Holacracy Community of Practice Archive, 2015-2019 Community Holacracy Web Site

Inquiry: What are the main IT systems that help you manage your dynamic org?

Hello Holacracy sojourners.  Happy New Year!  I hope 2016 is a prosperous year for you and the evolution of your Holacracy practice.

I have a question for the community.  We are looking to evolve our IT structure to support a our dynamic org and a global virtual team.  If you don't mind sharing, I am wondering what are some key IT systems you use in your organization? 

  • Email system (e.g. Google, Microsoft, other)
  • Calendar system (e.g. Google, Microsoft, other)
  • CRM (e.g. Salesforce, other)
  • Knowledge management/collaboration systems (e.g. Google docs, Slack, Sharepoint, Wikis, other)
  • Video collaboration (Google meetups, Go to Meeting, WebEx, BlueJeans, other)

Thank you in advance for your sharing your awesomeness!


9 Replies
Brian Robertson

We use the full Google Apps suite: e-mail, calendar, shared cloud storage, google docs & sheets, etc.  I really like the functionality of it all and the collaboration it enables for our virtual team, though the usability of Google Drive is pretty painful for me, and I still use Excel over Google Sheets for many things.  Still, I'm very pleased with the solution overall.

We also use Slack, which has almost entirely replaced internal e-mail for us, with something far more powerful - unlike e-mail, the total transparency means there's no lost "organizational memory" when roles change, on top of numerous other benefits.  It's definitely required some habit changes to integrate, and not everyone loves it personally, but I love what it's doing for the business regardless - if I were starting another company, it'd be at the top of my list of the most important software to adopt immediately.

Of course, I've got to mention GlassFrog here as well: aside from holding all of our key governance data, we use Notes on roles & circles to give us a basic intranet / knowledge-management system.  Some of those notes hold information directly, and others link to a Google Doc/Sheet or other files in Google Drive; one way or another, much of our important data is linked from GlassFrog, so they're all catalogued by role/circle and more easily findable.

For video collaboration, we mostly use BlueJeans (it's pretty good, though it does have some issues and it's expensive enough that I doubt it'd make sense for many organizations).  One of our teams also uses Google Hangouts quite a bit.

Hope that helps!

- Brian

Cyrille Jegu CHF

Hi Mike, 

I have used Podio as a platform for Collaboration across continents including CRM and Knowledge Management, even Holacracy although that was clunky but it worked. Glassfrog and HolaSpirit are much better for that purpose.  With Podio you can build your own Apps to fits your needs. Think of Podio as Slack + Salesforce + Knowledge Management + Calendar (syncs with Google Calendar although I use prefer iCal as Google is blocked in China) etc... all in one and easy to tailor to a growing Global Networks' evolving needs. 

For Video Collaboration, I use GoToMeeting, HangOut, Zoom, Skype... whatever works best on the day and in the particular location (one of the challenges of poor network in emerging markets and working from behind the Great Firewall of China).

Best wishes, 

~ Cyrille

Michelle Pallas

Hello Mike,

First, you should know that I'm just putting my toe into the Holacracy pond, trying to figure if it is possible to implement as a practice within the framework of a member-based non-profit.  I have 2 major roles, an organizational change consultant and the US lead for a member-based global organization. 

My current client (manufacturing) uses O365, sharepoint, Skype for Business and Kronos (they are not a target for Holacracy). My non-profit uses O365, sharepoint, Skype and gotomeeting.  My non-profits use drupel for websites because of the member data option but I simply hate it. Very difficult to make edits. I much prefer wordpress. I've started other non-profits where we used Google docs, Salesforce, webex and Microsoft apps.  I prefer O365 to google but I believe it is simply familiarity.  Currently we are posting role descriptions on O365 sharepoint.  I do have to say that I looked at Glassfrog and I definitely see the value and alignment with Holacracy.  

Happy to discuss further.

Michelle (Detroit, Michigan)

Koen Veltman

Hi Mike,

great question!

i like pipedrive for CRM. Although I didn't try to make it role based. 

Microsoft dynamics I have seen completely unable to create anything easy a bit dynamic towards what Holacracy needs. Way too static and complex for changes. 

And ofcourse the GTD like systems eg Todoist, NirvanaHQ, Asana,...

Anyone a suggestion for a financial suite? That allows for role/project based dynamic budgeting? Or an awesome dashboarding/metric transparency tool?


Koen Veltman

Also interested to find examples of how the API of Glassfrog is used!

Juliane Martina Röll

We are a multi-local team of 7 people. 

We rely on Slack for Team communication (mostly replacing internal email), Trello for all Project organisation and for Sales / CRM, Dropbox for File Sharing, Skype for Video-Conferencing and Glassfrog for Holacracy / Governance / Meeting Support.

We haven't yet found good solutions for calendaring and are looking for a better video conversation solution. 

Mike Williams

Thank you all for your feedback.  Very helpful.

Keith Jarvis

We're Google Apps / GlassFrog with a couple team members additionally using Asana and/or Trello.

I still dream of a full-team task/project integration someday with something like Asana, but frankly I don't think our team is mature enough / responsible enough to handle rigorous organization.

WHICH also happens to be where Holacracy sometimes breaks down for us - in the follow-through of core duties of circle members/responsibilities of role fillers.

Oh well, related topic soon to be posed for us re: project tracking.

Stephan Jenner

Hi great topic and my area of special interest coming from and IT service background. We mainly use the following of course integration is most important in all these aspects

Xero for financial as our core system

slack is an awesome communication platform with Officevibe for employee engagement monitoring

crunchboard or fathom for dashboards 

office 365 

connectwise for ticket / work management (including role base work and time capture and analysis) with integration with glass frog tactical meeting outcome for capturing actions and projects as tickets (also integrated with Toodledo as a complete work life integrated GTD system)

Lync, gotomeeting and Skype 

email2db for automation (this drives the Gtd integration but also generates role based distribution lists so people can email roles directly)

sql server replication to glass frog to support distribution group replications / role to ticket assignments / purpose maps etc


Dropbox, SharePoint ( Dropbox for dynamic working) SharePoint for controlled documents

extensive use of onenote for collaboration and project support

reciptbank for invoice and receipt capture and harvest for project time capture. 

CRM using Connectwise and base 

and finally Evernote for web clippings and business card scanningsporry or such a long list but really at the core of the practice is the glass frog ConnectWise integration as it provides a great work capture and management platform integration is easy using email2db by Parker software