productivity Whiteboard

How to Use Structured Thinking for Successful Product Management

Product managers (PMs) are crucial to the success of any product and the team around it. They act as the linchpin, ensuring that all team efforts are aligned with the overarching business goals. Product managers define the product vision, manage timelines, help with resource allocation, and facilitate communication among stakeholders, team members, and leadership. They also play a critical role in risk management, problem-solving, and making sure that deliverables meet quality standards. For those in this role, structured thinking is a great tool for PMs to help them handle complex products, juggle customer feedback, and deliver and develop excellent products.

How Can Structured Thinking Improve Product Management?

Structured thinking is a systematic approach to problem-solving and decision-making designed to improve clarity, efficiency, and team effectiveness. For product managers, adopting structured process thinking can streamline processes, improve team collaboration, and drive better results. Whether that is by breaking down complex tasks into manageable components or getting to the root of a problem, structured thinking enables PMs to prioritize actions, allocate resources efficiently, and better anticipate any myriad of potential challenges.

You can approach structured thinking in a variety of ways. Whether your goal is to save time, determine the root of a problem, or map your ideas, there are plenty of ways to approach a problem and determine the next steps. Here we walk through some of the top options our team recommends starting with.

What Is Effort/Value Charting and How Can It Help Product Managers?

Effort/value charting is a simple but powerful prioritization strategy that helps PMs assess the potential impact of various tasks against the effort required to complete them. This technique involves plotting tasks on a graph where the x-axis represents the effort and the y-axis represents the value. Tasks that fall into the high-value, low-effort quadrant are prioritized first, that way your team can focus on actions that yield the most significant benefits with minimal resources. 

Steps to Successful Effort/Value Charting:

  1. Identify Tasks: List all potential tasks, features, bugs, or requests facing your team or product.
  2. Assess Effort and Value: Estimate the effort required and the value each task will deliver.
  3. Plot on Chart: Position each task on the effort/value matrix.
  4. Discuss: Chat with your team or others who are likely to be involved in the tasks to validate your rankings
  5. Prioritize: Focus on tasks in the high-value, low-effort quadrant.

You may find it’s easier to use an effort/value matrix template to help you and your team collaborate when first getting started. 

Using the Pomodoro Method to Improve Time Management 

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method that boosts productivity by breaking work into intervals, traditionally 25 minutes in length, separated by short breaks. Using this approach is great for maintaining focus and momentum while also helping to reduce burnout.

Implementing the Pomodoro Technique:

  1. Set a Timer: Work for 25 minutes (one Pomodoro).
  2. Short Break: Take a 5-minute break after each Pomodoro.
  3. Repeat: Complete four Pomodoros, then take a longer break (15-30 minutes).
  4. Adjust: Customize the intervals you use based on your team’s needs and project demands.

If you’re struggling with setting your own timers, there are a variety of apps and programs available to download to your phone, watch, or computer that automatically prompt you to take breaks or focus accordingly.

How to Use the 5 Whys Method for Effective Problem-Solving?

The 5 Whys method is a quick and effective problem-solving tool that involves asking “Why?” five times to identify the root cause of any problem. This technique can be used in almost any situation and it helps surface both the root of a problem and potential related problems that may be exacerbating issues. Using the 5 Whys method is a great first step to take in the problem-solving process before jumping into more detailed approaches. 

Steps to Use the 5 Whys Method:

  1. State the Problem: Clearly define the issue and any involved parties.
  2. Ask Why: Ask why the problem exists and record the answer.
  3. Repeat: Continue asking “Why?” for each subsequent answer until the root cause is identified. Generally, this only takes 5 whys, but you can add more until you’ve reached the root of the issue.
  4. Discuss Solutions: Discuss how to approach solutions that address the root cause of the problem.

How Can Decision Trees Aid in Making Better Decisions?

Decision trees are used to map out various decision paths and their potential outcomes. As a product manager, it is beneficial to evaluate the consequences of different choices and help teams choose the most advantageous or logical option based on the desired outcome. You can use a decision tree solo or in a group setting, and they can be concise or expansive, based on the scope or complexity of the problem at hand.

Creating a Decision Tree:

  1. Define the Decision: Clearly state the decision to be made.
  2. Identify Options: List all possible options or actions that can be taken.
  3. Map Outcomes: For each option, map out all potential outcomes and any subsequent decisions that would need to be made as a result of that outcome.
  4. Evaluate: Analyze the tree to determine the best course of action based on likely outcomes or the most desired outcome.

How to Approach Complex Product Management Problems Using Structured Thinking

Based on everything we’ve covered above, here is how we recommend going about approaching a problem:

  1. Uncover the root of the problem. 
  2. Decide on an approach to the problem based on desired outcomes.
  3. List out the tasks and steps to take to solve the problem.
  4. Use an effort/value matrix to organize tasks.
  5. Begin tackling the tasks in order of their value and effort.
  6. Utilize the Pomodoro method to stay on task and prevent burnout.

Get Started Problem-Solving with Frameable Whiteboard

If you’re looking to implement more structured thinking practices in your product management processes, it’s time to start using tools like Frameable Whiteboard that offer various templates, like decision trees, concept maps, and more, to facilitate structured thinking and collaboration within your team.

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8 Exciting CIO Conferences to Attend in 2024

If you are searching for your next CIO-focused conference to attend, finding the right balance between topics, size, and who is in attendance can be challenging. We’ve gathered a list of the top CIO conferences for the latter half of 2024, saving you time and effort. Whether your team wants to join an intimate event with focused conversations or a large-scale conference with attendees from around the world, we’ve gathered eight conferences and series you will want to check out.

CIO New York Summit

This one-day event is perfect for those with a busy schedule who still want to connect. While this event is coming up quickly, it is only held annually, so mark your calendars for next year as well.

When and where is the event?

The CIO New York Summit will be held on June 20, 2024, in New York City.

Who should attend?

This summit is designed for senior IT executives, including CIOs and IT directors from large enterprises and mid-market organizations.

What topics will be covered?

