CommitKeeper

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CommitKeeper Wins Award
for Excellence in Knowledge Worker Innovation


The 4Spires and Fleet One (a WEX, Inc. subsidiary) case study using CommitKeeper has been selected by the Workflow Management Coalition as the 2013 Award winner for Excellence in Case Management ‐ Knowledge Worker Innovation. read more…


Business Execution System


Powerful workgroup execution made simple… the antidote to command-and-control management practices, the answer to matrix management, the connection for virtual and remote teams, and in tune with the modern workforce. A social network solution focused on people taking action together and getting stuff done.

Business Execution App Exchange

CommitKeeper is available with a 30-day free trial in the Salesforce AppExchange.

To order CommitKeeper for your organization, please visit our subscribe page.

Click here for installation instructions.

CommitKeeper is an on-demand, web-based work management and tracking system where business people can connect, converse, collaborate and commit to take action together. Users can compose requests, negotiate agreements, track status through delivery, capture dialog and performance feedback, and report on results. Dashboards provide oversight with drill down to details. CommitKeeper boosts organization performance by stimulating new business practices, improving execution, enhancing transparency, and increasing trust.


Press here to watch a short video describing CommitKeeper in a typical sales scenario.

Benefits

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Handshake

Any two or more people working together will have conversations that involve making commitments. Typically, a Requester asks a Performer to do something, or a Performer might make an offer to do something for a customer or supervisor.

Coordination. Reduce wasted effort and avoid missed opportunities.
  • Organizes your work requests in context. Create, manage, and track requests, counter-offers, commitments, and deliveries.
  • Sortable views track all requests, across all projects and initiatives with up-to-the-minute status lights indicating on-track delivery.
  • Workflow shows who has the ball for the next action (i.e. actions Due from Me versus Due from Others)
  • Closed-loop system documents the progress of each work request through four stages — request, agree, deliver, assess. Each delivery is recorded (on time or not) along with detailed feedback.


Accountability. In social groups, accountability relies on one-to-one dialogs and personal commitments.
  • Make, keep, and track commitments to outcomes.
  • Convert assignments to agreements that define who will do what by when. The performer makes a commitment to deliver.
  • Empower performers to negotiate delivery dates they can commit to.
  • Achieve explicit agreements. Unlike other task and project management systems, performers must respond to each request (agree, decline, counter-offer).
  • Build commitments, not to-do lists. Track and document progress through to completion and assessment.


Engagement. Guided communication sparks the will to contribute.
  • Track and record social interactions (dialogs) between requesters, performers, and observers.
  • Transform top-down deadlines into bottom-up delivery agreements.
  • Ensure two-way dialog with a simple request form, an explicit response from the performer, and easy delivery tracking.
  • Performers, requesters, and observers add to the work conversation throughout the entire process with specific actions such as make a counter-offer, request progress report, change delivery date, acknowledge delivery, etc.
  • Capture every party’s actions and associated comments in a complete dialog thread in the context of the initial request. Integrates with email.
  • Support granular and immediate feedback on each delivery for real-time, all-the-time performance improvement.


Visibility. Enables governance while promoting continual learning.
  • Visibility is power. Dashboards show real-time status of work-in-progress across multiple projects. Organize and sort work commitments by goal, project, performer, and date.
  • Observe execution in progress across the entire network of cascading, interrelated commitments. Drill downs enable granular visibility into who is doing what by when.
  • Archive completed conversations for future reference.
  • Track individual and team performance metrics to identify overloads by person, reveal on-time delivery ratios, and more.


Trust. Build trust, boost performance.
  • In a social context, trust is built one conversation at a time with clear requests and clear agreements between two people. It’s personal.
  • Integrity grows from honoring agreements and meeting commitments.
  • Increased trust equates to less time-wasting management oversight.
  • Trust is the “soft stuff” that drives organizational efficiency and performance.
  • Software can help organizations build trust by facilitating and encouraging the practice of trust-building behaviors.

Who is it for?

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Sales support scenario
Click to see a typical
sales support scenario.
“Marketing Director” The 9-person marketing department is struggling with managing their workload. They receive numerous requests for preparing marketing collateral, advertisements, exhibits at trade shows, marketing programs, etc. On an ongoing basis, the department is typically working on 40 or 50 requests at a time. Each request requires coordinated and collaborative work from several people in the department on a strict delivery deadline. For example, a relatively simple piece of promotional collateral requires interactive input and participation from copywriter, layout, production, and distribution staff who must also collaborate with subject matter experts, product managers, corporate attorneys, accountants, and management reviewers. Each individual’s obligations to complete the project must be tracked on a strict deadline. Everyone is working on multiple requests at a time on various schedules; and so oversight of the whole workload, both by person and across the department, is critical to managing personal and departmental resources. Flexibility is key. Individual obligations are initially mapped out in the context of the final delivery, but it rarely turns out exactly according to plan. A high degree of communication and collaboration among the team is needed to juggle changing schedules across multiple projects. Due to all the cross-worker accountabilities, the ability to link supporting requests is key. The Outlook tasks feature is not cutting it as a means to manage all this work.

