Boardeffect Platform Spring Cleaning

Why your BoardEffect Platform may need some spring cleaning

Why is it that stuff seems to multiply and accumulate during the winter? On the kitchen counter.  On the shelf in the living room.  What is all that junk?  Who brought it in the house?  Maybe it is our nesting instinct? Good News: Spring is upon us and with Spring comes the urge to open the windows and the desire to declutter.

That inclination pertains to one group of people more than another.  Are you a thrower or a saver?  Here is a cautionary tale with a seasonally appropriate solution.

I was recently visiting a long time client of BoardEffect.  The team was thinking about expanding the use of the software in several strategic ways.  First they wanted to spin-off one group into its own URL.  Second they wanted to begin to use the survey tool to create an annual board self-assessment.  All great.  So much fun to show how the software is scalable and feature rich to help further a mission.

While there, the System Administrator pulled up their platform on the conference room screen to show how they built the site out.  And built out it was.  There was so much activity on the main landing page, it was clear to me that this team was squarely in the saver camp and needed a bit of rescue cleaning.

BoardEffect is easy to use.  We hear that all the time.  But it is also a robust piece of software.  There are nooks and crannies where information can be posted, stored, conversed upon, and voted on.  What perhaps started out as a clean slate may have become busy over time.

Take heart and channel your inner thrower.  You can do this!

Whether you are contemplating an upgrade or expansion or you have taken a fresh look at your platform and said “Whoa, we have a lot going on here” here are a handful of easy steps that will make your platform easier to use.

Step 1

Set a policy and make it clear to your end users when you are going to Archive meeting books. The Archive button is your friend. Using it in accordance with the agreed upon timeline will go a long way in to create a manageable landing page.

Step 2

Make Schedulers, Polls, Surveys not visible when they are not in use. Better yet, if you will never use information again, create a report of the results and hit the delete button.

Step 3

The Resource Library is perhaps where more delicate hand is needed. It is after all your organization’s history.  But what is in all those folders?  Anything outdated?  Are new versions of documents intermingled with old versions? You could create an Archive Folder with clearly titled sub folders.  And while you are at it, think: “do those folder titles make sense?”  Can someone who is not living in your brain understand the architecture of your folder system?  Did you know if you choose the “browse” option when uploading you can add links and file descriptions to expand the search function.

Step 4

While you are at it, why not update the directory? Board members use the directory to connect with one another. Are there folks listed who have new roles or who have moved on?  Are board member pictures from the last century?  Are folks using LinkedIn—great for building networks and finding new board talent.

Step 5

Finally, how old is your Welcome message? Might as well use that valuable real estate to inform, excite, and delight.  Did you know that every page on your BoardEffect has a link?  Why link a survey, a cool website, your annual report or that new video?

This is not the complete list of ways to tidy up your BoardEffect; but they are a some of the low hanging fruit.  It is 80 degrees in BoardEffectville (Philadelphia) today.  Time to open up the windows after that long, cold winter.

Sarah Griffith

Sarah Griffith is a Governance Advisor at BoardEffect and was a very early customer when she was the CEO at Gilda’s Club South Jersey, a non-profit cancer support community founded by Gilda Radner. Sarah feels that the Board/CEO relationship was the most critical to the success of the organization and worth every penny invested to make the team operate at a higher level.