The summit will cover cloud computing, digital transformation, data and analytics, AI, IoT, cybersecurity, and strategic IT alignment. The event features keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, and networking opportunities to address industry trends and challenges, followed by an evening networking reception.

FutureIT Events

CIO magazine hosts a variety of in-person and virtual events geared toward IT leadership to help grow your business and goals.

When are they hosting events?

The Future IT series includes single-day events across the United States and Canada.

  • New York, NY – July 11, 2024 at Convene
  • Toronto, CA – September 2024 (details TBA)
  • Dallas, TX – October 8, 2024 at AT&T Stadium
  • New York, NY – November 21, 2024 at Convene

Who should attend?

Managers, directors, VPs, CIOs, and CISOs working with emerging technologies like AI and cloud computing or other senior or director-level IT professionals. Many of these events are invite-only, so we recommend reaching out to the organizers directly for more information on attending an event near you.

What topics will be covered?

Attending a Future IT event will provide you or your leadership team with insights into new solutions for cloud, security, and collaboration tools, along with practical case studies from successful IT leaders. You’ll also hear from leaders about how to overcome common challenges and pain points in your team’s digital transformation journey.

CIO SoCal Summit

The CIO SoCal Summit is a one-day event for technology and cybersecurity executives. The event offers a platform for CIOs to share their insights on digital transformation, cybersecurity, and strategic IT alignment. 

When and where is the event?

The CIO SoCal Summit will be held on July 30, 2024, at the Hyatt Regency Huntington Beach Resort and Spa in Huntington Beach, California.

Who should attend?

Attendance is generally comprised of CIOs, CTOs, IT directors, and other Senior IT Professionals, Information Systems directors and managers, and Legal, Compliance, and Quality directors and managers.

What topics will be covered?

The CIO SoCal Summit features keynote presentations, panel discussions, and interactive workshops, facilitating networking and collaboration. The theme this year is: Create a Game-Changing IT Strategy to Accelerate Your Business. It emphasizes the critical role of CIOs in driving digital strategies and safeguarding digital assets, covering topics like risk management, compliance, data privacy, and proactive defense mechanisms.

CIO100 Symposium & Awards

Foundry’s Leadership Events and Awards bring together top CIOs, CSOs, and CISOs to share insights and success stories. At the CIO 100 Symposium & Awards, the nation’s top CIOs and industry experts will share their success stories and unique perspectives on strategy, digital leadership, and business growth. The event celebrates IT excellence with sessions on leadership, innovation, AI, and cybersecurity. Attendees can network, learn from top CIOs, and explore award-winning projects and strategies for overcoming enterprise IT challenges.

When and where is the event?

The CIO 100 Symposium & Awards will be held on August 5-7, 2024, at The Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs, 

Who should attend?

Managers, directors, VPs, CIOs, CISOs, and other leaders and change-makers working in the IT field. Registration is currently open for IT executives of organizations with more than 500 employees.

What topics will be covered?

The keynote presentation will be delivered by Dr. Poppy Crum, a renowned futurist, neuroscientist, and technologist who explores the intersection of technology and human evolution. As an adjunct professor at Stanford University, she leads research on robotics, AI, augmented reality, and sensor fusion to transform industries impacting daily life sustainably. Formerly she was the Chief Scientist at Dolby Laboratories, where she developed technologies that leverage human physiology and behavior to enhance interaction with the world through immersive tech and personalized data.

Along with additional networking opportunities, some of the topics to be covered will include:

  • Data management and governance
  • Reducing technical debt to increase innovation
  • Cost optimization for cloud scaling and AI
  • Scaling AI for new business models
  • Aligning cybersecurity strategies with business imperatives
  • Breakthrough team performance

Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly

When and where is the event?

The Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly will be held on August 22-23, 2024 at The Omni Barton Creek in Austin, Texas.

Who should attend?

The Digital Enterprise Transformation Assembly is designed for global and enterprise CIOs and senior IT executives looking to connect with peers to discuss industry trends and challenges.

What topics will be covered?

Key topics include digital transformation, big data, AI, economic strategies for CIOs, cloud value, data governance, cybersecurity, and strategic IT alignment.

While the agenda is currently reserved only for those registered, some of the speakers listed include executives from Salesforce, Zoom, American Airlines, The Estee Lauder Companies, Mondelez International, Cleveland Clinic, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

Global CIO Executive Summit

When and where is the event?

The Global CIO Executive Summit will be held from September 18-20, 2024, at the Fairmont Grand Del Mar in San Diego, California.

Who should attend?

This regional summit is a smaller-scale, intimate event with generally under 150 people in attendance. This is an ideal space for C-level executives to connect and grow their already global business. This invite-only event guarantees that you are surrounded by industry leaders in your region who are looking to connect and grow their businesses.

What topics will be covered?

The Global CIO Executive Summit will feature interactive keynote sessions with IT leaders, group networking opportunities, and personally-matched one-on-one meetings.  

Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo

The Gartner IT Symposiums are one of the most attended IT yearly events by IT and technology leaders. Hosted by Gartner, one of the most recognizable names in the technology space, consistently delivers a high-quality experience for leaders across the industry.

When and where is the event?

The Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo will be held on October 21-24,2024 in Orlando, Florida.

Who should attend?

This conference is ideal for CIOs, CISOs, Chief data and chief analytics officers, VPs of IT infrastructure and operations, and Senior application leaders.

What to expect

This year features a great line-up of speakers including Jensen Huang, Founder and CEO of Nvidia.

The following topics are also set to be on the agenda across the conference:

  • Artificial intelligence and its impact on software, talent, and governance.
  • Emerging technologies, tech innovations, and their enterprise impact.
  • Cybersecurity
  • Digital and business transformation
  • Continuous change leadership and developing a forward-thinking culture.
  • Strategic planning and execution including strategies for growth and business optimization.

AWS re:Invent

The AWS re:Invent conference is the place to be if you are an organization that relies on AWS systems in any way. 

When and where is it?

AWS re:Invent will be held on December 2-6, 2024, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Who should attend? 

The event is ideal for developers, engineers, system architects, IT executives, and anyone interested in or who employs AWS and cloud computing services.

