Post-its and whiteboards no longer cut it. Today, collaborative tools that teams can access from anywhere, at any time, simplify and streamline the most inspired work. Enter Easy Agile, a product development company empowering teams to adopt the Agile mindset that makes developer teams so efficient.
Supporting over 150,000 users in more than 40 countries, Easy Agile’s customer roster includes such globally distributed teams as Twitter, Rolex, Mercedes and Amazon. The company’s own lean team is based mainly in East Coast Australia, and before the Covid-19 pandemic, they all worked in the same physical space. “We’d have a daily huddle in person at the coffee shop, go back to our desks in the same space, then break for lunch together,” says co-founder and co-CEO Nick Muldoon.
The company has used Slack, the channel-based messaging platform, since 2017, but mainly for metrics and information dissemination. “As the team got bigger, it was a scaling journey and we went from a cohesive unit into various teams,” says Muldoon. “Now, we’re a team of 43 (and growing), and we live in Slack.”
Slack helps Easy Agile lower costs and reduce complexity by consolidating systems into one trusted platform. Without the burden of context-switching, the entire company can leverage easy, best-in-class apps that streamline work. Automation increases productivity, and enables employees to live out the company’s values in a real, impactful way.
“As the team got bigger, it was a scaling journey and we went from a cohesive unit into various teams. Now, we’re a team of 43 (and growing), and we live in Slack.”
Drive efficient growth and streamline processes with channels
A global company, Easy Agile knows customer expectations have never been higher. More than 90% of users are located in Western Europe and North America, which means they’re well outside the Australia-based team’s normal working hours. “Our customers are always out of our time zone, so we use Slack channels to build quality connections with global partners,” says Muldoon.
A centralised place to share files and messages, Slack channels effectively replace email and extend channel-based messaging to everyone you work with—inside and outside your organisation—increasing visibility and alignment for all stakeholders. For Easy Agile, channels ensure they can foster lasting relationships with all customers.
Muldoon explains that they also use Slack channels for incident management. “Before, if we had a production outage, we’d create a Jira issue, but there was no clear way to quickly bring the conversation together,” he says. Now, even though outages are few and farther between, Easy Agile uses dedicated Slack channels to streamline the process. “Each incident’s channel is linked right into its Jira ticket, and once it’s resolved, you can archive it,” says Muldoon. “From outage to post-incident review, it takes about three days.” To ensure they don’t repeat past mistakes and can teach newcomers, each Slack channel is searchable. “You get full traceability: The Slack channels have historical information you can refer back to, which is very valuable.”
Our customers are always out of our time zone, so we use Slack channels to build quality connections with global partners.”
Build culture through automated giving
Muldoon and his co-founder and co-CEO Dave Elkan worked at Atlassian before starting Easy Agile, and it’s there they first donated to Room to Read, a children’s education non-profit. “Since then, it’s been close to our hearts, so we’re really passionate about giving back,” says Muldoon.
At Easy Agile, Muldoon and Elkan are committed to Pledge 1%, a movement enabling early-stage companies to give 1% of product and 1% of employee time to those in need. This usually includes 1% of equity, but Easy Agile doesn’t have external shareholders. Even so, they take it one step further and donate closer to 2.5%.
Internally, this takes shape in the Good Thnx Slack application, which allows team members to not only recognise their colleagues, but give back to the community. Let’s say a team member gives a great customer interview, shares an insight or uplevels the team in some way: A peer can easily use the Good Thnx app to recognise them in Slack, and connect it directly to one of the company’s values, like “Be the customer,” “Punch above our weight,” “Give back” or “Commit as a team.” The recognised employee can then donate money from the 1% profit pool to the charity of their choice. Easy Agile’s impact includes $8,000 toward mental health support at Beyond Blue; 200 blankets for children at UNICEF; 120 hours of Child Life Therapy at children’s hospice Bear Cottage; and, of course, 76,663 days of reading instruction for children at Room to Read.
Every team member has a daily pool to give to the charity of their choice. “Let’s say you give thanks today. Tomorrow your pool is going to be replenished,” says Muldoon. “Whenever you want to recognise that someone’s lived up to one of our values, you just type the slash command.” It helps Easy Agile enforce their values and empowers employees to do good. “That kind of purpose is particularly important today for younger team members in their 20s,” says Muldoon, who has seen greater employee engagement, happiness and sense of belonging—which all contribute to better retention rates.
Good Thnx makes it especially easy and hassle-free: When you donate through the app, the giver avoids all credit card payment processing fees. “We give more—and recognise each other more—because it’s so easy with the Good Thnx Slack integration,” says Muldoon. As of January 2023, Easy Agile’s team of 40 has sent 1,667 Thnx in Slack, and company values had been attributed a whopping 2,753 times.
“We actually give well and truly above our 1% at 2.5% because the giving is so effortless with the Good Thnx Slack application.”
With Slack, Easy Agile and its teams not only streamline processes and improve customer service, but easily recognise each other in an empowering, charitable culture.