it right out of the gate (ROFL), we got even more excited. Like 10x excited. We’re starting to think more deeply about the long-term future of Onboard and the impact we can make on the way we work. As a result, our roadmap has expanded to include some really interesting new concepts for how to connect users, products, and processes within a company. It’s a big challenge, but it’s one we’re confident we can solve and so we are building the tools to prove it.
If you have any questions please feel free to drop me a line: email@example.com.