There are a variety of conference tracks available to suit the needs and interests of a variety of attendees, making it a great conference for a larger group to attend.

What topics will be covered? 

Topics include AI, machine learning, security, cloud architecture, and over 2,500 technical sessions. The event also features keynotes, training, certifications, and networking opportunities with AWS experts.

Cost to attend:

Full conference passes start at $2,099.

Looking Ahead

The future of work is in the hands of CIOs around the world as we continue to understand and consider how AI and new technologies will shape our lives and the way we do business. If your team is built on the belief that being forward-thinking and preparing for the future is one of the best steps to growth and impact, these conferences will surely set you up for success and keep you in good company. If you’re looking for other conferences to attend this year, explore our round-up of top Future of Work conferences also happening this year.

As you continue your digital transformation journeys, prepare for the future of work with Frameable, the platform transforming the future of remote and distributed work. 

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7 Whiteboard Templates for Reimagined Collaboration and Improved Processes

Processes, workflows, and team goals are constantly evolving regardless of the size of your organization, and collaboration tools are essential for documenting and maintaining all of them. Among these tools, online whiteboard applications are indispensable for teams to brainstorm, plan, and track projects visually and collaboratively. To maximize the benefits of these tools, using the right templates can transform how your team works together. We’ve gathered seven of our most popular templates that you can use today to reimagine and reinvigorate any of your collaborative workflows.

7 Different Templates to Try

  1. Organizational Chart

While internal HR systems make it easy for team members to see who their leaders or direct reports are, they often take time to update and are often not as flexible as we’d like them to be. A standard org chart is useful, but a dynamic chart showing relationships between your team and other teams, departments, or external partners can better illustrate your workflows.

  1. Customer Journey Mapping

Customer journey mapping is essential for marketing teams as well as sales and product teams. -Mapping the entire customer life cycle helps your team understand your customers, their goals, and their experience with your product. Building a clear customer journey helps to surface potential gaps in both the market and the product that your team can work to fill in your industry.

  1. SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) Analysis

SWOT analysis helps teams of all sizes and calibers make informed decisions and prioritize the next steps for improving the outcomes of any organization. By regularly identifying and leveraging their strengths, teams can achieve their goals more efficiently and boost morale, often leading to higher productivity. Recognizing weaknesses, spotting opportunities, and identifying threats help teams improve, innovate, and manage risks to stay competitive and forward-thinking. 

  1. User Story Map

While marketing, sales, and support teams will need to utilize the broader Customer Journey template mentioned above, engineering, product development, and quality assurance teams will find benefits in the User Story map. This helps teams visualize the end user’s journey within your product, ensuring a clear understanding of user needs and goals. Organizing and prioritizing user stories streamlines product development, ensuring efficient and focused progress. Additionally, user story mapping aids in identifying gaps and dependencies in various product workflows, so you can ensure a high-quality product is delivered. This approach can further enhance collaboration among team members, promote a user-centric development process, and ensure that the final product aligns with your users’ expectations. 

  1. Process Mapping

Process mapping offers significant benefits to your organization. It helps teams visualize workflows and understand the sequence of activities involved in a process. Documenting frequently repeated processes enables your team to work more independently, reducing the need for assistance Outlined processes also make it easier for leaders to identify inefficiencies and bottlenecks, enabling teams to streamline operations and improve their productivity. Clearly outlining processes promotes better communication and collaboration for cross-functional teams, makes aligning team members on process steps and objectives easier, and standardizes procedures for consistency and quality.

  1. Eisenhower Decision Matrix

The Eisenhower Decision Matrix is a tried and true approach to task prioritization. It helps prioritize tasks by categorizing them based on urgency and importance, ensuring that high-priority tasks receive the most attention. Doing so improves time management and helps reduce the stress in decision-making, as individuals can focus on what truly matters without being overwhelmed by less critical tasks. This approach increases productivity by helping people work more efficiently and effectively. Additionally, it ensures that focus remains on high-impact activities that contribute significantly to personal and organizational goals, ultimately leading to better outcomes and success.

  1. Kanban Framework

The Kanban method brings several great benefits to the table for task management and tracking. It uses a simple board system to visualize tasks, so teams can easily see what’s being worked on and spot any bottlenecks. By setting limits on how much work is in progress, the Kanban system helps keep your team’s workload balanced and aids in reducing inefficiencies. Use this board to help improve teamwork and communication since everyone can track progress and stay on the same page. Plus, Kanban encourages regular reviews and tweaks to processes, leading to better productivity and a smoother workflow overall.

Customizing Templates in Whiteboard

While there are many more professionally designed templates available for your team to use in Whiteboard,- you can also easily create and save your own templates to meet all of your collaboration needs.

When you’re ready to get more from your whiteboard, get started for free with Frameable Whiteboard.

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AI productivity

How Incorporating AI Tools Can Reduce Cognitive Load in Your Team

At this very moment, you’ve likely had or overheard many different discussions about using AI (artificial intelligence) in the workplace or your everyday life. Organizations everywhere are looking to find the best and fastest ways to drive innovation and digital transformation using one or more of the exciting AI technologies entering the market every day. As a team that works to develop tools to improve remote and distributed work, we’ve conducted a variety of research on what tools, best practices, and gaps exist for knowledge workers. Our inaugural research report for 2024 revealed that a majority of knowledge workers feel overwhelmed by the number of different tools they have to use on any given day to complete their jobs. Research confirms that frequent context switching significantly hampers productivity, prompting leaders to find effective solutions to reduce the cognitive load on their teams. The time-saving benefits could open up even more time for knowledge workers to spend a greater portion of their day in deep thought or focus. This is a huge win for organizations looking to stay on the cutting edge of their industry. With this in mind, we started developing our latest tool, the Overview AI Assistant, to help relieve some of this burden and constant context-switching.

