“No unwritten rules” is Gitlab’s simpler expression of what the Kanban community would call “make process policies explicit”. Being explicit about “how things are done here” is worthwhile whether co-located or not. It levels the playing field for people who don’t necessarily have exposure to hidden interactions. Remote makes this more critical because it can be more difficult to see how people are behaving.
Good communication habits, that is, being clear, being concise, having a logical message structure, etc. are valuable whether remote or not, but remote makes them more critical by removing the ability to compensate by being co-located.
Team Topologies describes 3 team interaction modes:
Here are a few more (via Cara Lemon, another Agile Coach at Spotify):
Guilds at Spotify solve two problems:
There’s usually a blend of these problems in any Guild but there are generally two archetypes which I’ll call “strategic capability guilds” vs “hobby guilds”.
Hobby Guilds build “friend at work” type engagement; Strategic Capability Guilds build strategic capability.
When I critique writing or presentations, I tend to follow an ordered 3 stage approach: 1. structure; 2. content; 3. style.
My first concern is logical structure. What is the logical structure of the message? What should be the logical structure of the message given the purpose and context? Typically, whether to use a deductive structure, aka telling a story from the beginning, versus an inductive structure, aka getting to the point first and explaining it after if necessary. A deductive structure is for entertainment, an inductive structure is for efficient communication and decision-making.
The structure is about the context…
Eric Ethington wrote an article for The Lean Post about “5 easy steps to simplify the A3 process”. Essentially…
This approach reminded me of something called “Spew, Then Organise”, that is, write out all your thoughts first and worry about organising it into a coherent structure later. …
Team productivity has factors that overlap with individual productivity:
However, team productivity goes beyond just a translation of individual productivity practices.
Let’s imagine that you optimise for team member utilisation, that is, team members should spend most of their time on value-adding activities, especially activities…
From the perspective of an individual, increasing productivity comes down to a few things:
Let’s say you get 4 requests.
In order to appear responsive, you work on all of them at the same time. In reality, given it’s just you working on them, you’re not actually working on all of them at the same time so much as switching between them.
In the end, every requester will feel like you responded to their requests and, assuming similar sized requests, all of the work is completed at roughly the…
Lisp followed the “MIT/Stanford style of design”. In priority order:
In other words, correctness, consistency, and completeness is seen as more important than simplicity.
In other words, simplicity, especially simple implementation, is seen as more important…
According to Marty Cagan, John Doerr has argued that “we need teams of missionaries, not teams of mercenaries.”
From Marty’s Missionaries vs Mercenaries post:
Teams of missionaries are engaged, motivated, have a deep understanding of the business context, and tangible empathy for the customer. Teams of mercenaries feel no real sense of empowerment or accountability, no passion for the problem to be solved, and little real connection with the actual users and customers.
Senior Agile Coach at Spotify, ex-ThoughtWorks, ex-CruiseControl