Make your team transparent by adopting a weekly team’s report

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In the second half of the year 2019, our engineering team was starting a project which would introduce significant change in our core system.

And by Conway’s law

“organizations which design systems are constrained to produce designs which are copies of the communication structures of these organizations.”

these changes should inevitably affect also other engineering teams in our organisation because a change in a core system of the business cannot happen without changing the way teams communicate and collaborate when working on the system.

This brings us to the point of how do we ensure that the other teams are aware of the upcoming changes. Our first approach was holding periodical meetings where we introduced how the system will change and how this would affect the engineering processes and everyday work.

It looked like everyone are on the same page after the meetings but as the weeks passed we started to notice it’s still not clear what our team is doing and how the planned result will work.

At some point in the Autumn, I’ve read a book by Julie Zhuo “The Making of a Manager: What to Do When Everyone Looks to You” where she wrote also about her experience of making her team’s work more transparent to others by introducing weekly reports and decided to give it a try.

After practising it for about 3 months here are my main takeaways of the biggest advantages of this process

  • People know what the team is doing and there will be less surprise when you deliver the changes
  • You can communicate the challenges and struggles the team has faced hence invite new ideas and different opinions from outside your team
  • These reports will pile up in the long run and will serve as a journal where people can see the history of teams challenges and victories. As well as a knowledge base for decisions the team made over the time
  • You can highlight the work your team is doing and give shout-outs to your reports and highlight their outstanding work
  • For a team leader, it also refines the comprehension of the teams work and allows to communicate about it more effectively
  • Aside from that it also improves the written communication skills for the author

The main disadvantage of this is that it takes some time to get used to the process and to make it a habit, but it’s worth as you will collect a lot of valuable feedback from people reading the report. And also there will be less vague questions regarding what and how your team is doing.

And this will facilitate valuable questions related to the real deal and what’s truly important for the work to be done and the employees, the team and the organisation to succeed.

Thank you for your attention and if you found this post useful and would like to read more about random web development topics, just clap for this article or drop a comment here. As always you can find me on Twitter@andrejsabrickis

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