“Project Leader” Steve, a mid-level IT project manager, relies on his eight-person team to implement large, sometimes overlapping projects. Each contains hundreds of tasks, subtasks and dependencies. Currently, to track the myriad work priorities, assignments, issues, and deliverables, he ‘manages’ by using a combination of project management software tools, MS Excel spreadsheets, and a weekly review meeting. At each team and project review meeting, he recognizes that there are only a couple people he needs an update from. For the others, the meeting is a waste of time. On many occasions he is unable to determine ahead of time who he needs to hear from, so everyone must attend. After the meeting he spends another hour or two updating the software and formulating his report to management. The Gantt charts are constantly being updated and modified by events along the way; displaying only the revised task end dates; not what happened and why. Understanding, let alone explaining, the changing schedule is getting harder all the time.

“Sales Executive” Anne, an Account Executive for a large software services firm, has just received an RFP from a prospect she has been chasing for months. To prepare the proposal she will need input from her SEs, collateral from product marketing, input from procurement, contract review from legal, a price quote from finance, and management review. She sends out a flurry of emails asking for specific due dates from each department that enable her to meet the strict RFP deadline which is 4 weeks away. At this point she is hoping that everyone can meet the due dates she has assigned. One week later, she has received email responses from some, but not all, so she goes back to her Outbox and sends more urgent follow up messages. Two weeks in, she has now finally gotten a response from everyone, but she has not actually received commitments that people can adhere to her proposed schedule. She has no overall project overview or visibility into each assignment’s progress. Anne realizes she is managing by hope. With three days remaining, the tech writer reports two different people were asked to provide a major section of the proposal; each thinking the other was handling the deliverable; it has not begun. Anne sends out a new flurry of stressed-out emails, contemplating another weekend spent in the office.

“Virtual/Remote Team Manager” David is the COO and Senior Managing Partner for a decentralized, expanding, and medium-size professional services firm. The far-flung partners, managers, and associates work together on client proposals, briefs, and engagements. Each is dependent upon others to complete projects and for their respective deliverables. Without a companywide procedure, program or approach, everyone is allowed to use their own method for meeting their deliverables and project tracking. Some use MS Outlook or their personal or work emails while others use a manual paper to-do list. The disparate systems do not ‘talk’ to each other, provide a single view for the responsible managing partner to see who is doing what, what is an issue, on-time or behind schedule or what progress has been made. David worries that someday something critical is going to fall through the cracks and cost the firm several of their current accounts or new business.

“Event Coordinator” Allie, a customer service manager, organizes and implements large company meetings and events for internal and external clients. She has hundreds of discrete tasks and deliverables; each of which must be completed to make an event a flawless success. She works with multiple vendors and clients in locations across the globe. At present, she uses email to assign tasks, correspond with her internal and external suppliers, burgeoning contact list and event participants. The only tools she has at her disposal to keep track of all her projects is a combination of email folders and paper-based checklists that are never fully up to date. As more and more events are taking place and planned, keeping up has become harder and more untenable. She takes pride in meeting her own and manager’s expectations and increasingly hopes for an integrated system that will allow her to meet her expanding commitments.

“Senior Executive” Mary, Vice President, Operations in a large Silicon Valley company, is responsible for over $100M of worldwide data center resources. The scale and breadth of her job means she must work strategically vs. just “fire fighting” tactical issues. To become more strategic, she has tried to implement robust project management software across the global organization; only to be met with resistance from her direct staff and other departments throughout the firm. They say they are “too busy” to update status and enter tasks. She has deployed multiple tools though each has been rejected as being too cumbersome or unworkable. She wonders how she will ever get people in the firm’s “cowboy culture” to have some discipline and accountability, and fears the problem will intensify as it grows and expands.

“Performance Manager” Joe is very satisfied with his job, his employer, and is dedicated to the organization’s mission. He goes to meetings and promises to complete key tasks because he wants to be a team player and hates to let people down. Too often this has led him to over-commit while at the same time constantly trying to renegotiate his outstanding commitments. He always has a ready list of ‘reasons’ why his original deliverable and associated deadline could not be met: the project’s scope changed, a new number one priority arose, he meant to get to it but was pulled off for another emergency, etc. He is painfully unaware how often he does not meet his commitments and how much extra work his over-promising has caused his co-workers and team members. When he receives feedback on this ongoing problem, he denies it because “No one really understands how much I have to do. I am juggling as many balls as I can!” Joe’s manager needs more specific evidence and data to guide improvements in Joe’s performance.


Resources

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Communications and Performance Theory white papers and product sheets.

• Changing the Way We Work   
• Managing by Commitments
• CommitKeeper Product Sheet
• CommitKeeper at Salesforce.com
Downloads



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4Spires, Inc. was founded as a Delaware Corporation in early 2010. Our prototype product was applauded by various industry analysts, consultants, and prospective customers, and our first web-based version was released in July, 2010. Our first commercial versions were launched on the Salesforce AppExchange during 2012. CommitKeeper and GoalKeeper were installed on the SharePoint platform in 2014.