This is part of a three-part series on keeping remote teams cohesive. We recommend that you begin with parts 1 (hiring) and 2 (onboarding) before reading this post on communication.
In the final installment of this series, I’ll discuss the importance of effective communication — over-communication, in fact — in remote teams. I’ll share the communication strategies and methods that I’ve seen be most effective for keeping remote teams cohesive.
The IT industry is going through a profound shift based on market pressures it has, in one sense, helped to create. The speed and cultural expectations that have evolved from an Internet/streaming economy have created a business culture and expectation which requires unprecedented levels of agility to remain viable — let alone profitable. This has created a downstream impact on internal and external IT providers, who must find ways to optimize the way they process requests and deliver services.
Changing customer expectations, “burning platforms,” competitive pressures, and increasing regulatory requirements are just a few of the substantial challenges that modern business leaders face. These pressures have pushed many businesses from the merely complicated to the complex domain, requiring new approaches to management — evolutionary agility at scale.
If software QA began with a specific number of bugs, it might be easier to find all the issues. For example, many puzzle books show you a drawing and ask you to find an exact number of hidden objects. Or, they show you a pair of drawings and ask you to spot a certain number of differences between them.
In software development, the target number of differences — or bugs — isn’t always so specific. How much easier would software QA be if someone could whisper in our ear how many bugs there are to find? In reality, we never know. We only know a minimum: if we’ve found 37 bugs, we know there are at least 37 bugs. Maybe there’s one more to find, or maybe there are hundreds — we can’t be sure.
As an IT department, you receive so many requests that you often have to put your own long-term improvements on the back burner. When you finally come up for air, you realize that your tech platform left the “patchable” state a long time ago — and now it’s burning.
You need slack time to make critical long-term improvements — before your staff loses faith and leaves. This is easier said than done, since finding slack time (without working longer hours) often requires making tricky trade-off decisions. Here are five areas where you can carve out the time you need.
HiPPO is the Highest Paid Person’s Opinion. If you’ve spent any reasonable length of time in a large corporate environment, you will probably have seen something a bit like this firsthand. It usually happens when a group of people are attempting to make a difficult decision, for which there are lots of opinions, but not a lot of data or analysis. There’s often a spirited discussion exploring the various options when the person in the room who is further up the hierarchy (and therefore typically paid more) expresses what they think.
Once people start to get “Stop Starting Start Finishing” thinking (Kanban) or “focus on the current sprint” thinking (Scrum), a frequent question that comes up is how to deal with people who are required for different activities throughout the work life cycle.