Fostering a community of builders: An inside look at our monday Apps builders’ workshop
There’s been a lot of talk recently about monday Apps.
If you’ve missed it, monday Apps is a new framework within the monday.com Work OS platform that allows developers to build new custom functionality on top of the platform.
We first introduced monday Apps after completing a 2-day, totally remote hackathon with our internal monday.com builders.
The hackathon was a huge success, in which we built a total of 20 (!) brand new apps that every monday.com user can now leverage: Collaborative Whiteboard, Org chart, Image annotations, Board pivot, Online docs—and that’s just to name a few.
After releasing the monday Apps framework to beta, we invited 18 teams of monday.com customers and partners to participate in an inaugural two-day workshop. During the workshop they focused on building monday Apps to boost their workflows, digitalize their processes, and increase productivity in their teams. The result are apps that make previously-impossible board views, dashboard widgets, process automations, and integrations now possible.
Let’s see how they did it!
Defining the goal for the app: specific and attainable
Before anyone could get to building, the most important thing was to understand from each team what their existing monday.com workflows looked like, and the places it could be improved. Since this was a 2-day hackathon we wanted to keep the goal specific and attainable, solving a challenge that our participants were facing.
For one team, this meant easily transferring information within a monday board to invoices; for another, automatically creating sales workflows based on pre-built templates; another team needed to track estimated vs. actual workload in a burn-down chart and much more.
What’s exciting is that for many, this was a “last-mile” solution, meaning the bulk of their workflow was already digitalized. However, the last tedious details which usually involve extensive manual effort, are often the hardest to automate. monday Apps presented the possibility of eliminating those frictions and saving a ton of time and manpower.
For instance, KMPG, a partner of monday.com, is on a mission to automate and digitalize many of their processes that are still being done manually. One challenge they face is ensuring accuracy and speed for employee travel expense reports. Before monday Apps, the employee would return from their trip with a slew of taxi and restaurant receipts, hotel bills, and so on and manually enter every date and amount, taking up enormous amounts of time and leaving a high chance of human error.
Identifying where monday Apps can help
After defining the challenges our partners and customers wanted to solve, it was time to see how monday Apps could help.
But opening up the platform to build virtually any functionality also opens up a wide spectrum of options.
That’s when the creativity of our customers and partners came in. After reviewing the starter kit for monday Apps and understanding all that the capabilities it presents (customizable views, widgets, dashboards, automations, and integrations) the teams had to decide which of these could solve the challenge at hand.
For KMPG, it was an integration with Smart Document Reader, a custom solution they had built already, which automatically scans images and extracts specific data. With the monday app they built, their clients and employees can simply upload images of receipts to the file column within a monday.com board, and voila – their expense report is automatically generated, saving time and greatly reducing the risk of human error.
The brand-new monday apps
Burndown charts for sprints
By grouping sprints into groups and adding columns for start and end date, one of our partners was able to build a burndown chart showing a clear breakdown of when items were marked as “Done”, the remaining items, and compared to a guiding benchmark.
Integration with Xero
JT Cloud, a partner of monday.com, created an integration with Xero, a cloud-based accounting platform, to create timesheet based on statuses within a monday board. They plan to share this integration with their customers and continue to build at least 50 more apps within the next six months.
Cloud Concept, another monday.com partner, got a headstart on their app before the workshop—building an incredible app that transforms any monday.com board into a Google Doc. For example, using a board that holds their invoice data they were able to export it into a Google Doc and create finalized docs. During the two-day workshop, they dedicated their time to creating an integration with Salesforce and monday which allows them to track the usage of the documents to understand how many times they were downloaded.
A community of monday builders
Throughout the builders’ workshop, the 18 teams were able not only to ask questions to the monday team, but also to collaborate with each other and continue to get inspired and problem-solve together. As a way to give that community a place to live and continue to foster the creative support that was established, we opened up a specific channel within the monday community just for monday Apps.
The monday Apps community is a place for builders to discuss, problem-solve, meet (even if virtually) and create amazing things together. Be on the lookout for more updates regarding the official launch of the monday Apps framework!