Archive for the ‘Practices’ Category

  • Get up, stand up: Coordinating with a Daily Meeting

    Get up, stand up: Coordinating with a Daily Meeting

    Sep 9, 10 • In Practices

    A short daily meeting is a great way to keep your team members on the same page. But holding a virtual meeting every day can pose special challenges. This article discusses different ways that real dispersed teams handle daily meetings. Almost all of the dispersed teams I’ve talked to have had some kind of daily meeting during the week in order to say in sync with each other. They usually use the term “daily standup”, as popularized by various Agile methodologies, although in my experienced distributed teams don’t usually physically stand up during these meetings. This has less to do with a lack of team energy and more to do with being able to be seen on their webcams. The typical format for a daily standup is to go around the “room” and answer the

    Read More »
  • Netbooks: A Remote Worker’s Best Friend

    Netbooks: A Remote Worker’s Best Friend

    Sep 2, 10 • In Practices, Uncategorized

    A netbook can grant you great freedom in where you work from, but that’s just the beginning. In this article I talk about the advantages of using a netbook as your primary videoconferencing device. I recently acquired a Netbook (a Lenovo S10-3t), and with just a week’s worth of use it has already made big changes in how I work. Of course, I already knew how useful the netbook would be for “workshifting” – working from wherever I happen to be. While my main workstation is already a laptop, it’s a desktop replacement-style laptop so it’s on the larger and heavier side. And with an i7 CPU, it tends to go through batteries pretty quickly. The netbook has none of these limitations. There’s no excuse left not to answer my email from the kitchen table,

    Read More »
  • Staying in Sync with a Core Hour

    Staying in Sync with a Core Hour

    Aug 11, 10 • In Practices

    One of the attractive features of a dispersed team is the ability for the team to get things done without all being on the same schedule. Members of the team are able to use their time more flexibly, scheduling work around life instead of vice-versa. They may also be scattered across time zones as well. This advantage comes with a significant dark side, however. With less time spent in direct communication, teams members have a much increased potential for getting out of sync with each other – leading to delays, duplicated or unneeded work, and confusion. Collocated organizations that practice flex time often define a block of “core hours” when every employee is expected to be in the office. While it is typically impractical – and quite possibly inefficient – for a dispersed team to

    Read More »
  • Building an Intentional Culture

    Building an Intentional Culture

    Aug 5, 10 • In Practices

    Distributed organizations can have a team culture every bit as vibrant as their collocated equivalent. All it takes is the conscious effort of the team members, and the willingness to take a little extra time. In collocated teams, corporate culture tends to emerge organically and automacally. Through hallway conversations, Happy Hour outings, and lunchtime chatter friendships are made and the team’s unique spirit emerges. Dispersed teams are not so fortunate. Corporate culture can grow slowly or not at all in the thin soil of remote work. And when culture does develop, it may not be of the healthiest variety: plenty of distributed team veterans can tell stories about distrust, resentment, and miscommunication. What do do? Do we just leave the culture out of work, look at it as “just a job”, and get our camaraderie elsewhere? That’s

    Read More »
  • Photo Day!

    Photo Day!

    Jul 28, 10 • In Practices

    Office workers keep photos of their families on their desks, to remind them of their children and significant other while they are away from home. I work from home. So what do I keep on my desk? A “group” photo of my dispersed team. Here’s how I made sure every team member has a photograph of the team, no matter where they live. The Need for Team Visibility At least one study has shown that simply seeing a coworker every day can significantly improve the impression team members have of that person. Frequent video conferencing is one way distributed teams overcome the lack of “face time”. Another method is to make use of photos. I’ve heard of one team that places photos of the remote attendees near the speakerphone whenever they have a conference call

    Read More »
Scroll to top