Ilter Dumduz is the founder and CEO of Blys, and a prolific member of the Australian tech community: formerly a mentor at Founder Institute, Entrepreneur-In-Residence at the University of Sydney, and co-organizer of Product Hunt Sydney, one of Australia’s largest product meetups. Before launching Blys, Ilter held senior product roles at some of Australia’s most successful technology ventures, including Domain.com.au and Freelancer.com.
In April 2016 he launched Blys, a platform that exists to make self-care accessible by helping people to prioritise their wellbeing on their schedule and on their terms. Blys has since evolved to become Australia’s leading platform for in-home massage, beauty and wellness services.
Through seamless design, technology and a dedicated team of 40 employees, Blys has helped over 100,000 Aussies prioritise their wellbeing while creating flexible income opportunities for thousands of independent and qualified service providers.
Ilter had been using OKRs for years in his previous experiences and wanted to bring the benefits of the goal-setting framework to Blys. From launch to 2019 the team used spreadsheets to track their OKRs. It detailed the vision, roadmaps and OKRs, and made it possible for the team to share ideas while remaining aligned with the vision. But, things started to become a challenge as they grew. Goals were harder to find, and the process became too admin-intensive for the team.
“When it’s just four people around the table it’s easy to stay aligned and work off a spreadsheet. However, when you are in that growth/early stage of a startup it’s hard to stay focused on your goals, as you are constantly looking for quick wins and grooming priorities. It [OKRs] becomes a moving beast”, says Ilter.
OKRs were a critical tool for Blys, as they needed to make sure that everyone always had the right priorities in mind. “As you become bigger, you have more teams and it ultimately comes down to resource allocation, to make sure you have the right teams working on the right thing at the right time. If priorities change, it’s important to shift, and align easily on the same goals. If you aren’t focused on the right thing, it could be life or death.”
Soon, it became clear that Blys needed a different solution to scale goal-tracking and focus. They looked for a tool and picked Tability as their solution.
I’m able to take our new team members through our strategic plan and quarterly goals OKR in Tability. It gives them a clear picture of our milestones and what’s coming up.”
Founder and CEO
Blys introduced Tability at the beginning of 2021. The team instantly loved the simplicity and ease of it. They adopted a weekly routine where automated check-in reminders are sent out on Fridays to make sure that progress is updated by Monday morning. Ilter explains, “By Monday everyone is aligned, we don’t need to have meetings after meetings. If we had Tability a couple of years ago, we wouldn’t have given up on OKRs so easily.”
A great benefit they’ve found is the onboarding of new employees. Tability makes it easy to get new team members up to speed by providing a visual overview. “I’m able to take our new team members through our 5-year strategic plan, annual target, and quarterly goals OKR directly in Tability. It gives them a clear picture of our milestones and what’s coming up”, explains Ilter.
Additionally, another great benefit that the Blys team has experienced is the positive cultural shift. “Since the introduction of Tability, teams have been giving each other more kudos for contributing to the goals and milestones”. Tability is not just helping the team with focus—it also increases transparency and brings cross-team exposure to achievements. “The other day a Customer Service team member congratulated someone on the Product team and gave them credit for improving a feature. You can see that [Tability] opened up this new space for collaboration and people are excited. From my perspective, it is very lovely to see a little tool like Tability contributing to our company culture and success.”
Thank you Ilter and Erin for your time in talking us through your ways of working with Tability. It was an absolute pleasure!
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