MasterClass is the streaming platform where anyone can learn from the world's best across a wide range of subjects.
MasterClass’ class launch process—something I’ve
—was streamlined with the creation of an integrated launch tracker. With a list of tasks connected to owners, the doc gave teams space to work while increasing cross-functional communication and providing visibility on each launch.
And the success of that doc inspired me to build another layer
of our launch track, which essentially would help us manage related programs and workstreams that all feed off each other, in one single Coda doc.
Tracker sprawl spread us thin.
As I’m sure is the case at many companies, meetings run by different teams or people are tracked in different formats, trackers, or even tools. At MasterClass,
these meetings often converge about similar topics —in our case, classesーbut are basically a set of related programs and workstreams.
In one meeting, we might talk about post-production status of a dog training class, while chatting about the go-to-market strategy and launch date for that class in another.
While the dog training class is the focus in both meetings, each contain elements of the project and would generally be owned by separate teams. Because of the tracker sprawl, we would have duplicate conversations and difficulty keeping track of where and when a decision was made, and with which set of stakeholders. Without a single source of truth, these conversations may never even converge.
Streamlining with an all-in-one "programs” manager.
In an attempt to overcome the confusion and inconsistencies caused by the sprawl, I wanted to streamline all meeting notes, decisions, and action items into a single Coda doc—a single source of truth that encompasses the full class development lifecycle, from new class ideation to launch. And given the success of the launch tracker doc, I set two primary goals for this doc:
A space for every meeting to be tracked and managed by different people.
All information in one place for easy recall.
Focusing on cross-functional collaboration.
To achieve these goals, this doc is driven by two tables in the
. And while you will customize both tables for your own team, in this doc programs are example workstreams across different business functions
and activities range from meeting notes to decisions made to action items—everything displayed in Meeting Notes subpages. For us, the
key is to tie every activity to a program and a meeting type
(more on that below).
are unique to MasterClass, but, like the program and activity categories, you can easily adapt them to meet your team’s needsーthey might be following the lifecycle of a product (as is our case), different moments in a funnel, etc. In the view below, you’ll notice that each meeting type corresponds with a page in the left sidebar, allowing you to look at all past, present, and future agendas and meeting notes associated for that meeting type. I recommend filling out the
column in the view below if you decide to go with the MasterClass’ meeting type schema so that your team knows what to expect when attending one of these meetings:
(1) Concept Meeting
Marketing, Content, Business Development
(2) Development Meeting
Product, Engineering, Content
(3) Execution Meeting
(4) Launch Meeting
(5) Escalation Meeting
There are no rows in this table
Building a scalable, repeatable process.
Regardless of doc structure, creating a source of truth requires buy-in from the team. I wanted to ensure the process was simple and one that anyone could easily repeat. So I started with a scalable structure that repeats on each page of the doc: Agenda and Meeting Notes.
Agenda subpages are where the action happens—this is where everyone spends their time during the meeting. With each meeting type, discussion topics are tracked, meeting notes are recorded, and decisions are flagged. Action items are then isolated in a table and connected with individual task owners.
When the meeting is over, anyone can refer to meeting notes subpages to review the notes and decisions made. As a mini-tracker for that meeting type, meeting notes provide space to elaborate on notes and decisions while keeping everyone up-to-date on the current status.
Making information discoverable—and digestible.
Although categorizing pages by meeting types gives teams space to work, I wanted to take one more step toward making information discoverable for anyone, even those not on the involved teams.
surfaces the most important and relevant information as soon as you enter the doc—a source of truth within a source of truth. Decisions made across meetings held in the past seven days float up to
, eliminating any questions of who made which call in what meeting.
Summary-related magic really happens in the next two pages. The
paints a holistic picture of each program’s plans and progress. Anyone can search the entire list of programs to quickly see status, priority, RACI, and recent activity. For example, if someone were to search for the dog training class I mentioned earlier, every decision and action item related to the class across
programs would be surfaced.
And anyone looking for a quick status update—whether on a specific program or all programs—can pop into
for a snapshot of progress and priority.
Adapt MasterClass’ program manager framework.
I’ve already mentioned a few ways that you can customize this doc for your team—this doc is yours now. Start by
to reflect your team’s meeting and activity types. Don’t forget to add context by filling in the description column!
Adjust Activity Types with the common language used on your team (like action items vs next steps).
List your projects in the
table. Feel free to change the name too—use whatever feels right for your team.
Create a roster of potential task owners in
Invite your team, and start tracking your agendas, meeting notes, action items, and decisions!