The motivation should be to convey the message with lesser words in the fastest way possible with no ambiguity.
The highly productive teams have mastered the skill of using various collaboration tools yet keeping the single source of truth. They know which tool to be used for a particular communication. And they don’t mix task-related discussion, with critical P0 alerts and informal gossips.
Faster, quicker, and async messages
We focus highly on non-verbal communication; which saves everyone’s time. For routine communication related to availability, no-internet, we use status. A simple reaction with 👍 or 👀 is enough to acknowledge the post.
No to quick-call; Yes to quick-share culture
- Instead of quick-call, the highly productive team believes in the quick sharing of relevant information that contains an entire historical context.
- They focus on detailed documented descriptions, across the tool. They use their tools integrated to streamline information flow without any redundancy.
- Jira has shared discussions related to the task in the comment section.
- Gitlab is integrated with Jira, to sync tickets with PR merge status.
- Notion has organized brain-dumps of tech and design discussion.
- Zoom records walkthroughs, KT sessions, tech talks for future reference.
- Figma contains PRDs and design.
Atomic and explicit messages
Highly effective people know to communicate with the lesser transfer of messages. They provide all relevant information in the fewer messages, along with actionable with each message.
In the below-mentioned example, Dave can save 2 hours just by combining greeting and actionable for Arink in a single message.
Well planned and limited video calls
The team knows well the highest bandwidth of sharing information comes from video calls and there’s no replacement for that. They use it effectively with limited time and well-defined agenda. Few most common agenda on which team gets on the call are:
15 min daily stand-up
Everyone’s time is critical, the motivation of a stand-up call is just to have a quick sync-up to unblock others.
Brainstorming and planning
Once each one has done the homework, these calls help to figure out the best optimal path with all the feedback.
1:1 and team bonding
Off-work chit-chat and spending some time together to know each other.
P0 critical incident
When an incident is at the highest urgency and it needs the entire team's attention.
Learning and Takeaway
Collaboration is the backbone of the tech team, but without planned process and discipline it can become a huge overhead. To maintain and increase the productivity of a team, we should focus on documentation and async communication.
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Please share your thoughts, I would love to hear, how does your team collaborate while working remotely?