Company-wide initiatives exist across companies of all types and sizes. Use this quick-start guide to get started in Hive and optimize your project flow and structure.
Do any of these issues sound familiar?
- I don't understand the macro-level initiatives my company is planning.
- I don't know who is working on what tasks within a larger projects.
- What's the next step after I complete this small task?
- Can I see a high-level view of what's going on in the organization?
Step 1: Define the Initiative
If you can relate to any of the questions above, this article is for you. Let's first think about the types of initiatives your team is taking on. Which of the following are they?
- Micro-level: On-going, repeatable initiatives that exist within a department (i.e. HR team onboarding, legal team reviewing materials for sign-off)
- Macro-level: Department initiatives undergone to achieve KPIs
Good news -- you can tackle both of these initiatives in Hive. Once you understand the type of initiative you're working on, you can get started on the moving parts and tasks within.
First we need to ask ourselves a few questions. To start, we want to better understand how your team has learned about this initiative.
- Triggered by an event in the company
- An ongoing project that your team is running for the company
- A repeatable tasks that exists or pops-up every week
- A response to requests from other teams or departments
- Given to the team by leadership
Step 2: Sketch It Out in Hive
Once we understand what triggered the event, we can take the appropriate actions in Hive.
If the task was triggered by an event in the company:
- Create a new project in Hive for the initiative or task and invite all relevant team members from your organization.
- To add a new project, click the "New" button in the upper right hand corner of your Hive window and select New Project.
- You'll need to add teammates to your project. To do this, click the "Edit Project" button in Hive and add "Members" to your project. They'll now be able to access and visualize this initiative.
- If there are relevant documents or additional information, you can attach them in the Project Homepage. Access Project Homepage by clicking the home icon when you're inside the project.
Another component of Hive that you might want to utilize if a task is triggered by an event in the company is Phases.
Every project goes through a process from start to finish. In some industries, this process is marked by stages. For example, a consulting project might have three phases: planning, execution, and closing.
To use phases in Hive:
- When adding phases to a new project, go to the project navigator, select "+ New Project", and in the new window click the link "+ Add phases"
- When you create a new action, it adds it to the first phase by default. You change an action's phase by clicking the dropdown menu at the top of the action card.
Once you've set up Phases, you can use them in a few ways:
- Filter all actions in Kanban by status
- View actions broken down by phase in Gantt view
- In Gantt view, you can also group actions by phase
If the task is an ongoing project that your team is running for the company:
- This setup is going to look largely the same as the previous, except you will be adding tasks to a preexisting project.
- If you need to add team members to the project, click the "Edit Project" button in Hive and add "Members" to your project. They'll now be able to access and visualize this initiative.
- To add team members to the specific task, you can either tag them in the comments of the action card, or add them as followers by clicking the blue plus sign on the bottom right hand corner.
- If the task is part of a collection of tasks that can all be created using the same framework, it could be beneficial to use Hive Templates.
With templates, you can easily create built-out action cards that have pre-existing content, making it easier for your teammates to understand next steps and action items.
To access Hive Templates:
- Go to your main menu (upper right corner under your profile picture)
- Click "Workspace Settings"
- Select "Templates"
- Click "+ Create New Action Template"
- Name the template and provide a label if desired
- Add the subactions, assignees, days, and durations. It will look something like the below.
To apply a Hive Template, simply open up the action card (or create a new one) and select "Apply Action Template" from the dropdown.
If it is a repeatable task that occurs weekly:
- Within your new project, add a task and set the individual action as recurring
- To make an action recurring, simply click on the "Due Date" section of the action card, and click "Set Recurring"
If the task was in response to requests from other teams or departments:
There are a few ways to digest tasks passed from a team or department. If the task is coming from another teammate, and you've received it over email, you can easily use Hive Mail to either:
- Create a new task from the email. To do this, simply click into the email from your Hive Mail inbox, then click the checkmark icon above the message. You’ll then be able to access it from My Actions.
Bonus: Email threads linked to action cards are dynamic, so they will update with any additional replies that are sent or received. Anyone who has access to the action card will be able to view and reply to the linked messages, ensuring that everyone stays up to date with the latest.
- Pull information in on the task from a Hive Form. This is an easy way to intake project or task data in a repeatable fashion.
Here's how to enable and utilize Hive Forms:
- Enable "Forms" from "Hive Apps" if it's not already enabled. Pin Forms to your left-hand navigation panel.
- Forms will now be easily accessible. To create a new Form, simply click "Create A New Form" on the upper right hand corner.
- Utilize the Form builder to compile the information for your Form.
- Set where you want to receive the Form submissions. You can either receive each submission via email, or in a Hive action (it will automatically create an action in Hive in the project and assigned to the person you select)
Each form come with a link that you can share or post on a website. To access the link, scroll to the top of the form and you will see a white box with a link. Click the button "copy" to save it to your clipboard.
If the task was given to you by leadership:
- If a task is passed down to you by leadership as part of a larger initiative, it's easy to add yourself to the existing project that they're working from.