Enhancing Decision-Making with AI

LLMs (Large Language Models), the core of how we think of many AI tools today, are deep learning algorithms that can recognize, summarize, translate, predict, and generate content by using very large datasets. Generative AI, a type of LLM, is often used to create images, videos, and text, but it can also facilitate the comprehension of large amounts of data. With data analysis in record time, AI can quickly provide insights and recommendations, streamlining the decision-making process. In the context of Frameable’s Overview, the AI can analyze the content of connected Microsoft Outlook calendars alongside Teams chats, channels, and files, reduce time spent on administrative tasks, and suggest actionable insights. By improving the speed of everyday tasks, AI rapidly facilitates a more productive workday and enables workers to make better decisions, faster.

It’s important to keep in mind that AI in the workplace is an aid, not a substitute, for human potential and oversight. All currently available AI tools have their limitations, and there remains a clear demarcation between tasks AI can correctly complete and those it cannot. It must be consistently reiterated that employees will still need to validate and employ their own “cognitive effort” to ensure their AI-generated outcomes are valuable and accurate. But, knowing where that line lies, and where that line lies in regards to organizational goals and specific tasks, will be crucial for successfully using AI to enhance or speed up decision-making processes. Instead of concentrating on tasks and processes that AI cannot automate, it’s often more beneficial for companies and their staff to concentrate on processes that can be accelerated with AI assistance, such as generating a first draft or summarizing long documents. Only your team will understand all of the intricacies surrounding your goals. Letting AI speed up summarization and surfacing the right content frees up more time for in-depth conversations and tasks that cannot be outsourced to an AI assistant. However, this type of implementation will only improve outcomes if it is paired with clear training and an understanding of where employees need to break from using AI and conduct analysis themselves since many AI-generated answers and suggestions can appear, on a surface level, to be correct, this step in training is necessary to prevent employees from simply “turning off their brains”.

While this may seem like a reason to stray away from implementing an AI tool, a recent research report from McKinsey found that knowledge workers spend up to 19% of their week, or nearly 8 hours in a standard 40-hour work week, searching for and gathering information. Information retrieval is something that a lot of us spend a great deal of time doing when a machine can often do the same work quickly and more efficiently. Imagine freeing up an extra 8 hours every week!

How to Know if an AI Tool is Right for Your Team

The first step in deciding whether to integrate an AI tool into your organization involves analyzing your existing tools and surveying your team to identify any gaps, frustrations, or underutilized features in your tech stack. From there, you’ll want to research different, tools, trends, and strategies to understand where your goals align with the possibilities various AI tools offer. 

If you’re ready to improve how your remote or distributed team can leverage AI within Microsoft Teams, it’s time to explore Overview by Frameable. In our latest update, we introduced our Overview AI Assistant, built to be easier, more accurate, and more efficient to use than Copilot for Microsoft Teams.

To learn more, download our latest white paper covering the latest research, best practices, and insights on implementing AI in your organization.

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Improving Incident Response Workflows for Your Remote Team

This article originally appeared on LinkedIn.

New research from PwC cites that 38% of tech leaders report an increase in their organization’s exposure to security threats. No team wants to fall victim to a cyber security attack or huge roadblocks, but in this day and age preparing for a variety of complex incidents that may befall your team is the best strategy for success. When something goes wrong, the outcome can either be the result of preparation or be filled with anxiety and errors. Ensuring your team knows exactly how to handle a data breach or mitigate a PR crisis is crucial to ensuring your team stays agile and capable of protecting your assets, clients, and more. This is where a tried and tested incident response plan is necessary for your success.

The Essence of Incident Response

Incident response (IR) is a structured methodology for handling security breaches and cyber threats so that organizations can quickly contain and mitigate the threat and its effects. “It is essential for businesses of all sizes and sectors to prepare for incident response.” You don’t want to inform clients that their data is still at risk or that the problem still needs to be resolved days after a breach.

For remote teams, the dynamics of incident response workflows take on additional layers of complexity. The unique demands of remote work require a new approach to IR, with communication, coordination, and security measures transcending physical boundaries. Remote teams must lean heavily on technology for real-time monitoring, automated alerts, and virtual collaboration tools to orchestrate their response efforts effectively. An example of this could be a remote team using encrypted communication channels to coordinate their response to a phishing attack that compromised several employee accounts, ensuring rapid isolation of affected systems and restoration of secure operations. While traditional tools can help get your team there, they often leave much to be desired when it comes to aiding efficiency and effective collaboration.

What to Consider When Forming an Incident Response Plan

Irrespective of industry, incident response plays a crucial role in many workflows. In healthcare, for example, a data breach might involve the unauthorized access of patient records, demanding swift action to secure data and notify affected individuals. In the financial sector, an incident could involve a sophisticated cyber-attack aimed at financial theft or data manipulation, requiring not just technical containment but also legal and regulatory responses. Meanwhile, in e-commerce, a DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attack could cripple online operations, necessitating rapid mitigation to restore service and protect against future attacks.

If your team faces even one of these situations mentioned above, you’ll want to consider how you will stay connected and agile while working to resolve the crisis. For remote teams, in particular, this presents a greater challenge. If you’re unable to physically join your team in a conference room to work on a problem, how can you stay informed, provide assistance, and have a comprehensive view of everything at once?

Crafting a Robust Incident Response Plan

A well-defined incident response plan is the linchpin of effective IR. You’ll want to consider how your team is currently set up, existing workflows that are already in place, and how your team works: remotely, hybrid, or a unique combination of the two. Most plans should include the following in some form or another:

  • Preparation: Establishing your IR team and equipping them with the tools and authority to act decisively. Developing processes and procedures for each team member that needs to be involved. Surveying your team is a great way to understand where they see areas for improvement or where they could use more support. This will likely look different for remote teams compared to teams that are on-site more often, thus making it even more important to do and conduct follow-up surveys regularly.
  • Identification: Outline processes for quickly detecting and assessing the scope of an incident.
  • Containment: Limiting the spread and impact of the incident to minimize damage, impact on affected individuals, and impact on your brand. For each of the following, a separate, detailed checklist of the steps that should always be taken should be created.
  • Eradication: Removing the threat or bug from the environment and taking steps to prevent the incident from occurring again.
  • Recovery: Restoring systems to normal operation and confirming the integrity of your product or organization is restored.
  • Lessons Learned & Documentation: Review the outcome incident to improve future IR processes. This is the time to reflect and update checklists, necessary documentation, and other items to make future incidents solvable with even greater speed.

