Mercy Corps Keeps Urgent Issues In Focus With Geekbot

"As Product Owner, I need to keep people focused on the most urgent issues. Like when a teammate mentions she is going to do 'X' in a daily standup. If I notice it hasn't happened, I comment on the Geekbot update, refreshing her memory and keeping the task on track."

Mercy Corps is a global team of humanitarians working on the front lines of today’s biggest crises to create a future of possibility where everyone can prosper. The organization is headquartered in the United States, but teammates operate in forty countries worldwide.

Geekbot spoke with Karissa and Marie from the Program Performance and Quality Department — and Jenny and Kelly, who work as Product Owner and Project Manager, respectively.

All four are based in the Mercy Corps HQ, but Kelly runs a distributed team, based throughout Mexico, Jordan, and Indonesia.

Mercy Corps struggled to keep teams in the loop

At Mercy Corps, many people work across many different projects, with individuals owning their personal workstream. Departments were relying on roundtable updates to get colleagues up to speed.

But the meetings weren’t an efficient use of people’s time. To make matters worse, if someone couldn’t attend a call, or a phone line was poor, the entire team would miss an update, which had become a source of huge frustration.

Why were missed updates such a big concern? Because everyone needed to know when projects overlapped or if strategic priorities had shifted. Not forgetting: the distributed teams also wanted a quick way to ask specific colleagues for help.

In-person discussions weren’t working; that’s why Mercy Corps turned to Geekbot.

Teams now share updates at their own pace

Each Mercy Corps department has found a way to make the most of Geekbot. Jenny’s US-based team gets the bot to run daily standups, while the distributed operations team uses it to stay in sync across time zones.

Several employees use the bot to report on specific strategic goals inserted in their project management tools. And with Geekbot running on auto-pilot, everyone can now focus on the most important issues — only sharing updates at a time and pace that suits: the perfect setup with people working in all corners of the world.

Today, most of the organization has embraced the bot, enjoying increased collaboration and communication, no matter what life sends their way.

Mercy Corps is staying connected with Geekbot

Since introducing Geekbot, Mercy Corps teams using it have appreciated the change. As Karissa notes, “It’s allowed me to be involved in co-workers’ work and learn about Mercy Corps’ initiatives in ways that just weren’t possible before.”

While Jenny enjoys another benefit, “Geekbot helps me reduce my cognitive load. I know I can check-in and follow-up on my own schedule — and my team can do the same — which frees my mind to focus on the most pressing issues.”

Each department enjoys the simple, consolidated way Geekbot manages updates and reports. But the bot is about more than staying updated.“It’s about staying connected,’ Jenny continued, ‘Especially when someone needs a quick answer to get unblocked or extra support to solve an issue more quickly.”

One Mercy Corps department even gets Geekbot to track morale, using the question ‘How are you feeling today?’ to help the team keep tabs on each other, offering an instant insight into everyone’s headspace.

During stressful times, it’s crucial to know your team has your back.

Key Takeaways:

  • Geekbot does more than run standups and surveys
  • Asynchronous updates keep global teams in-sync
  • A sentiment tracker monitors how everyone’s feeling
  • See updates, reports, and happiness levels — all in one place