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No, We Won’t Have a Video Call for That!

·213 words·

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.

  1. Situation
  2. Mission
  3. Execution
  4. Logistics
  5. Command and Signal

Let’s break these down in a little detail:

  1. 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.
  2. Objective is what we want to achieve.
  3. Plan is how we want to achieve it.
  4. Logistics is about what budget and resources are available, and how they are used.
  5. Communications is about how you’ll be coordinating among yourselves and with others in order to achieve your goal.