Each step outlined above is crucial for ensuring the success of your processes and a strategic strengthening of your response and defenses over time. But what ultimately becomes most important during an incident is communication. For remote teams, practicing what this communication looks like is an even greater step in team preparedness to be sure that no important information falls through the cracks.

Best Practices for Remote Incident Response Teams

The effectiveness of a remote incident response team hinges on employing several best practices so that when an incident does happen, your team’s response is second nature.

  • Continuous Training: Regular drills and simulations keep the IR team sharp and ready. As the team improves or implements new tools it’s crucial that the entire team, practices using them in a reduced-stress environment for greater learning comprehension. For remote teams, practicing setting up virtual command centers and getting the correct applications running can better ensure no steps are missed and help the full team understand how long each step will take.
  • Define Communication Strategies: Clear protocols ensure that all stakeholders, from management to technical teams, are informed and aligned. For remote teams this is especially important since much of the communication will need to be done through a variety of channels and not necessarily live or on the phone. Will these be through specified channels that already exist or new ones for each incident? Be sure to communicate those expectations to your team.
  • Iterative Improvement: Post-incident reviews offer invaluable insights for refining the IR plan. Regularly reviewing post-incident documentation to understand where the team can improve or communicate better is key. Consider what workflows need to be adjusted to help your remote team execute plans and checklists faster.
  • Technological Leverage: Utilizing cutting-edge tools for detection, analysis, and recovery can significantly enhance response capabilities. These resources can help expedite the detection of potential threats, improve communication and collaboration among team members, and ensure timely delivery of updates to those affected. With the right technological leverage, organizations can stay ahead of the curve and respond swiftly and effectively to any situation.

Next Steps

In the quest to solidify your organization’s remote incident response processes, exploring Frameable’s innovative solutions for Microsoft Teams can be a game-changer in smoothing out any remaining bumps. Frameable specializes in streamlining collaboration and communication for remote teams, ensuring that your IR processes are not just effective but also seamlessly integrated with your daily operations. By integrating with Microsoft Teams it’s easier than ever to add new capabilities to your workflow. Whether you’re looking to enhance your team’s coordination in the face of digital threats or seeking to leverage technology for a more resilient defense, Frameable offers the potential to do more without forcing your team to learn new, complex tools.

Explore Frameable for Incident Response Teams here.

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Future of work productivity remote work Virtual Training

Mastering Engagement in Virtual Training: Key Strategies for Success

This post originally appeared on LinkedIn.

Organizations that want to retain top talent and stay ahead of the curve know that remote and hybrid work arrangements are critical to their success. This crucial realization also comes with a new need: providing new hires, current employees, and potentially many others with an effective and engaging path to getting trained on company policies and procedures, professional development resources, ongoing learning. Translating an engaging and successful in-person lecture or course into virtual content, live or otherwise, is not necessarily a straightforward path, especially if you want to ensure trainees leave having had a high-quality experience.

Understanding the Virtual Training Landscape

The world of virtual training is marked by plenty of ever-changing trends and challenges. But one core issue remains: how to captivate and maintain your audience’s attention in an environment rife with distractions and the temptation to do anything else besides pay attention to the content (like answering emails or scrolling on your phone). Below, we dive into a variety of strategies for virtual training for overcoming these hurdles, so you can transform passive learners into active and engaged participants.

What Makes a Virtual Training Engaging?

There is a difference between adding shocking facts into a training session and providing true value comes down to making your content as relevant to the learner as possible. Think back on your current virtual training set-up and content plan: How can you include new or surprising ways to share the information you need to get across? How can you connect your content to real-world applications that learners will encounter in the workplace and beyond?

When learners are presented with content in a way that makes it easy to absorb and relevant to them, they are more likely to stay focused, engaged, and retain the information you are sharing. This can come in any form of training: live instructor-led sessions, pre-recorded training videos, or interactive quizzes. The crucial element remains the same: make sure your trainees leave the session feeling like what they learned is crucial to their success and relevant to their job. Learners who leave sessions feeling energized and capable are a huge win for trainers and their organization’s bottom line. 

When you start with this approach, instead of repeating the same processes, you’re likely to discover room for improvement in both your content and how you deliver it.

Strategies for Virtual Training Success

The virtual environment requires a new approach to teaching methods. Virtual learning can be uncomfortable or hinder community building without clear instructions due to a lack of established social norms. While some students may feel exceptionally comfortable in a virtual learning environment, not everyone will.

This offers you, the instructor, the opportunity to be exceptionally prescriptive when assigning group projects or having students disperse into virtual breakout rooms during a call. By taking away some of the worry and anxiety that can come from uncertainty, you can better equip your students with the information they need to focus on the task at hand and find the value in what is currently on the docket.

Furthermore, when it comes time to break out into sessions or develop new modules, you will also want to rethink how you disseminate different lessons. Repeating the same slide show and lecture format can become exceptionally arduous in a virtual classroom. While sometimes it is unavoidable, there are other approaches to consider when developing lesson plans that drive better student engagement and participation.

Consider how your team can implement a variety of the following:

  • Personalized learning paths: for small class sizes or one-on-one training, consider spending time getting to know the individual goals of your student or students
  • Gamification of certain modules: Explore Kahoot, Quizlet, and many others that can make learning more fun and aid in content retention.
  • Dynamic, visual content: Instead of classic slideshow presentations explore options such as Prezi for redefining how you develop lectures.
  • Video-based lessons
  • Peer-review assignments

Building Community Through Virtual Training

Community building is essential for sustaining long-term engagement and for creating a sense of belonging. Regular check-ins, group projects, and social forums can help in crafting an inclusive and supportive community. Utilizing approved internal channels or other connection platforms helps to make the learning experience more comprehensive and integrated into participants’ daily lives.

Measuring the Success and ROI of Virtual Training

Measuring the success of virtual training can come in a variety of forms. This can include closing larger sales, reducing turnover, increasing in-house promotions over external new hires, or seeing improvements in your employee satisfaction surveys.

