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If your management team has ever struggled with maintaining focus on the right
priorities or with communication after meetings, or with decision-making on
what to do and what not to do, you’re not alone. Addison Avenue Federal
Credit Union was faced with these issues and looked for a way to link their
organization’s employees and activities.
Project management in particular was where Addison Avenue saw challenges in
focus, communication and decision-making, according to Steve Lumm, President
and CEO. “Deciding which projects to do and, more importantly, which projects
NOT to do was a challenge. How do we allocate resources? How do we communicate
changes in plans? How do we keep the team on the same page between meetings?
Getting projects done was our greatest hurdle.”
“We now have an application that helps us focus on what’s mission
critical,” adds Lumm. There is one place to view priorities, which greatly
helps us in communicating what’s important to the rest of our organization.
It gives us a systematic way of looking at what’s essential, making decisions
and adapting to changes. It centralizes leadership information, allowing us
to decentralize the management process.”
“The application we choose is Connections Online, software package developed
by Cardwell. This methodology allows everyone to look at the same set of projects
online/real time in the context of our strategic priorities, mission and critical
measures. Anyone can see what’s on and off our target list. You can click
on a specific project and drill down to see its current status. This shows the
actual project plan, identifies the project team, and summarizes the metrics
of achievement. We’ve also tied this back to individual accountability
He meets with the leaders of each of Addison Avenue’s functional areas
in a team-based Organizational Dialogue every month. In this session the team
has an open and meaningful discussion of the current results, as well as the
priorities for the coming months and quarter. They look at project changes,
resource allocation needs, and review stories of what’s worked well and
what hasn’t. They also discuss their core values. “These Monthly
Dialogs are a chance to hear about successes and opportunities, and they reinforce
the culture of our organization,” adds Lumm. Direct reports then have
dialogues with their managers using the Individual Connection module. “They
share the issues and outcomes in each of the basic elements of their job. We
don’t just focus on what’s broken or the hot topic of the day. It
is an opportunity to let them show what they contribute from a more strategic
perspective. This dialog fosters coordination and on-going alignment.”
In between dialogs teams, departments, and individuals update information
in the software as they complete various projects. “Connections Online
really pulls the key operating parts of the organization into one place. The
communication that surrounds the process is excellent. I like being able to,
on a regular basis, talk about our success, our culture, and our projects. This
gives us a succinct way to have a discussion about our organization -- what
we do, and how we do it. It is a great way to recognize people for their contribution.”
Connections Online consists of 5 separate modules in an SQL relational database
engine. It is integrated with the Microsoft Suite, launches from Outlook, integrates
with Outlook tasks and dates, and has import/export features to Word, Excel,
Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union serves HP and Agilent Technologies. It
operates with 2 back office locations, 24 branches across the U.S., 350 employees,
$1.7 billion in assets and 122,000 members. “The net result for us is
that Connections Online is a leadership tool that simply makes the work more
enjoyable – the workplace is more achievement oriented, with clearer direction.
It provides a fair system for debating and allocating resources,” says
For more information about Connections Online, visit www.connectionsonline.net
or for a demo contact Kristie Greenleaf at (310) 540-7493 / email@example.com
March 29, 2004
7/26/2012 04:14 PM
This is an interesting article, but not applicable to over half the credit union's out there. What about some articles about smaller credit union's technniques for coping with multiple tasking.
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