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Director of Engineering uses Fellow to run efficient teams that ship things faster 

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The Customer

Meet Tyler Vincent

 Director of Engineering at Vidyard

Industry

Software

Location

Kitchener,
Ontario

Use Case

Collaborating on meetings in one place

Fellow was a lot like when we adopted Slack at Vidyard. It was something the Engineering department brought in when we wanted something other than Google Chat. But then it very slowly got its hooks into our daily processes so much that it became almost invisible. That’s what Fellow became. It just became the place. That’s where the agenda is. That’s where the notes are taken. Every meeting has it.” 

Vidyard is an online video platform for businesses that allows companies to increase leads, accelerate their pipeline and delight customers. The company’s goal is to make remote selling easy. Using their platform, employees can record and send videos that add a personal touch at all stages of the sales cycle. 

Tyler Vincent is Vidyard’s Director of Engineering and currently leads four teams at the company. Over the nine years that Tyler has worked at Vidyard, his role has become very cross-functional to support his team’s initiatives. 

When stepping into a leadership role at Vidyard, Tyler understood the importance of prioritizing work for his team and ensuring they could deliver predictably.

Let’s explore how Fellow came into the picture at Vidyard and how the tool has helped Tyler create balanced teams and feel empowered in his role as a manager! 

Challenge

The challenge: Operating on different systems

Tyler was hesitant about Fellow at the beginning.

When we asked him about using the tool for the first time, he admitted that he wasn’t fond of the idea. 

“My first reaction was, “How dare you? How dare you buy software that tells me how to run my meetings!” 😆

Tyler had his own system for running meetings, just like everyone else had at the company at the time. 

“For years, I had been operating the same way. I had my notebook, and I would put my agenda in the calendar invite. I didn’t see any issues with this way of running meetings. So, there was this immediate rejection and rebellion, but Fellow is interestingly persistent.”

We hear this a lot – Everyone at the company has their own unique way of running meetings that work for them. It might feel like it’s working in the moment, but in the long term, important decisions and discussions are forgotten about or misplaced, and communication becomes strained. 

Engineering, specifically, is known for its fast-paced and innovative nature. With many things on the go at any given time, Tyler needed a tool to prioritize tasks and get his team on the same page. 

“I think the biggest question I had was if our teams could deliver in a predictable manner. Do they have high productivity and a good performance culture? Are they happy? Are they producing quality software?”

Little did he know that Fellow would help him answer all of these important questions by bridging the gap and collaborating more closely with his engineering teams.

solution

The solution: A new way to approach meetings that improve productivity, accountability and management

Tyler began seeing the benefits as his colleagues used the tool. As time passed, Tyler also noticed he was favouring Fellow for his meeting agendas and notes over his former methods.

“Most of my meetings would run normally, the old way. And then, once in a while, I would meet with somebody who would say, “The agenda is in Fellow” and that’s when I had to use it to keep up. So over the years, Fellow became this object that’s always in our meetings and our go-to place to have our agendas and meeting notes.

When we asked Tyler if Fellow helps his team ship things faster, he responded:

Fellow helps our team keep a system of records after meetings. More importantly, action items have been the biggest help for our team. In Engineering, we’ll tend to talk about something, and the conversation will go in many different directions, but we won’t definitively make a decision.”

“I like that Fellow encourages you to write action items in the meeting, and so often I’ll find myself in meetings saying, “We’ve talked a lot about a lot of different things, let’s get some action items written down so that we know what we’re actually going to do.” because otherwise, the meeting is useless.

What’s great about Fellow is that those action items sit there when you have the next meeting with names on them. This way, you can follow up and ask, “How did it go?” It creates a loose system of accountability from meeting to meeting. 

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results

The results

It’s a win-win for everyone when employees and managers have the resources needed to bring their best selves to meetings and other work. 

Fellow makes it easy to prioritize what needs to be addressed during each one-on-one and team meeting so that you can spend less time stressing, and more time collaborating! 

“I appreciate Fellow because I can look ahead of time and see what my direct reports want to talk about with me. This lets me deprioritize things that I wanted to talk about to make sure that we’re discussing their important topics first and foremost.”

What’s great is that Tyler and other teams at Vidyard record Vidyard videos in advance and add them to the agenda to help everyone prepare for the meeting. 

“Using Vidyard helps us to share updates ahead of time and use meetings to collaborate and discuss. This way, we’re using our time more effectively in meetings.”

Tina McAuley, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Vidyard

One thing Tyler didn’t expect was how Fellow would help him facilitate skip-level meetings. These conversations are crucial because topics can vary from career growth to serious workplace challenges. 

“It’s really helpful to see those agendas ahead of time, so I know what I’m in for. Sometimes depending on the agenda, I’ll schedule even more time with them than originally planned.”

Thanks to Fellow, Tyler feels more connected to his engineering colleagues and the large projects he oversees. His teams are also thriving with their new systems of asynchronous communication. 

“I realized I actually didn’t really care that much if it was me building it or somebody else. Then, it kind of all clicked. I went into management because I wanted to build bigger and bigger things.” 

“Fellow was a lot like when we adopted Slack at Vidyard. It was something the Engineering department brought in when we wanted something other than Google Chat. But then it very slowly got its hooks into our daily processes so much that it became almost invisible. And I think that’s what Fellow became. It just became the place. That’s where the agenda is. That’s where the notes are taken. Every meeting has it.” 🤗

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