This profile is part of a new series where users share how they’re having success with Workflowy in their lives or industries. Big thanks to Zack for sharing his story with us.
The healthcare industry is famously complex and difficult to navigate, and not just for those of us that go through it. On the other side – the people that develop and run the systems that manage everything have a doubly difficult task.
Zack is one of those people. He’s the release manager for a large healthcare provider in Florida and the east coast. That means he’s responsible for communicating between the developers and everybody else at the company: product managers, marketers, you name it.
When new features and services are added to their platforms used by over 80,000 caregivers and their patients, it’s Zack’s job to make sure releases happen without a hitch.
Zack first ran across Workflowy a little under a year ago.
“I was looking for a note taking app that would be simpler to use, and yet flexible enough that I could use it a bunch of different ways.”
During a search for productivity tips on YouTube, Zack came across a review of Workflowy. Seeing the reviewer walk through how to use the app pushed him to try it for himself.
“I was like, Oh man, I feel like he’s going through these notes – that’s how my brain works – I can see how I think on this guy’s, notepad, that’s awesome.”
Previously he had signed up for and tried several different services but ultimately decided to go with Workflowy.
“I tried Evernote, recently I tried Notion and Roam Research. But with all of them, I just felt pigeonholed into a certain way of doing things”
After playing with it for a while, Zack first used it to take notes during a meeting. Shortly after that he went down the Workflowy rabbit hole and hasn’t looked back.
At first Zack was just using Workflowy to keep himself organized. Different groups of developers and product owners were using different conventions to track changes and statuses. And when the number of teams he was working with went from three to seven, Zack needed a single, simple way to keep track of all those moving pieces.
“…Every week I have a meeting with all of my product owners, and we go through and I’ve got seven of them, so we’ve got an hour and we go through this stuff”
During a presentation he gave, his coworkers saw his dashboard and wanted to know what it was – and how they could get access to it. Now, Zack’s board is used as the source of truth for the release process. Developers and product owners know that it’s the one place where they can reference all the details for the releases and the current status of each feature.
“…they weren’t really synched up – some people use kanban boards to track their releases, other people didn’t. And so this is the source of truth for the teams and it’s helpful for me because then I can have a share link and I just share this whole board”
“All of a sudden it became really visual, what releases were what. And so then the work that I was already doing for myself to track what the features were – I could then share with the rest of the teams”
Currently, Zack uses Workflowy to track all the moving parts of the different software releases at the healthcare company he works at. His main workspace is a giant kanban board with each column representing a different release. Each release contains the necessary documentation including links to Jira and Confluence. The developers responsible for the release are also listed along with a release checklist to make sure everything rolls out smoothly.
Each feature that makes up a particular release also gets a card with the specs, links to tickets, and any relevant notes. At the top of his kanban board, Zack has a list of tags he uses to quickly filter individual developers and what features they’re responsible for. He also tags feature cards by how close they are to being ready for production and which features might be in danger of being delayed to another release.
When asked about how he would be managing the releases without Workflowy, Zack replied
“I don’t even want to think about that”