If one of your goals with training is to develop a loyal customer base, great training can help you get there faster. Buyers especially take notice when they have a great experience with your brand. A pleasant experience with a skilled and knowledgeable representative and great support content leads to more closed deals and a higher average sale according to data from Seismic

Both employees who represent your company to customers and those with internal roles report higher job satisfaction and likelihood of staying with a job due to consistent and supportive training, according to IBM. For those with a goal of increasing overall employee satisfaction, offering professional development courses, trainings, and opportunities for career advancement are a crucial piece of the puzzle. 

At the end of the day, engaged employees are more likely to benefit your bottom line, and those with the resources to succeed are going to provide more value to both the company and their team. 

Next Steps

The journey from traditional to virtual training environments is complex but rewarding. By implementing the strategies outlined, trainers and HR leaders can foster more engaging, productive, and effective learning experiences. Building connections in virtual settings is not just about technology; it’s about creating an immersive, interactive, and inclusive learning culture that adds value and resonates with participants.

Explore how Frameable can help your team level up virtual training in Microsoft Teams or sign up for a demo today.

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AI Future of work

9 Future of Work Conferences to Attend in 2024

The past year has been hugely transformative both for the future of work itself and the technology and trends surrounding it. Attending conferences on the future of work can be a valuable investment to meet talented leaders, identify innovative solutions, and in some cases, even showcase your own! There are so many incredible conferences happening in 2024, we’ve identified 9 of the top conferences you won’t want to miss this year.

IDC Future of Work & AI Summit 

March 11-13, 2024 in St Albans, United Kingdom

International Data Corporation (IDC) is a global provider of analysis and insights, helping professionals take a data-driven approach to selecting technologies and formulating business plans. The conference aims to provide attendees with industry insights, recommendations, and valuable experiences from speakers, complete with networking opportunities. The main topics set for this year include creating a secure and sustainable flexible workplace, designing a Human-First Work model, and leveraging Purposeful Automation. Keynotes and workshops will cover enabling a human-first future of work, maximizing human potential with inclusive and sustainable workplace design, reimagining the future of work with hybrid models, assessing the IT skills gap, and the magic of low-code tools.

Gartner Digital Workplace Summit

18-19 March 2024 in Grapevine, Texas

10-11 June 2024 in London, U.K.

27-28 August 2024 in Tokyo, Japan

The Gartner Digital Workplace Summit focuses on two digital workplace trends: distributing work and enhancing the digital employee experience. The conference provides an ideal mix of insights and research-based talks to allow participants to better understand these topics and find strategies to improve their outcomes and is ideal for digital workplace leaders, architects, IT leadership, application leaders, I&O leaders, and other technical professionals.

Attendees have the option to choose from five different tracks:

  1. Lead by Collaborating
  2. Harness Advanced Technology
  3. Modernize Infrastructure and Operation
  4. Create Engaging Digital Employee Experiences
  5. Prepare for the Future of Work

If you are an IT executive or digital workplace leader, this conference is for you! With three locations and multiple tracks to choose from, this summit will allow attendees to join peers to build their network, learn, and meet experts in the digital workplace.

WSJ Future of Everything

May 21-23, 2024 in NYC

Each year, the newsroom at the Wall Street Journal identifies who and what is changing the future to compile their Future of Everything conference. While the conference isn’t solely focused on the future of work, given the influx of news on the topic, there are dedicated sections for both technology and work. 

This year, hear from featured speakers like Albert Bourla, CEO of Pfizer, Chuck Robbins CEO of Cisco Systems, or Kathryn McLay President and CEO of Walmart International along with so many others across industries.

With a broader focus than other conferences listed, attendees will be able to receive a birds-eye view of, quite literally, the future of everything. 

Future of Work USA

June 3-4, 2024 in New York, NY

The Future of Work USA event was launched in 2019 to focus on the latest trends and strategies surrounding senior executives. With a smaller focus on tech, the Future of Work conference is perfect for those within the HR, communication, or employee experience realm of business. The Future of Work conference series takes place around the globe offering a unique opportunity to gain insights into the latest trends, strategies, and technologies shaping the future of work. It’s an ideal platform for networking with other industry leaders, sharing knowledge, and discovering innovative solutions to drive organizational success.

This year’s agenda includes topics like RTO, implementing generative AI across multiple channels, improving employee engagement and experience, and how to create content to engage and retain your employees and audience. 

If you’re considering even a few things mentioned above in the coming year, this is a great time to hear from leaders of some of the world’s best and biggest companies.

Gallup Future of Work Summit

June 3-5, 2024 in Omaha, NE

The Gallup at Work Summit offers a range of opportunities for learning and development, open to individuals across various industries seeking personal or professional growth. It provides accreditation opportunities (HRCI, SHRM, ICF credits) and does not require attendees to be Gallup-Certified Strengths Coaches or to have taken the CliftonStrengths assessment. 

While the agenda and speaker list for this year have yet to be released, the Gallup Summit does offer promotions for organizations sending multiple attendees. Both virtual and in-person attendance options are available for the 2024 summit so attending can fit into any budget.

SHRM Annual 2024 

June 23-26, 2024 in Chicago, IL

SHRM is a leading voice in the HR professional community and continues to shape how employers and employees work together. At the SHRM annual HR conference this year, attendees will learn from and engage with HR pioneers and tech innovators who are transforming the world of work. Topics include workplace innovation, future-ready HR, disruptive technologies, ethical AI, and more.

This conference will provide learnings, networking opportunities, and outcome-focused practices and solutions for professionals looking to expand their HR tech knowledge and stay ahead of the curve. 


June 24 – 26, 2024 in Dallas, TX

Formally known as Future Offices, the WorkX Conference brings together all things related to work experience. The 2024 conference will explore workplace flexibility trends, explore the human-centric approaches to the future of work, and discuss how AI will be incorporated into our future goals. With workshops, panels, networking, and more, this conference is sure to be at the top of many lists this year!

If you are looking for a multi-track conference opportunity with options to attend on each coast, this could be a great choice for you!

