Tracking Holacracy Work Items in GlassFrog

In a couple Holacracy meetings last week there were some questions about where to keep track of what everyone should be doing, so I thought I would share a portion of an e-mail I sent out to our team explaining how we should be tracking our individual tasks.

Basically, there are 4 different types of activities in Holacracy, and only two of those are actually tracked within the GlassFrog application, which is why there is some confusion.  It breaks down like this:

  1. Accountabilities: Each role probably has a list of Accountabilities associated with it.  All of your roles and accountabilities are summarized on a single page in Glassfrog called “My Roles”.  Just go to “My Roles” at the main screen to see them.  You can also see anyone else’s page by clicking on their name when you see it assigned to a role.  That page just lists the accountabilities, it doesn’t give you a way to indicate if they are being done or not.  That is kind of by design, since Holacracy is about autonomy and you have the responsibility to prioritize which accountabilities actually need to be done, and which you may choose to not prioritize due to time or budget constraints.  Of course, if you aren’t doing an important accountability it may cause your role to be re-assigned.  You should be reviewing your roles and accountabilities monthly to make sure you are accomplishing what is required of you, and that the roles and accountabilities continue to be relevant.
  2. Projects: These are tracked within each circle and Glassfrog allows you to show status of the projects, and it even allows you to indicate if you are waiting on something else from another person or an external party.  These are reviewed in our weekly circle tactical meetings.
  3. Actions: These are assigned in the tactical meetings and are sent out to the circle members in the meeting minutes.  They are not tracked in Glassfrog, although they can be found in the history area of each circle.  Again, like accountabilities they aren’t tracked in Glassfrog by design.  You are expected to take those tasks and add them to your normal daily workload and prioritize work as you see fit.  Holacracy assumes that you already use some system to track all of your tasks and that you will incorporate the tasks created in the tactical meeting into your list.  Glassfrog does have a feature to make this a bit easier.  They have an “Integrations” feature that will send an individual e-mail for each task that is assigned to you.  You can direct Glassfrog to send that to any e-mail address you would like.  For instance, you could send an e-mail into your mailbox and you could create a ToDo in Outlook for each item.  For me, I use an app called Toodledo that gives me a unique e-mail address that I can send an e-mail to that creates a ToDo item for each e-mail.  Here’s how to setup and integration to any 3rd party:
  4. Checklists: These are defined under each circle and are reviewed either weekly, monthly or quarterly in the tactical meeting for the circle. The items can be for everyone in the circle, or defined for specific roles.  The software doesn’t actually keep track of the status of the checklist items – that is handled in the meeting when each responsible person reports their status.

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