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  • Writer's pictureMereya Quintana, MPH

Taking the Mania Out of Mondays: The “Who, What, How, and Why” of HCES’ Use of Monday.com



Who - My Role as a Project Coordinator

As the Project Coordinator for Healthcare Equity Solutions (HCES),

I lead our program staff by delegating tasks, monitoring program budgets by determining how to prioritize funds, and performing outreach duties to engage with the local community. Working closely with the HCES team, I ensure that tasks are completed within their set deadlines. I also identify potential funding sources, draft grant proposals, and conceptualize ideas for programming from inception to evaluation. By regularly checking company correspondence, I disseminate all grant funding opportunities and information to senior management and manage those opportunities.

In short, I manage my time between interacting with program participants, contract partners, and monitoring program activities and completing managerial tasks for the company. This includes reviewing financial statements, paying bills, ordering necessary supplies for program activities, and monitoring feedback from previous programs to determine areas for improvement.


What - Healthcare Equity Solutions’ Investment with Monday.com

Initially, HCES used Microsoft Teams to share files, communicate, and set and manage deadlines; however, as our engagements grew, so did the need for the company to invest in more efficient communication and better project management tools. Partnerships outside of HCES started to expand, causing the company to seek alternative platform options that would allow us to have a more user-friendly and cohesive virtual working space.


Project management software is designed to assist teams in ways to plan a project, track and manage projects to achieve defined goals, and allows team members to collaborate effectively to accelerate and meet the project's needs. Being ranked among the “the top 10 for project management software,”' Monday.com is a cloud-based tool that can keep up with the varying demands of HCES. Monday.com combines a rare balance of loaded functionality with ease of use, making it the ideal project management software. It offers a tiered pricing structure, feasible for all users. For us, Monday.com was a software worth the investment when weighing the boost in operational efficiency it provided for our team with the cost. Starting at $24 per month for three users (billed annually) and increasing in pricing based on team size and plan, this cost was minuscule compared to its significant impact on the company. Let’s get into how Monday.com took the mania out of Monday…and every other busy day at HCES.


What - Healthcare Equity Solutions’ Investment with Monday.com

Initially, HCES used Microsoft Teams to share files, communicate, and set and manage deadlines; however, as our engagements grew, so did the need for the company to invest in more efficient communication and better project management tools. Partnerships outside of HCES started to expand, causing the company to seek alternative platform options that would allow us to have a more user-friendly and cohesive virtual working space.


Project management software is designed to assist teams in ways to plan a project, track and manage projects to achieve defined goals, and allows team members to collaborate effectively to accelerate and meet the project's needs. Being ranked among the “the top 10 for project management software,”' Monday.com is a cloud-based tool that can keep up with the varying demands of HCES. Monday.com combines a rare balance of loaded functionality with ease of use, making it the ideal project management software. It offers a tiered pricing structure, feasible for all users. For us, Monday.com was a software worth the investment when weighing the boost in operational efficiency it provided for our team with the cost. Starting at $24 per month for three users (billed annually) and increasing in pricing based on team size and plan, this cost was minuscule compared to its significant impact on the company. Let’s get into how Monday.com took the mania out of Monday…and every other busy day at HCES.


How - Training & Introducing Monday.com

Training my fellow team members on transitioning from Microsoft Teams to Monday posed one main challenge - the software has many features and capabilities, so sleuthing through to determine what the team needed to learn immediately to benefit the company was somewhat difficult. To understand our team’s needs, I organized training by teaching them how to do the following:

  1. Create and define a project management dashboard

  2. Break down dashboards into digestible projects and tasks with deadlines for tracking

  3. Delegate tasks, set and follow deadlines, share files, and communicate with team members on the software and closing projects.

I put my teaching cap on and developed a training series using PowerPoint presentations accompanied by live screenshots from the platform, video demonstrations, and hands-on demos inside the company’s “test” Monday.com dashboard. After the training, the presentation was shared with the team so they could reference it in the future and practice any features they found exciting or confusing during the presentations via the live demo links.


