Archive of posts with tag 'teamwork'

Process vs. Practice

May 2, 2023 • #

In product development, you can orient a team toward process or practice. Process is about repeatability, scalability, efficiency, execution. Practice is about creativity, inventiveness, searching for solutions.

Choosing between them isn’t purely zero-sum (like more practice = worse process), but there’s a natural tension between the two. And as with most ideas, the right approach varies depending on your product, your stage, your team, your timing. In general, you’re looking for a balance.

Divergence and convergence

I heard about this concept on a recent episode of the Circuit...

Against Recurring Meetings

October 5, 2022 • #

I have a bone to pick with recurring meetings. They’ve become a scourge that’s been amplified with fully distributed teams. What may start with clear intent as a space for a team to coordinate continuous work eventually devolves into a purely ceremonial affair. And they’ve gotten 10x worse since the pandemic turned every meeting into a remote one. This effect was visible long before COVID, but I think remoteness has magnified the negatives without adding any positives.

Recurring meetings

Since no one has to book a conference room, the bar to generating tons of ceremony...

Don't Confuse Motion With Progress

January 13, 2022 • #

When I read Cal Newport’s Deep Work a few years ago, one of my favorite ideas in the book that I keep coming back to in conversations is the idea of “busyness as a proxy for productivity”. Here’s how he puts it:

In the absence of clear indicators of what it means to be productive and valuable in their jobs, many knowledge workers turn back toward an industrial indicator of productivity: doing lots of stuff in a visible manner

We’ve all worked with violators of this. People that always have fully-booked calendars, can never...

On Effectiveness vs. Efficiency

July 26, 2021 • #

“Efficiency is doing things right; effectiveness is doing the right things.”

— Peter Drucker

People throw around these two words pretty indiscriminately in business, usually not making a distinction between them. They’re treated as interchangeable synonyms for broadly being “good” at something.

We can think about effectiveness and efficiency as two dimensions on a grid, often (but not always) in competition with one another. More focus on one means less on the other.

That Drucker quote is a pretty solid one-line distinction. But like many quotes, it’s concerned with being pithy and memorable, but not that helpful.