Wide Links #19

Wide Links #19

Mar 18, 11 • In Links

    • Ninite has a selection of many of the most commonly used apps, including browsers, IM clients, media players, office apps, Flash, PDF readers, security tools, utilities and even some of WWD’s favorite tools, like Dropbox, Evernote and KeePass. The installer installs the most up-to-date version of the apps; running the installer again will update the apps to the latest version.

       

  • I’ve talked about the importance of  a “comms appliance” for remote workers; the iPad 2may just be the best device yet for that role.

    tags: communication videoconferencing ipad

    • People who think that adding a camera to the iPad 2 is just a minor improvement aren’t people who work with remote team members and clients. Videoconferencing is increasingly popular; you need only look as far as the success of Skype and the rise of competitors to that service to find proof of that. The value of face-to-face communication actually increases as in-person dealings become more of a rarity, and it won’t be long before third parties join Apple’s FaceTime in the video chat game, and multi-person group video chat is right around the corner

       

  • Great article about some of the advantages of working remotely.

    tags: telework

    • Carr said the benefits of teleworking greatly outweigh the stress of sitting in traffic and being distracted by the office atmosphere.”It becomes clear that the best employees are the ones not stuck in traffic,” he said.

       

  • Terrific article about one team’s experience with a very widely dispersed organization.

    tags: wideteams telework

    • It’s awesome when the critical path moves seamlessly from North America to Western Europe/Asia. For example, say you have 80 hours of tasks that can’t be done in parallel. A local team will need two weeks to do these tasks. A global team, on the other hand, can work separate 8-hour shifts and get them done in one week. That’s twice as fast!

      It’s awesome when my code is tested while I sleep. A small team of local developers can be extremely efficient when paired with a remote QA. I spend my day fixing bugs and adding features, and by the time I come in the next morning, these issues have been tested and either re-opened or closed. Prioritizing tasks is a breeze, and we don’t lose as much time on code freezes leading up to a release.

       

       

  • tags: collaboration wideteams documents office remote communication

    • The new comments system works like a conversation thread on a Facebook, complete with @replies. When someone is tagged in a conversation, they will receive an e-mail notification. The user can then either click-through to the document, or simply respond to the e-mail. All the conversation is captured and stored in Google Docs with the document. If the notifications become too much, users can mute notifications.

       

  • Really insightful article about high-context and low-context cultures, and the different ways they can react to the challenges of remote work.

    tags: communication

    • Indicate to your team that research for virtual teams shows that, because of the challenges inherent in virtual work, being a little more explicit in communication is probably necessary. This may mean more of a challenge to high-context team members who are used to implicit communication. To help them feel more comfortable with being explicit, frame virtual work as a totally new way of doing things with a lot of learning to be done along the way.

       

    • team members will create rules of engagement which make explicit the what, when, who, and how of decision-making and communication within the team. Among the things covered by the rules of engagement are the nature and frequency of communication, communication media to be used, the values that the team will live by, the response times for messages, how conflict will be resolved, and how the decisions will be made, including who makes what decisions.

       

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