Just read this article. A written version of a talk by Florian Haas about
- What modes we have available for communications in teams;
- Why distributed teams always collaborate asynchronously, and what communication modes lend themselves to that particularly well;
- Why written communication is so important in distributed teams;
- And why meetings (like video calls) are a mode of communication that effective distributed teams hardly ever need to use — except for very specific reasons.
My favorite part was this 5-paragraph format for briefing people.
Whenever you need to thoroughly brief a group of people on an important matter, consider using a 5-paragraph format.
- Command and Signal
Let’s break these down in a little detail:
- Situation is about what position we’re in, and why we set out to do what we want to do. You can break this down into three sub-points, like the customer’s situation, the situation of your own company, any extra help that is available, and the current market.
- Objective is what we want to achieve.
- Plan is how we want to achieve it.
- Logistics is about what budget and resources are available, and how they are used.
- Communications is about how you’ll be coordinating among yourselves and with others in order to achieve your goal.