- Once you're in the project, you can work with them to learn more about project set-up, milestones, KPIs, and other components of the project.
- It would be helpful to view a macro-level initiative in Gantt view to better understand the tasks, dependencies, and any other moving parts that are involved.
To view a project in Gantt view, simply enter your project and click the "Change Layout" button on the top right. From the dropdown, select Gantt.
Within Gantt view, you'll even be able to customize the tasks and projects to your liking. Here are a few things you can do:
- Change the timeline - Gantt view is defaulted to show you a timeline of several months, but you can change it. You can zoom in to look a a few weeks or zoom out to look at a project over a whole year or several years.
- Go full screen - If you want to make your Gantt view bigger, you can expand it to cover your whole screen.
- Change assignees - Easily assign yourself or your teammates tasks within the larger Gantt view by selecting the task and editing assignee.
- Add dependencies - Dependencies are tasks that depend on the completion of another to be started/completed themselves. To add a dependency, locate the circle on the right hand side of each task and drag to the beginning of the next action.
- Add milestones - Milestones are an easy way to track major accomplishments in your project. They are generally used as a indicator to call out a significant event on your Gantt Chart such as a project launch, key deliverable, or presentation date. To add a milestone, click the flag icon to mark each task as a milestone within an action card. The milestone will then show up as a diamond on the Gantt chart.
Step 3: Check Out The Big Picture
Now that we understand how projects can be set up in Hive, it's time to think about the big picture. How can we better understand what's going on in our projects as they progress? There are a few ways to do that in Hive.
First, there's Portfolio View. This view is the all-in-one place to see the detail of Project Navigator combined with the flexibility of a Table View.
To access Portfolio View, you'll need to turn it on in Hive Apps, which you can access under "Apps" on your left-hand side navigator. The beauty of Portfolio View is that it lets you view actions from across projects, actions, and subactions in once place. This is ideal for teammates who want to better understand how the big-picture is progressing and how initiatives are working together.
To create a Portfolio View:
- First select the projects you want to include in the view from the "Add projects" dropdown.
- Select items from the dropdown for "Project details and fields" so you can better understand which items you'd like included in the Portfolio View.
- Utilize the dropdown that says "Add actions and subactions" to pull in the status of the actions and subactions that are living across projects listed on the left. The due date for those actions appears, and a checkmark if they are completed. Within the "Actions and subactions" dropdown, you can decide if you want to see specific milestones, too!
If you manage more than one portfolio, and would like quicker access to it, you can save the view, as well as add another Portfolio View. To do so, click the Title of the Portfolio View and create a new one. Now both are available in your drop down!
To share a view with others, head to the share icon on the right and add your teammates to the Portfolio View.
Overall, Portfolio View is best leveraged when looking at multiple projects that have the same action cards and/or custom fields because you can then compare those projects accurately and efficiently.
Analytics are another way you can understand the big-picture and track tasks across the organization or team. To enable Analytics, visits Hive Apps and toggle the Analytics tile on.
From there, you'll be able to see a few things in Analytics. There are three standard dashboards that come with every Hive account:
- My Productivity: A summary of your personal productivity
- Team Productivity: A summary of the productivity in your workspace
- Time Tracking: Key insights into how your team track and estimates time.
With these dashboards, you can better understand progress across teams and the organization.
Risks and Issues Tracker
Another great tool that you can use in Hive to manage initiatives as they unfold is the risk and issues tracker functionality.
To turn on this aspect of Hive, simply visit Hive Apps and toggle on "Risks and Issues Tracker." Your team can now use the tracker to manage the risks and issues in each of your projects in one centralized location.
To add a new issue, open the tracker and enter the name of the risk you would like to keep track of. Be sure to select the project the risk is associated with.
The card is now linked with the project, but it will not show within the project plan itself. You will be able to view the risk in this summary view only. Be sure to try out the different layouts and filters to hone in on the information that is most important to you.
Step 4: Time To Expand
Now that you've got your project running smoothly in Hive, it could be time to bring new project members into the fold. Maybe you need to show an external agency your progress, or maybe you're onboarding new team members.
When you've got external collaborators who need access to Hive, you can easily accomplish this through external users. External users are limited to the actions and messages within the assigned project and do not have access to your entire workspace.
To add an external user:
- Click the "Invite" button on your project
- The Invite New Members window will open. Select the tab that says "Guest user."
- Add the email address of the person you want to invite and select the project(s) you want to add them to. After you click send invite, they will now have access to the project(s) you selected.
- To add an external user to another project, go to the project’s homepage (you can get there by going into the project and clicking the “Home” button). Scroll to the very bottom to the External users section. Any existing external users for the project will be listed here. Click “+ Add external user."
Onboarding Additional Teams
It's easy to add additional team members to your Hive workspace. To do so, simply press the "Invite" button on your home screen and enter your teammates email. From there, you'll be able to add them to the project that are relevant to their work. Hive will then notify the user!