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Leading Without Seeing: managing distributed teams

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The rules are the same. Treat people well. Expect great things from them. Be human. The details though, they make all the difference. Managing the nuances of engagement and productivity with a couple ...

The rules are the same. Treat people well. Expect great things from them. Be human. The details though, they make all the difference. Managing the nuances of engagement and productivity with a couple thousand miles between you and your team is both science and art. My name is Shane. I have been running a fully distributed team of 20-40 North American creatives for the last 5 years. Our success has come from a cohesive set of technical and cultural systems: the right people, the right environment and the right tools.

* Build the right team: happy, helpful, curious & accountable
* The rhythm: offer consistency
* Relationships in the void
* Use the right tools

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    Leading Without Seeing: managing distributed teams Leading Without Seeing: managing distributed teams Presentation Transcript

    • LEADING WITHOUT SEEING
      Managing a Distributed Team
    • 100% DISTRIBUTED
      Hi, I’m Shane & I run a
      company.
    • A COUPLE OF OUR FRIENDS
      (some people call them clients)
      www.shaneandpeter.com
    • DISTRIBUTED TEAMS REQUIRE
      A UNIQUE APPROACH
      The Future of Teams
      Building The Right team
      Rhythm
      Relationships
      Communication & Technology
      Conclusion
    • The Future of Teams
      1. THE FUTURE OF TEAMS
    • DISTRIBUTED TEAM
      A team of people using technology to work on the same stuff from different places.
    • Team Structures
      Distributed w/ different hours
      Distributed w/ overlapping hours
      Remote Offices
      Co-Located Part time
      Co-Located
      Increasing Distribution
    • 50 FOOT RULE
      Teams on separate floors (more than 50 feet apart) actually talk less than a distributed team.
      Distance Probability of collaboration
      Same corridor……………………………………. 10.3%
      Same floor………………………………………... 1.9%
      Different floor……………………………………... 0.3%
      Different building………………………………….. 0.4%
      Study by Bell Labs & University of Arizona 1988
    • ADVANTAGES
      Talent
      Productivity
      Diversity
      Minimal Infrastructure
      Cost Savings
      Ecological
      Work - life balance
      Individual Control
    • CHALLENGES
      Isolation
      Accountability
      Community & relationships
      Culture, social boundaries & norms
      Balance
      Leadership
    • The Oatmeal.com
    • FUTURE OF TEAMS REVIEW
      The future of work
      Highly productive
      Major benefits
      Significant challenges
      Calling all leaders
    • 2. BUILDING THE RIGHT TEAMS
    • THE RIGHT PEOPLE
      Talented
      Happy
      Helpful
      Curious
      Accountable
    • 1 OUT OF 5
      eventually join the core
      Not everyone is cut out for working remotely
    • TALENTED
      Normal interviews often don’t work
      Remote interviews certainly don’t
      Try before you buy
      Hire slowly and fire quickly
    • PERSONALITY MATTERS MORE THAN TALENT
      When it comes to Distributed Teams:
    • HAPPY
      HAPPY
    • HELPFUL
      HELPFUL
    • CURIOUS
      CURIOUS
    • ACCOUNTABLE
    • THE RIGHT TEAM REVIEW
      Failures are inevitable, plan for them
      Try before you buy
      Figure out YOUR culture
      S&P’s: Happy, Helpful, Curious,
      Accountable
    • 3. THE RHYTHM: OFFER CONSISTENCY

    • I can predict the long term outcome of your success if you show me your daily habits.
      John Maxwell
    • How do I win?
      If your team can’t answer this right off the bat, stop what you are doing.
      You are about to loose a lot more money.
    • ARE YOU MANAGING THE QUEUE?
      • What’s next?
      • Why, Who, How and When
      • Why More Is Less
    • THE REGULAR STANDUP: SCRUM
      We call it a “Scrum”
      • What did you do last?
      • What will you do next?
      • What is in your way?
      • Do you need a meeting?
    • Everything has an
      OWNER
      Just because you asked for help or for someone else to collaborate does not relinquish accountability. It is yours until it is done.
    • Clear Feedback is Not Optional
      The only true measure of feedback quality: WTFs / Minute
      Adapted fromanOSNews.com comic
    • MEASURE PERFOMANCE NOT HOURS

