0/ 🧵 How can a small team get work done in the best possible way? At Doist, we have been at this for many years, and we have learned things the hard way. Here are some of the core lessons 👇
1/ 🔮 The team needs to have a clear vision of what they need to build with a well-defined problem and a solution space — before they start working on it.
2/ ⏳ Teams should work within an allotted time budget. Implement X the best way possible in Y amount of time. Working without constraints results in massive delays and scope creep because great people tend to go for “perfect” solutions.
3/ 👩🍳 Keep teams as small as possible as too many cooks spoil the broth. At Doist, we usually have 1 person per discipline in a squad, e.g., 1 designer, 1 iOS dev, 1 Android dev, 1 support person.
4/ 🔀 The team should work with full autonomy and with little external dependencies. They should be able to change the scope and be able to dictate the plan given their time budget.
5/ 🤝 Design and development should work in parallel, so the right focus and compromises can be made. Parallel execution is more inclusive and can let people leverage their skills and knowledge in the best way possible.
6/ 💯 Teams should make decisions by conviction and not by consensus. Especially problematic is seeking consensus with people outside the team who aren't working deeply on the problem.
7/ 🚧 A proof of concept demo should be the first priority for the team. Demos are compelling as they create momentum and trigger the imagination. Demos can also quickly uncover flaws or blocks.
8/ 🔁 Quality goes up when work gets done in iterations, with alpha and beta builds that real people use in their daily workflows. It's also useful to split a big project into parts and launch them separately if possible.
9/ 🗣 Some process is essential, but the most critical aspect is motivated people who are independent and communicate well in a transparent and organized way. The process will not save you if you start with the wrong people.
10/ 🚀 Launch things after they have been tested a lot by internal and external testers. Never launch stuff on a Thursday or a Friday — unless you want unhappy people who work over the weekend!
11/ 😃 Have fun! Remember that you probably will never have a perfect workflow. The critical thing is to iterate and find out what works best for you and your team.
End/ ❓ What else is critical to get stuff done in small teams? Please share your learning below.
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