We always see the photos of the start-up with blackboards and with people sitting around a table, very bright and smiling. Diaphanous spaces and coffee capsules. I have come to see in the offices of an American start-up tap water with gas, a meeting room with garden and even a booth photo booth.
We read that the CEO is accessible, that everyone can sit down and talk to him. In a company I was in, I was told that the CEO was the one who was going to help me configure the network …
But all this happens when you have already been able to rent a space and you have shared space. Until then, the CEO has 2 jobs, the head of Content Marketing has to pick up the children from the school and the strategy person lives in another country …
Or something equally picturesque.
In those moments is when structuring things is more important as there are many work fronts that are decentralized , teams that are on their own and it is easy to dedicate themselves to work in ways that do not correspond , people who lose track during the holidays summer – winter and then have to get more up to date and especially lack the feeling of unity. It is not a project of all because we do not see how things are with others.
In Plusvecinos we work in 3 different cities, from 2 countries.
Different hours, people with children, people of different ages
Different commitments and different ways of working
We had to learn.
Here, some tips on how to establish communication with your decentralized teams , not as in all the listings. Only 6 because until 10 we should only add a “do not wrap up”
How to organize work teams in the distance:
Collaborative Work Tools
We were practicing with several, teambox, redmine, basecamph, trello … In the end we have everything for redbooth.
It was important to establish one of these tools since we needed a content repository, which was easy to manage, that could be practically managed from the mail with different integrations with Dropbox or Google Drive.
These tools also have visual information management systems. Like Kanvan or blackboard, they also allow showing different teams how the processes are, who is responsible and what elements are standing still.Tools like Trello allow you to set nested tasks or “milestones” that allow you to show what percentages have been made and what elements are blocked.
During the first months we focused more on doing the tasks and sending them in time. The problem we had was that when we wanted to share something or talk, it was never the best time. We learned to always have the same day and same time to meet. The meeting can last 15 minutes as a situation or an hour, but it is important that we are all together in order to build the feeling of belonging.
We learned this from the agile development processes. In Scrum meetings. Basically it is a situation point in which what has been done since the last time you have been working is shared and what is going to be done until the next time is told. Making quick meetings helps people to be concise.
When you have 3 cities, same day and same hour is something that often has to change. Not making a problem of this is fundamental, since people like that can feel that they have freedom and that it is not a burden.
When starting work in a startup the teams will have a different motivation, depending on the function, the equity, its objectives and the rest of the team. On the other hand the return is very far and the work is very intense at the beginning. Be flexible with meetings, keep the game image for those profiles of low involvement and help to have everyone motivated.
Separate teams have a problem, which often does not have visibility of what happens at the product level in other sections. Sharing ideas and communicating them is essential. Let people know how things are and what direction they have.
HaSimon Sinek speaks in his book “start with the Why” or in the TEDtalk, about the importance of effectively communicating the reasons why things are done in the startup. Making situation points and informing the members of a startup helps to maintain the feeling of permanence.
Quantifiable things. It is similar to the Scrum methodology, but the objective is for everyone to see that progress is being made.
In an environment in which the first steps are prior to bringing a large part of the team, we quickly arrive at developments in which time is a more relevant factor and it is important to show that it is not stopped, that it is progressing properly .
Saying the good and the bad that a person does in a Startup team is fundamental, since teams of different experience often come together and a large part of the retribution is the knowledge that is acquired.
Share everything you learn:
The process of assembling a starup involves a different learning process, people management, process management, resources …. What you learn, you learn by writing a culture in your startup, sharing it will not take away or make your competitors stronger, in fact, it is more likely to help you show your complementers that you have more to offer or that They have more to gain if they collaborate with you.
They are only advice, situations from which we have learned. Handling equipment remotely has many problems, but it is true that each house is different and the problems of an online marketing agency are not the same problems as a more intensive company in development, but we can all learn from.
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