Transform 2024

July 10-11, 2024 in San Francisco, CA

AI is the talk of the town across every industry this year and Transform is where you can hear from focuses on practical AI implementation in enterprises. Previous speakers include top executives from companies like OpenAI, Google, and Meta, and this year is sure to be just as exciting. 

The event promises networking opportunities, insights into generative AI’s impact on business operations, innovation, and competition, and will explore the ethical, governance, security, and reliability challenges. The Transform 2024 conference is perfect for director-level and above executives eager to participate in the generative AI movement and all it has to offer for the future of work. 

Forbes Future Of Work Summit

September 12, 2024 in NYC

The Forbes Future of Work Summit hosted both in-person and virtually, centers around how to manage an increasingly distributed workforce, offering solutions for a more sustainable, profitable, and inclusive way of working.

Recently, Forbes has begun to highlight executives, organizations, and thought leaders shaping the office of tomorrow in an annual Forbes Future of Work 50 list. Expect some of these top contributors to be involved in this year’s summit.

While the agenda and speakers have not yet been announced for the 2024 summit, interested attendees can take a look at the 2023 agenda, speakers, and sponsors to get a better idea of the conference offerings and key findings.

The Future of Software in the Modern Workplace

Preparing for the future of work should be a part of every leader’s playbook. While attending conferences is just one of the ways to stay ahead of the competition, preparing your team with best-in-class resources and technology is just as crucial for wider team success. If you’re ready to take the leap and elevate your experience with Microsoft Teams, it’s time to explore Frameable.

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AI Future of work

Analyzing NVIDIA’s Q4 Earnings Report for the Future of Work

If you’ve kept up with the news over the past few days, you’re likely to have come across news of Nvidia’s record-breaking Q4 revenue report touting a 265% increase from a year ago.

Nvidia is quickly becoming a household name as the AI boom continues, specializing in making chips that power various platforms like Google Gemini, ChatGPT, and games and cars.

Generative AI is also quickly becoming the hottest topic surrounding the future of the world and the future of work. According to Nvidia CEO Jason Hwang, the demand for GenAI tools is rapidly increasing across different industries and even entire nations. Marking a tipping point in the AI market, contrary to previous reports that suggested we had already reached its peak. 

How GenAI is Already Shaping the Future of Work

As we’ve already seen over the past few years, AI has come a long way from what seemed like a pipe dream to quickly become one of the most useful tools for speeding up the repetitive tasks that take up a lot of time for knowledge workers.

According to research from LinkedIn published toward the end of 2023, more than 74% of US-based executives believe that Generative AI will help their employees. Overall, senior executives up to the C-suite are “mostly optimistic that the technology will provide productivity and revenue-enhancing benefits, even if it’s unclear how”, with 51% stating they are excited about using AI and 47% believing it will improve productivity. 

Human Implications of AI on the Future of Work

Most interestingly, many of the conversations around AI in the workplace started from a place of fear regarding potential job loss. But what has been most promising is that regardless of the changes in how smaller tasks get accomplished, more than 92% of leaders still believe that soft skills are more important than ever, according to the same LinkedIn Future of Work Report

Furthermore, McKinsey’s 2023 report on Generative AI and the Future of Work supports the long-held belief that technological innovation will spur economic and employment growth across sectors and the global economy. By 2030, up to 30% of all current work hours could be automated, according to their research. While this initially may cause some to harken back to the conversation surrounding job stability, the greater trend appears to be that more tedious or time-consuming tasks can be automated while those doing the work are freed up to work on more complicated or strategic tasks. 

The key to generative AI is there in its name: generative. It can consume huge swaths of information and create new pieces of content, but when it comes to original ideas, it is still us humans who hold the keys to true creativity and innovation. 

How You Can Jumpstart Your AI Journey

Most knowledge workers will tell you that there isn’t enough uninterrupted focus time in their work day. Microsoft’s latest Work Trends report backs this up further revealing that 68% of workers feel this way, burdened by how much time they spend in meetings, email, and on other forms of communicating. The potential to use AI to lessen this burden is one of the most exciting outcomes for many knowledge workers: “Employees are more eager for AI to lift the weight of work than they are afraid of job loss to AI”, according to the same Microsoft report.

There are a variety of tools already available to help lessen these burdens. AI meeting note-takers like Fireflies can make it easier for employees to decline invitations to big meetings in favor of focusing on other work if they do not need to be active participants. Reading the AI-generated summary during a designated time to catch up on communications means employees can have more control of their workday and dedicate more of their workday to deep focus. 

In a similar vein, Microsoft users can now employ Copilot to help them across the Microsoft Office suite with similar tasks that lessen the mental burden on the employees themselves. In Outlook this could mean having Copilot create a first draft of a lengthy email or summarize long threads. What’s exciting is never having to start from zero if you don’t want to!

For roles that require creativity, such as marketing or content creation, Copilot can suggest ideas, create drafts, or even generate entire articles, presentations, and marketing materials that aid in brainstorming and accelerate the creative process. The use cases for generative AI are endless if you know how to use it, so adopt it as a supportive tool to boost productivity.

The sheer number of future AI trends we can expect to see keeps growing, and Nvidia and Microsoft’s AI technology is sure to remain a pivotal part of these conversations as many more organizations continue to adopt AI at scale. 

To stay competitive, organizations should adopt both generative AI tools and productivity tools to streamline knowledge-worker workflows. Several excellent tools like Frameable Core can enhance daily collaboration and communication in Microsoft Teams for your workforce. By leveraging the power of next-level collaboration, you can accelerate the growth of your organization. 

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The 5 Best Microsoft Teams Integrations for Productive Distributed Teams

When it comes to distributed work, what sets successful teams apart from their less successful competitors is staying productive and efficient no matter your work style or location. To take your team to the next level of success, it’s critical to ensure they have the proper tools and training in how to use them. Even if your organization uses Microsoft Teams, you can still improve upon numerous workflows. Whether it is automating repetitive tasks, gathering information, or communicating with team members, some workflows can be disjointed, frustrating, or simply take way longer than they should! This post explores the best add-ins for Microsoft Teams to boost your remote, hybrid, or distributed teams to the next level. 