Why - Mereya's Favorite Features of Monday.com

The remarkable features on Monday.com are endless; it’s hard to hone in on just a few. If I had to choose my top three favorite features, it would have to be notifications, communicating with team members, and its appealing user interface and compatibility with iOS and Android. Monday.com allows you to sync your task dashboard with your calendar of choice (HCES uses Outlook), and sends you email reminders on assignments you have upcoming and due within the week. This feature fosters accountability without micromanaging my colleagues, which I love.


Notifications

There are five different places where you can receive notifications from Monday.com:

The inbox 📥 is where you will see all updates from boards you are a member of, even if you are not specifically mentioned in that update or assigned to an item. You can think of this as a news feed, like Instagram or Facebook, where you can see everything your team has posted on those specific boards. If you do not wish to see updates for a particular board, you can unsubscribe from the board.

The bell icon 🔔 is where you receive all of the information that's specifically relevant to you (i.e., an assigned task or board addition). You will also receive bell notifications for any automations you have activated on your board.

By default, all email notifications will be turned on for each new user, but you can go to your profile settings to change that. You will get an email notification whenever someone:

  • Assigns you to a item

  • Replies to your update

  • Updates a item you're an owner of

  • Updates a item you're subscribed to

  • Replies on a conversation you're a part of

  • Signs up after you invited them

  • Does not sign up after you invited them

  • Mentions you in a post or reply

  • Subscribes you to a board/item/team

  • Signs up with an email address from your account domain

If you want to receive fewer emails, and stick to one place for your notifications - or maybe the exact opposite, have all your Monday.com notifications be sent to your email - you can easily set this up and manage it in the "My profile" section of your avatar!

You can receive pop-up notifications right on your desktop, so you'll never miss something important. They can be really helpful if you're working outside of monday.com but still want to know when something requires your attention.

To enable desktop notifications, just follow these steps:

  1. Click on your profile picture

  2. Click on the notifications tab

  3. Click on "enable desktop notifications"

To disable desktop notifications, simply follow the same steps, and click on “Disable desktop notifications.”

Another place to receive notifications is via your mobile device, via iOS and Android app. These notifications act similarly to other app notifications you'd receive on your device. Push notifications that you would receive on your mobile device would be synonymous with your bell notifications. Click the image below to view a short video on how to use notifications.

Communication

My second favorite feature is the ease of communication with other team members. This has been an incredibly useful feature because if we are collaborating on a task together, we are able to provide each other updates on progress, voice concerns, or ask questions without having to start a separate chat or message board.

This feature is similar to instant messaging, but specific to a task and embedded inside of it. If you’re concerned about a particular task, you can easily communicate with the person assigned to the task; click the speech bubble beside the task name and type your message in the dialog box that slides in. Then, click update. Note: You can use text formatting in your updates, as well as include hyperlinks and even a checklist - game changer! A number appears beside the speech bubble to show how many updates have been added to the task. Make sure to @mention a specific person so that they’ll get notified about the update you posted. When that person logs into Monday.com, the update appears on their bell notifications. They will also get email and desktop notifications, if they’ve enabled these on their profile settings. It also displays who and how many people viewed the comment - again, increasing accountability for all assigned to the task.


Utility

Lastly, I love how user-friendly Monday.com is. It’s easy to navigate through dashboards on my desktop and compatible with my iPhone or iPad while I’m on the go. Having Monday.com as an app on my mobile device allows me to have the access to my tasks and assigned projects that I want, while being able to create healthy work-life boundaries by toggling the notification settings.



Closing Remarks

At HCES, we take it one day at a time and begin our work on projects from initiation to a resolution-based approach. Transitioning to Monday.com has allowed us to work more efficiently as a team, expand our resources to more engagements, and store more documents about the team in an organized and accessible manner. All in all, Monday.com has “taken the mania out of Mondays” and put the calmness in our day-to-day duties.












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