A few weeks ago we tried something new: we ran a poll on Twitter asking our community to vote, based on previous requests from our clients, on which feature they would like to see us include on our roadmap for Spekit. The winning vote? A Print-to-PDF functionality.
We were really excited to see the number of responses and activity around the tweet, but we were frankly quite puzzled with the outcome. While doable, Print-to-PDF felt like a step back from our cloud-based, digital just-in-time learning and knowledge sharing solution.
In fact, two of the driving principles behind our product are ease-of-access and relevancy. Simply put, our goal is to make it as easy as possible for employees to get relevant, up-to-date information and content in the workplace, exactly when and where they need it. On the other hand, PDFs are stagnant and external to a company’s systems and processes. Often times, PDFs and Word Docs are stored deep inside folder storage systems that require employees to drill down into the right section and “Ctrl F” until they locate the exact paragraph or bullet point they are searching for to answer their question. For that reason, a Print-to-PDF feature felt like a step in the opposite direction from our vision. But that was before we spoke to our clients and understood the use cases.
What we hadn’t considered: the Flexibility of Print-to-PDF
Another core value that drives our product is flexibility. Flexibility in customizing to fit your organization’s needs, flexibility to invite both Salesforce users and non-Salesforce users, and now flexibility in format.
We recognize that different employees and roles access and retain information best in different formats. For example, while a sales representative might gain a better understanding of a process by watching a 2 minute video, a developer will grasp it best by looking at a process map or graph.
As such, we decided early on that in order for Spekit to truly eliminate the redundancy of information within an organization and to be the single “source of truth” around a company’s processes and data, it was critical that we provide different ways for users to view and interact with shared knowledge:
- Data Dictionary: Ideal for analysts and developers alike, Spekit allows you to sync to Salesforce, customize and describe your metadata and relationships (mappings, dependencies etc.) in a tabular format with easy searching/filtering to see a full picture of the “data about your data.”
2. Wiki: Spekit’s expanded wiki view allows users to view content in a long-form rich text format, complete with images and videos for easy reading — think flash cards on steroids.
3. Just-in-time learning: While the wiki view may be ideal for your initial “deeper dive” overview of the process, from our own experience, we know that it’s only once you’re doing the process that you will realize what you don’t know. That’s why our integrations allow users to access this same information in small, easily understood and accessible bites of knowledge embedded directly in their workflows or CRM for instant reference.
With that in mind, we realized the Print-to-PDF was no longer a step in the opposite direction, but instead a way to accommodate more use cases and learning styles:
With so many notifications, emails, Slack messages and more in today’s modern work life, it’s hard to stay focused on a single task. It’s no wonder that even some of the most tech-forward executives take handwritten notes and that many people, like myself, still indulge in the pleasure of reading paperback books rather than digital ones: to avoid distractions and disconnect from the digital world for even just a brief moment. By allowing you to generate a printable PDF from any given set of definitions or knowledge cards, Spekit makes it easy for anyone to tune out the noise and focus on a single task: absorbing the knowledge the old pen-and-paper style.
Bootcamp style training
While Spekit’s digital knowledge and just-in-time learning solution may be the ideal tool to accelerate the on-boarding process of new hires in small to medium-sized organizations, in larger organizations or call centers where entire “classes” of new hires are made at once, there are often more elaborate “training bootcamps” in place. Using our Print-to-PDF feature, training managers can create a printed manual within seconds that is customized by role or department and that can be distributed to new hires for note-taking during their classroom-style training sessions.
Consultants: Statements of work
Our Salesforce implementation partners love Spekit because it has allowed them to replace spreadsheets, Powerpoints and 80-page long documentation on their implementation with a single solution for both training and system documentation. Not only does Spekit drive adoption of their implementation with end-users, it simultaneously provides them with an easy hand-off to admins and development teams. Taking this a step further, consultants can now select all of the fields, objects and processes that were part part of their implementation and within seconds, provide the executive Sponsor and client with a document that details “everything we did and why” to compare to the Statement of Work.
How does Print-to-PDF work?
- Using the multi-select functionality, simply select which Objects, Fields, Picklist Values or Knowledge cards you’d like to include in your document. Next, select “Print to PDF” from the Bulk Actions menu to the right of your screen.
2. Next, you have two “Print” or “Save to PDF” options:
- Print Summary: Ideal for training manuals, includes Definition, Business Process, Owner
- Print Everything: Includes all of the details around the knowledge, including any custom metadata.
And done. In just two steps you now have a training manual or statement of work that you can print or use at any time.
Do you have any other neat ideas around features that would facilitate the ease-of-access to knowledge in your organization? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We are all ears!
Interested in seeing how Spekit can change the way knowledge is shared in your organization? Sign-up here for a demo.