Connections Online December 2013 / January 2014 Newsletter
Section One: Announcements and Tips
Numerica Credit Union Topples Yesterday’s Silos for Transparent Communication – Performance Soars
Winner of 2013 Credit Union Journal Best Practices Awards (link to article)
According to Numerica Credit Union’s CEO Carla Altepeter, her credit union used to be a culture of silos. “We were very centralized in our decision-making. Organization communication and our work systems were inconsistent,” she says. “Projects were backlogged and the competition was surpassing us in growth.”
Numerica also used to specialize in service recovery (correcting issues and errors). This recovery provided the credit union with great service marks, but this approach stressed out staff and was not a productive long-term strategy.
Working previously with Cardwell’s Connections Online (COL) strategy execution tool at another credit union, Altepeter implemented it at Numerica for increased alignment, accountability (performance management), and project management aspects. “We learned quickly that COL was also an outstanding tool for clear and consistent communication throughout the organization to achieve transparency at all levels – breaking down those silos that plagued our credit union for so long,” she says. “We had very talented, dedicated people who were spinning their wheels in high frustration.”
Today, the silos are gone. Numerica is aligned at all levels with an organizational framework: i.e. core purpose, five-year goal, strategic priorities, and measures. Those aspects are disseminated to the departments that have their own aligned goals, strategies, and measures – which are then disseminated to the individuals. Subsequently, the individual is connected to the department and the department is connected to the organization.
Cross-functional and multi-level teams
Instead of having one person leading all projects, now there are cross-functional and multi-level teams made up of experts on the topics, and internal consultants who add technical expertise to certain parts of the project, such as compliance, accounting, etc. This structure has given all impacted stakeholders real input, which has created employee excitement and ownership and resulted in higher quality output.
With these teams today, Numerica has moved the performance-impact needle. Last year, out of 21 organizational wide projects and 94 department projects, only two had minor reworks after completion. “Having a voice and a seat at the table has ignited our organization like never before,” Altepeter says.
As a result, the credit union is streamlining processes, adopting new systems and technology, and launching a rebranding campaign. Last year, for instance, Altepeter and her staff restructured the organization, completed 115 projects, hired 42 employees, and grew loans 21% (loans only grew 7.1% in 2011). Because of these successes, Numerica also met or exceeded 10 of its 12 critical measures for 2012. “Before our measures were usually good, but these were great!” she says.
Connections Online Announcement
Wondering about end-of-year archives? Automatic, monthly, full-site archives are coming in the next two weeks! You no longer have to remember to schedule your archives. We create one for your entire site at the end of each month. All you have to do is click the View Archives button in the sidebar to choose an archive to view. We have been making monthly archives in the background since November 2012, so once the new archive interface goes live, you will already have a few to choose from. An announcement will be made in the forums (https://connectionsonline.zendesk.com/forums) once everything is ready.
Archiving through the old 4.0 site will be turned off once the new 4.1 system goes live, but any project or metric archives created in the old 4.0 system will now also show up in the archive lists on the 4.1 site.
To be prepared for the new archives, you can go ahead and create new projects and metrics for 2014, but don't delete or rename old ones until January 1st. Once we are in January, you can delete old items and those items will still be part of the December 2013 archive.
Keep Up-to-Date on All System 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.
Tips and Additional Help Documentation
We want to make sure we can support you as quickly and efficiently as possible. If you need technical support, you can do one of two things: send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org - OR - click on the Support Community link at the bottom of the Connections Online page. To open in a new tab, right click and choose, Open in a New Tab. Click Login in the upper right corner. It is the same login as Connections Online. Submit a new ticket. Type in your Username as the Requester. Add a subject line. Add the URL which points to the problem page. Fill in all the boxes and give detail about the problem you are having in the description box. Give as much detail as possible so that the problem can be resolved. Please attach a screen shot of the error message if you can. You will get an answer by email from Support.
Easy Access to Multiple Departments
You can open each department in its own browser tab and then just toggle between browser tabs. You just right click on the tab link – you can see all links using the search feature – and just click the department symbol. Then right click on the link you want and select "open in a new tab".
Can You Restore An Archived Item to Current?
There is no way to take an item from the archive directly and make it “current”. However, you can restore the deleted version in 4.1. This will restore it as it was when it was deleted. If it was deleted immediately after archiving, then it would be the same as the archive. Otherwise, it will have changes that were made after it was archived.
To restore, you just go to the Deleted Items view on the Department page (trash can icon in the upper right side bar). In the Deleted Projects list, you can use the Filter box at the top to search for the item and it will show you the project. Hover over it and a Restore icon will appear on the left. Once restored, you can set the status and copy as needed.
“Invalid JSON Primitive” Error
This error is normally caused by bad HTML entered in one of the text editors on the page. In most cases, it is the result of a copy/paste that included a button from the original page. The bad HTML keeps the browser from being able to execute code from other parts of the page. This can produce the "Invalid JSON Primitive" error from the browser, or it can sometimes not respond at all. The problem with the JSON error is caused because people are copying broken Metrics. The copy works fine but it will copy bad HTML from one to the next because it doesn't know if it is bad or not.
To stop the cycle, make sure a metric is working correctly before you copy it. If it isn't working, it needs to be fixed BEFORE you copy it around. This would need to be submitted to the Support Community.
Also, NEVER copy anything from MS Word/Outlook or from the screen to the edit boxes, such as copying the Org/Dept focus box into the Metric description.
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
1:30 ET on Wednesday, January 8th or Thursday, February 13th
This 30-minute training webinar highlights advanced functionality of Connections Online 4.1 with Q&A.
Click here to register for January 8th
Click here to register for February 13th
Connections Online 4.1 Application Training Webinars
1:30 ET on Tuesday, December 17th or Thursday, January 9th or Wednesday, February 19th
This 60-minute training webinar dives deeper into an overall “how to use” Connections Online 4.1.
Click here to register for December 17th
Click here to register for January 9th
Click here to register for February 19th
Connections Online 4.1 Security Training Webinars
1:30 ET on Wednesday, December 18th or Wednesday, January 15th or Thursday, February 20th
This 60-minute training webinar is for Site Administrators – setting security on the site page and throughout the application.
Click here to register for December 18th
Click here to register for January 15th
Click here to register for February 20th
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 the following dates.
Please pass these links on to them to register for the:
January 16th Webinar – https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/174338226
February 26th Webinar – https://www2.gotomeeting.com/register/563298418
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