      We should focus on what people get done, not how many hours or days worked. Just as we don't have a nine to five day policy, we don't need a vacation policy.
      From the Netflix “Reference Guide on our Freedom & Responsibility Culture”
    • OFFICE HOURS
      OR
      OPEN DOOR
      It’s your call, just be available
    • Its not out of sight if its in your calendar!
      Help your team with scheduling. Even our PMs need this.
    • IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT YOU
      • Respect the team's time and time-management
      • Realize they can't always be on your project.
      • Flex time is contingent on successful availability and communication patterns.
    • Every time I break rhythm
      MY TEAM LOSES DAYS.
    • Rhythm Review
      Create regular habits
      Make sure everyone knows how to win
      Manage the queue artfully
      Run a regular standup meeting
      Everything has an owner
      Provide clear and explicit feedback
      Figure out a consistent communication pattern
      Measure performance not time
      Help people with their time management
      Respect personal load and priorities
    • Hello?
      Anyone there?
      4. RELATIONSHIPS IN THE VOID
    • Where is the
      ?
      LOVE
    • KEYS TO CONNECTING
      Genuinely care
      Make time
      Be artfully intrusive
      Find things to respect
      Initiate affection
    • Dominant
      Driving
      Do’er
      Inspiring
      Interactive
      Interesting
      Outgoing
      D
      I
      Task
      People
      S
      C
      Supportive
      Stable
      Sensitive
      Conscientious
      Competent
      Careful
      Reserved
    • HIT SOME HOME RUNS
      Motivation & trust comes from hitting home runs.
      You pitch to hit their bat.
      © Ed Yourdon via flickr
    • Social
      HR does it when hiring, shouldn’t you?
    • Online “Water Cooler”:life.shaneandpeter.com
      Peter
      Brandon
      Dan
      Dear Bullies, You made me cry
      Painted Pelicans on My Surfboard
      Brandon & Alaire’s Puppy
      Reid
      Shane
      Shane
      Ladybug Family on Halloween
      New Floors!!
      Serenity Walks on Her Own!
    • COWORKING: ALONE TOGTHER
    • S&P Trip: Panama 2010
      COMING TOGETHER
      Meeting people builds trust
    • 6TH SENSE
      Working with people you can’t see is like surfing in the dark.
    • WAIT FOR ME!
      I’m your leader!
      It is incredibly easy to become disconnected. As a leader, you might want to pause and see if anyone is following you. Ask your team “How can I be a better manager”?
    • Relationship Review
      • Be open, honest and nosy
      • Pay attention to personality
      • Hit home runs
      • Engage using social media
      • Create online social spaces
      • Check out Co-Working
      • You can’t replace face to face
      • Intuition & self reflection
    • 5. COMMUNICATION & TECHNOLOGY
    • SYNCHRONOUS VS. ASYNCHRONOUS
    • COMMUNAL VS PRIVATE
    • WORK COMFORTABLY
      Your systems should fit into a user’s habitual
      workflow. The less they have to change, the
      higher the rate of adoption.
    • WORK COMFORTABLY
      One Duck To Rule Them All
      Adium
    • WORK COMFORTABLY
      Get your tasks & comments in any way you like
      Email
      RSS
      Web
      API
      Mobile
      Project Management System

    • The more universally captured, visible, and searchable communication mediums you use, the better.
      Avdi Grimm, Wide Teams
    • One on One Meetings
    • Group Meetings
      GROUP MEETINGS
      Conference Call : iPhone & freeconferencecall.com
      Conference Suites : Go to Meeting, Adobe Connect
      Group Chat : Campfire / ICQ / Skype
    • Getting an idea across
      Group Meetings
      GETTING THE IDEA ACROSS
      Files & Screen Shots : CloudApp
      Doodles and Notes : Skitch
      Screencasts and audio : Jing
      Screen sharing : Team Viewer, Skype, iChat
      Code : Jsfiddle, Pastebin
    • EMAIL: TOOL OF LAST RESORT
      Not transparent
      Not accountable
    • ASSET MANAGEMENT
      What happens when you can’t get a hold of a file from a key person?
    • BAD
      GOOD
      Source
      Team
      Team
      Team
      Team
      Team
      Team
      You
      You
      Team
      You move on because you have backup.
    • Control the Source
      CONTROL THE SOURCE
      Dropbox
      SVN / GIT
      Shared Drives
      Office (Google Docs, Open Office)
      Documentation (Wikis)
    • Try things
      Synchronize your watches
      Control the Source
      TRY THINGS
      Be agile with your systems
      Have reviews and elicit feedback from your whole team.
      Ask people: “What do you know about our team that I don’t see?”
    • Be agile with your systems
      Synchronous Vs asynchronous
      Work comfortably
      Email is the last option
      Control the source
      Collaboration is easy with the right tools
      Review for feedback
      Technology Review
    • 6. CONCLUSION
      PEOPLEPATTERNSCOMMUNICATION
    • This is not a fad
      If you ask most people, they love the idea of working from home, and would gladly leave your company for the opportunity.
    • No matter where you work from
      Be On Scope, Budget & Time
    • Find the Right People
      To accomplish your goals while having a great time!
    • Set them up to win
      Provide the information, support and consistency they will need to succeed fabulously.
    • Bring people together
      The art of management is in transforming a group into a team
    • Use the tools
      And find the ones you are missing
    • And in the famous words of Bobby McFerrin
      Don’t Worry, Be Happy
    • @justlikeairshanepearlman.com