Distributed teams need clarity and efficiency when tackling projects. Making sure everyone is on the same page with real-time updates and a tool that is easy to use means wasting less time figuring out how to manage projects so you can spend more time completing them. Adding Trello boards directly to Teams channels means you never have to stray far to check up on related tasks and progress across multiple channels or projects. The Trello integration allows team members to receive real-time updates, send notifications, and access Trello boards directly within the Teams app. Not leaving Teams means fewer tabs open or programs running that slow down your devices, making it easier for remote and distributed teams of any size to stay organized and on top of their to-do lists. 

Polly from Microsoft

Clear and efficient communication lies at the heart of successful remote collaboration. The Polly add-in for Microsoft Teams facilitates engagement, feedback gathering, and data-driven decision-making inside and outside meetings. With Polly, teams can create polls, surveys, and quizzes within the Teams app, making it easy to gather feedback, involve all team members, and drive engagement in various settings. This add-in enables remote teams to foster a collaborative culture, ensuring everyone’s voice is heard, even when working from different locations. By adding Polly, teams using Teams can better streamline communication channels, boost participation, and make informed team or project decisions.


Helping your team stay on top of their to-do list is easier when everyone can automate repeatable workflows or send alerts automatically. Zapier connects with various other highly used platforms like Salesforce, Google Sheets, and Hubspot, just to name a few. With Zapier, you can create custom workflows, generally known as “Zaps,” that automate repetitive tasks, synchronize data across platforms, and trigger actions based on specific conditions. By integrating Zapier, teams can eliminate manual data entry, streamline workflows, and focus on tasks that add value, enhancing overall efficiency and productivity. For distributed teams or remote workforces, adding automatic notifications to project channels can help ensure everyone stays updated with the latest information necessary to remain as productive as possible.

Overview and MultiShare by Frameable

Whether you find yourself leading a large team for a multi-national organization or a small, bootstrapped remote team, you will need to collaborate effectively and efficiently. For teams using Microsoft Teams, having an all-in-one dashboard like Overview is akin to having a trusty guide by your side. It consolidates the cacophony of documents, conversations, and events into a tidy, digestible interface. The beauty of Overview is not just its utility, but in how it simplifies the often-overwhelming task of sifting through digital chatter to find what you need when you need it.

Whether you’re onboarding new recruits, leading a remote training session, or tackling a shared project, the ability to display up to 15 different screens simultaneously means you can handle just about anything. With MultiShare, the flow of ideas and collaborative energy feels more natural, like pulling up a chair to a coworker’s desk to work side-by-side. If your organization recently transitioned into using Microsoft Teams, this could also be a feature you’re used to but are now missing. 

Better Workflows for a More Empowered Workforce

In the era of remote work, maximizing the potential of collaborative tools like Microsoft Teams is essential for business success. By integrating any of the above tools with Microsoft Teams, remote and distributed teams can develop more seamless workflows that the keystone workplace tools just don’t offer on their own. 

Ready to elevate your remote collaboration? Explore Frameable for Microsoft Teams and unlock the true potential of your distributed team. Refresh your workflows, enhance productivity, and give your team the tools to thrive in any work setting. Explore Overview and MultiShare, or get started for free on the Microsoft AppSource marketplace.

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4 Quick and Free Games to Play with Your Virtual Team in Microsoft Teams

Whether you’re part of a fully remote organization or joining calls with clients across the country, you’re bound to find yourself joining a video call and needing to fill a few minutes while everyone logs on. While Mondays are great for asking folks about their weekends and catching up on the usual small talk, by the time Wednesday rolls around you might find yourself searching for new ways to make the most of the first five minutes of meeting time before digging into your agenda.

We’ve curated this round-up of the best free, work-friendly games you can install today to Microsoft Teams or other video applications so you can banish those awkward silences and start hosting the virtual meetings everyone is excited to attend. 

Install these before your next virtual meeting

Frameable Anagrams

If you and your team have been fans of Wordle, you’re sure to love this new game that teammates can play solo or during a meeting. Unscramble letters to make words from 3-6 letters long. Playing Anagrams is a great way to collaborate with your team to solve a quick and new puzzle every day. 

Race to complete puzzles with your colleagues in a meeting or play by yourself as a quick brain break throughout the day from the Anagrams app in the Teams sidebar.

Kahoot Trivia

For the days when you have a few more minutes or want to break out into teams to build connections, a round of Kahoot trivia is a great way to get everyone’s attention and start your next meeting off on a positive note. 

Install the Kahoot add-in to connect your existing Kahoot account and access trivia games without having to leave Teams. Kahoot is great for quick, fun trivia questions everyone can take part in, engaging breaks during long meetings, or checkpoints during learning sessions to be sure your lessons are effective. 

Microsoft’s Games for Work

Last fall, Microsoft released its Games for Work application to provide users with classic games like Microsoft Solitaire, Microsoft IceBreakers, Microsoft Minesweeper, and Microsoft Wordament in their in-call experience.

Microsoft’s native games application is a great option for large meetings, with options for up to 250 players at once so you can engage and excite even your biggest gatherings or break the ice in smaller groups and kick-off calls with a quick, fun game. 

Polly for Quizzes

Polly is an excellent addition to meetings as you can develop quiz questions based on your upcoming meeting topics, your organization’s history, pop culture or current events, and plenty more. Many organizations will have already approved and installed Polly, so playing it should be a breeze.

You can also start with polls to kick off meetings: ask your team what drink they’re currently enjoying, what they’ll have for lunch, brain teasers, and more. 

Create moments for connection and celebration

While it is common to simply think that connection with remote colleagues, clients, or teammates will come with time, it’s important to create space for these small, fun moments to happen as they are crucial for building a sense of connection with your team. These interactions help foster trust between coworkers and help to remind us that we are working with real people with real emotions who want to celebrate big and little wins alike. Although every meeting is different, I’m sure most of us wouldn’t mind an extra dash of fun here and there.

Add Anagrams to Microsoft Teams and explore all that Frameable has to offer with our full suite of productivity enhancements.

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