It’s hard to shop for gifts for the person who owns everything. In the same way, it’s hard to find the right collaboration solution for a company that already seems to use every communication tool. That's the story of Impala.
Impala is a travel tech company based in London that’s building an API platform to enable the next generation of travel technology. Impala's chief of staff, Jo Conneely, says the company has an abundance of comms tools at their disposal. But before using Threads, something still seemed to be missing—especially since the team is fully remote and scaling globally.
“We always joke that we use every collaboration tool. But we found that actually, we didn't have a tool that was great for long-form discussions,” Jo said.
When it came to those conversations, Threads was the perfect addition to Impala’s already impressive list of internal tools. Compared to their other communication apps, Threads did a better job of increasing transparency and simplifying the decision-making process for their growing global team.
Challenge: Impala needed a tool for long-form, collaborative discussions
Impala was using multiple different communication tools, but important information easily got lost in the noise of so many messages. Discussions weren’t as collaborative as they could be.
Deep conversations and collaboration became even more difficult as the team started hiring globally and shifting to an asynchronous working model. Impala needed a communication tool that would allow the team to have meaningful discussions about key performance indicators (KPIs) and task prioritization. With remote employees, they needed this communication to be asynchronous without messages getting lost in the shuffle.
"We just found that there wasn't a tool where we could have the long-form discussions that were collaborative," Jo said.
Slack was great for real-time and short discussions, but not ideal for longer conversations and decision-making. With so many quick messages going back and forth in different channels, it was easy to miss things.
Impala also used Notion as a wiki. While it worked well for storing important information, it didn’t provide a great forum for collaboration and important long-form discussions.
Similarly, Miro worked for brainstorming but not when it came to having longer conversations or making firm product decisions.
Email didn’t provide the easy collaboration Impala was looking for. Team members would have to remember to forward messages and/or CC the right people, so it wasn’t easy for others to join in conversations.
Video meetings worked for discussions but weren’t always at convenient times for everyone to join in and share ideas, especially as the team grew.
While all these tools served a purpose and had their place, there was still a hole in Impala’s comms stack.
Solution: Threads allowed Impala to have deep discussions asynchronously
With Threads, Impala is able to organize conversations and loop in the right team members for deeper, more efficient team discussions.
Threads is organized into forums and threads. “Forums” refer to broad, organizational topics. The setup varies based on the company, but forums can be organized by team, department, or even project.
Within the forums, users can then start “threads,” which are specific discussions related back to that main theme or topic. All related conversations are grouped together and easily searchable. Anyone who’s part of the forum can read and contribute to threads.
The Impala team started by rolling out Threads to a small pilot group over five months ago. Now it has been rolled out to the entire team of about 70 employees. They were intrigued at how easy it was to use and how it fostered longer, more thoughtful discussions.
"People can take time to respond more thoughtfully to messages rather than just reacting quickly on Slack or with the first idea that comes to mind," Jo said.
Jo also said Threads features like “mark for follow up,” tagging, and the ability to see who’s seen or hasn’t seen messages have been helpful, especially when working asynchronously.
“It's easier to keep track of the messages that are important to you because you will be mentioned in them and you can mark them for follow-up,” she said.
She also noted that sharing important files is easy over Threads. Her team can easily embed Loom video messages and other important documents and links for review.
Results: Impala is able to make major product decisions using Threads
Before, important discussions like “Should this KPI be a focus for this quarter or not?” or “Should we prioritize X over Y?” easily got lost in the noise of multiple Slack messages or required a meeting. Now, Impala is able to turn to Threads for these types of product decisions. The platform keeps communication transparent and gives everyone on their remote team a chance to weigh in and get involved if they choose.
“Rather than having a meeting to get to a decision, it can often be resolved over a thread," Jo said.
When product decisions do require a meeting, Threads helps keep everyone in the loop. Anyone who may have not been able to join can still follow along and share their thoughts with Threads.
"We've created a meetings forum in Threads where teams post internal and external meeting notes so that anyone in the company can understand what is happening across the business and jump in with insights or solutions to problems," Jo said.
Impala's advice for using Threads? Start small and develop guidelines
Considering adding Threads to your toolbox? Impala recommends developing some clear processes before rolling it out to the whole team.
Bringing your team along the journey by starting small allows you to get valuable feedback from the get-go, such as how Threads organically integrates with other tools and processes you’re already using and what features are most beneficial for your team. Using that feedback to create some company guidelines will also help minimize repeat questions and make the onboarding process as smooth as possible for your team.
(Of course, you can always check out our help center or contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org to help you get up and running as well!)