FiNC Technologies Inc. operates a fitness and wellness app and platform.
A popular fitness trainer, Yuji Mizoguchi, founded the company in April 2012 with the desire to "distribute fitness and health to more people." The fitness and health app “FiNC”, which was released in March 2017, has exceeded 4 million downloads, and has quickly been well received by users and become a hot topic. In addition, they are proposing a new way in the wellness industry, such as the development of the ecommerce site “FiNC Mall” that sells beauty and health related products, as well asthe opening of five physical gyms and salons in Tokyo.
At the core of FiNC's business is application development.
A large group of about 50 people has recently introduced Scrapbox as documentation for everyone to share meeting minutes and other information.
Why did they choose Scrapbox despite using various documentation tools already? Also, how did they spread it inside the company?
This time, we interviewed Kenji Suzuki and Kosuke Takami who led the introduction of Scrapbox at FiNC.
Senior Technical Lead Manager, FiNC Technologies Inc.
Takami: First, I personally found it and started using it, and it was easier to use than I expected so I taught several people in the technology development department including Suzuki and we started out with it on a trial basis. It seemed to be equally good for work in the team, and we proceeded to create a policy of sharing documentation within our department using Scrapbox.
Suzuki: Also, that reputation has spread to other departments, and it seems like we're going to use Scrapbox company-wide in the future. We started using it with an unexpectedly light feeling like "why not try it a little bit?" and it began spreading with a tremendous amount of momentum, and I was confused like “What should I do…” (laughs) The high degree of diffusion where one person could spread it to everyone naturally may be unique to Scrapbox.
What tools did you use before introducing Scrapbox?
Suzuki: I've tried a lot. First using Google Docs, then Microsoft Office 365. We also used others like Confluence, JIRA Software and Crowi for development specifically. We couldn't find the ideal one that met our needs.
Takami: I have been aware of the issues related to documentation for a long time, and there was an internal effort to solve them. The Technical Development Department has 50 members divided into about 10 groups for each project. We often hold meetings so that we can share the know-how we have and exchange information, but there was a problem unique to the hierarchical structure in that even if the minutes were taken, they were quickly buried. It wasn't accessible, or the memos in the minutes themselves were hard to get, or hard to edit ... I was looking for a tool that was easier, easier to write, and didn't cause information to go missing.
How did you spread Scrapbox in your company so that the entire technical development team could use it?
Suzuki: I think Scrapbox is a tool that anyone who handles documentation can understand its goodness if you learn how to use it. In terms of spreading, "How much do you understand?" is the game. We have created a page in Scrapbox explaining how to use Scrapbox and we share it with everyone.
Takami: In addition to that, I and Suzuki follow each team from an evangelist-like standpoint. It may be a bit intense, but when other members create new pages, we open it gently. Looking at the movement of their cursor, if I see they are in trouble, I will go ahead to add to the page and tell them how to use it by commenting. I also make a Q & A page so that they can feel free to ask about how to use it. When I'm looking at the same page, i'm teaching people "links are meaningless if they aren't attached" by attaching links myself.
Suzuki: First of all, it is much easier to write in than other document tools I have used so far, so the number of pages is about 10 times what it was before (90 pages per month, and now more than 900 pages.) In addition to listening to people at conferences throughout the company, multiple people are actively writing on the page at the same time. For example, when the person who takes minutes is talking, someone else can take the minutes carefully. Sometimes the CTO responds to somebody's comments, and the minutes are more than just "records," but very rich "live text."
Takami: Before the meeting, I prepare an agenda that summarizes the agenda, but when I made the agenda with Scrapbox, a lot of comments were added to it, and it became a discussion, and when a conclusion came out, people immediately moved and said, "Oh, we don't actually need a meeting.” (Laughs) Scrapbox is used for exchanging even little bits of ideas, so there are fewer unnecessary meetings. I overheard a conversation where someone was saying “It's okay, just see Scrapbox.” Thanks to Scrapbox, many people were involved beyond the normal times of before, during, and after the meeting. I think it leads to discussion.
Suzuki: And, in Slack, it's often the case that someone makes the same statement many times, and it's heard again and again. I'm also using Slack because it's suitable for instant communication, but thanks to the links in Scrapbox, seasonal information and important issues that everyone is paying attention to are not buried and people are always watching. Someone simply can pick up the problems that I wrote down. There are a lot of comments and it seems like we are moving toward improvement without some explicit requests. I think that kind of atmosphere is the uniqueness of Scrapbox.
Takami: Certainly, that's the kind of thing that's interesting. Before you write, you search for a similar page, and even if you don't start it, you can add your ideas there. I became naturally aware of this reusability, and in that sense, I think that introducing Scrapbox facilitated sharing of awareness within the department.
More people are connected with each other. Unexpected uses of Scrapbox?
What are some cases where you are currently using Scrapbox?
Takami: We use it for meeting minutes, work memos, and looking back on tasks. It is not a daily report, but each person makes their own page once a day and uses it as a memo. Other pages such as a bulletin board where you can comment on solutions to technical problems, a manual page that summarizes internal approval procedures, a glossary that summarizes technical terms used internally, etc. There are a lot of different ways to use it, we also have a page where people assigned to a new department can see first, and if you read that page you can know how to join the team without asking people directly to get information.
Finally, please tell us about your future requests for Scrapbox and your prospects for wider adoption of Scrapbox in the company.
Suzuki: What I expect from Scrapbox in the future is to be able to use it offline and to improve the operability in a mobile environment. I'm also happy if there is a personal top page or something like that on the dashboard.
Takami: Currently, the Technology Development Department is mainly using it, but I would like to focus on educational activities so that documentation can be unified in Scrapbox throughout the company.
Scrapbox lets you instantly capture and find knowhow at any scale, both solo and with a team.
You can rapidly capture things like notes, manuals, tasks, code, meeting minutes, and research results. All pages are automatically connected with bi-directional links, allowing you to seamlessly work across even tens of thousands of pages.