Connections Online October 2013 Newsletter
Section One: Announcements and Tips
Users Roundtable Recap
Jim Cardwell provided a sneak preview of the new Performance Management Module we are developing for Connections. Your Connections software can measure and track individual (and leader) performance-to-plan on Year-End Commitments, Metrics, and Projects; it can also track Dialogs and Personal Development. For added value we are developing a fully-integrated survey tool that will provide feedback on Project impact, Basic Role performance and the degree to which people are living the Core Values (your performance culture).
We have kept it consistent with the Connections philosophy: KISS, 80/20 and Adult-to-Adult. More to come.
We are pleased to say we had ten credit unions presenting their Connections Online Success Practices. Here are just a few of the highlights:
- Project completion celebrations by having the project team pick a color of sand to fill a glass vase with during a project completion ceremony – and leaving the vase in a place that everyone can see the successes
- Using fun skits to get new (and old) employees engaged in the credit union’s BHAG to “connect the dots, understand it, remember it and live it”
- Training new employees from the beginning of their employment on their Basic Role and Dialogs with their boss – with classes to better communicate with their boss
- As part of an overall Connections communication strategy for all employees, utilize pictures posted as related links so employees can actually see progress of projects or project completions and celebrations – engaging employees in the successful work across the enterprise – people can relate to pictures!
- Built an appraisal process and form that uses the Connections process and outputs
- Using Connections to establish, track and communicate corporate goals to better ensure reaching goal success
- Using the Individual Dialogs to establish the Big Picture talking points for the Organization Dialog
- Utilizing various awards to recognize and celebrate project participation as well as Core Value stories
- Using surveys of Connections Users to determine gaps in training and use of the solution and consequently providing better training and use of the software
- If you are interested in viewing the Presentations, please contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karla Norwood introduced the latest features…see below under Announcements for feature explanations.
Bryan, the Connections software Chief Architect, made a presentation about our plans for 2013-2014:
- Performance Management Appraisal Integration with Connections Online
- Single Sign-on
- New API
- Integrated Help
Connections Online Announcements
Users who would like to be automatically notified by email when the server is down, or when there are other updates, must subscribe to these Forums. To subscribe, simply go to these Forum links: for system announcements - https://connectionsonline.zendesk.com/forums/384646-System-Announcements and for update announcements subscribe to this link: https://connectionsonline.zendesk.com/forums/377724-Announcements - Go to each link and click on the “Subscribe” button in the upper right hand corner of this Forum (you may need to be logged in to Connections for the Subscribe button to show). You will then automatically receive an email when any update announcements are posted on the forums.
You can also click on any of the other Forums and subscribe to the ones for which you want to stay informed of any new posts.
Excel Template Updates – October 9
The Project Tasks and Business Case with Tasks templates have been updated with a fix to resolve a timeout error that was occurring with large numbers of tasks. It will now send tasks to Connections Online in batches of 50, taking approximately 2-5 seconds per batch. A status has been added at the top of the Task list in Excel in cells G4:I4. When the Send is initiated, a green box will appear and keep the user up-to-date on the current batch process.
4.1 Site Update – September 30
- Custom completed task filters added to all task modules. This replaces the fixed 30-day filter.
Site-level defaults can be set on the admin page under Site Settings (TaskCompletedFilter and ProjectCompletedFilter). Users can override those defaults on each task
or project module
- Analytics report link removed
- User Settings page now shows the user's security groups. Admins can edit this list from here.
- Bug fixes
Resource Utilization and Individual Connection Report Updates
In the most recent update to Connections Online 4.1, a new Resource Utilization report was released, the old one was renamed, and hours were added to the Individual Connection Report. The following sections detail the updates that were made.
Individual Connection Report
The Individual Connection Report now includes hours for the individual for their Projects and all of their tasks. All hours are only for the given Individual and do not include other team members. There is also a summation under the Project list of their total hours.
Resource Utilization (By Task) Report
The old Resource Utilization Report has been renamed to the Resource Utilization (By Task) Report. This report still shows the same information covering the utilization of Organization or Department members broken down to a Project Task level. The image below shows this report and the new one, described in the next section, listed in the Reports section of the Organization and Department pages.
Resource Utilization (By Project) Report
The new Resource Utilization (By Project) report covers the utilization of Organization or Department members across the site broken down by Project. It also includes a convenient Summary at the top showing total projects and hours for each person. This report can be filtered by Individual. It does not include completed projects or tasks.
Tips and Additional Help Documentation for the Month
Project Sub-Settings on the Security Page
Three Project sub-settings modules have been added to the Security Page:
Default Settings for Metrics
Default Setting for Tasks
Default Settings for Project Dialogs
These have been added because there was no way to change the defaults for those types of items at the department level.
Show Box on the Status
When editing/adding the project statuses on the Admin site, the Show checkbox determines whether Projects (and their tasks) of each status are shown on Individual pages.
Outlook Connector and HTML
Outlook does not support HTML. It will show any HTML that was used in Connections Online. If you don't want to see HTML in Outlook, don’t use any formatting in Connections (such as bold, italics, etc.). There isn't any other way currently because Outlook won't parse HTML in that window. If you don’t want to see the HTML formatting in Outlook you will need to either strip the formatting or don’t use the formatting.
Here is a fast way to strip formatting – click the down arrow and select “strip all formatting” It should sync with Outlook without those html characters (those characters tell the word what to look like in formats that accept html formatting code).
Connections Online 4.1 Recorded Introductory Webinar
Use this link for a previously recorded webinar that is an introduction to Version 4.1 http://link.connectionsonline.net/COL-V4.1-Webinar. Use this link to print a copy of the Quick Reference Guide to Version 4.1 http://link.connectionsonline.net/Version-4-1-QRG.doc.
Client Care Notes
To view previous Connections Online Newsletters, go to http://www.connectionsonline.net/News/Newsletters.aspx
Monthly Calendar of Webinar Events Link
Click here to see our upcoming webinars or to register for a free training webinar.
Section Two: Webinars
Connections Online 4.1 Advanced Features Webinars
Wednesday, November 6th at 1:30 ET or Thursday, December 12th at 1:30 ET
This 30-minute training webinar highlights advanced functionality of Connections Online 4.1 with Q&A.
Click here to register for November 6th
Click here to register for December 12th
Connections Online 4.1 Application Training Webinars
Thursday, November 7th at 1:30 ET or Tuesday, December 17th at 1:30 ET
This 60-minute training webinar dives deeper into an overall “how to use” Connections Online 4.1.
Click here to register for November 7th
Click here to register for December 17th
Connections Online 4.1 Security Training Webinars
Tuesday, November 12th at 1:30 ET or Wednesday, December 18th at 1:30 ET
This 60-minute training webinar is for Site Administrators – setting security on the site page and throughout the application.
Click here to register for November 12th
Click here to register for December 18th
Past Educational Webinar Recordings For a listing of our past Educational Webinars, use this link: http://www.connectionsonline.net/news/events.aspx
If you know someone outside of your company who may be interested in learning more about Connections Online, we have an informational webinar scheduled on Thursday, October 17th at 1:30 ET or Thursday, November 14th at 1:30 ET or Thursday, December 19th at 1:30 ET.
Please pass these links on to them to register for the:
October 17th Webinar - https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/320013258
November 14th Webinar - https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/664507786
December 19th Webinar - https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/247027586
24481 Detroit Road, Suite 300
Cleveland, OH 44145
(440) 892-1410 or (800) 395-1410