Face-to-face Friday!

The most efficient and effective method of conveying information to and within a development team is face-to-face conversation.

— from Agile Manifesto Principles

[Treat] collaboration as an end as well as a means, creating greater opportunity for interactions of higher quality.

— from Kanban from the Inside

I’m embarking on a personal quest to improve communication around my organization, starting with me. In particular, I’m pledging to intentionally interact with people as close to face-to-face as possible every Friday. I’m calling it Face-to-Face Fridays.

It’s not going to be easy. The lazybones in me is happy to zip off an email (five sentences or less, of course) or even post a rejoinder on Slack. And it’s unrealistic to meet face-to-face with a customer or colleague who’s physically not in the office today. But I’m using the following hierarchy of communication to guide my decisions, in descending order of preference:

  1. Face-to-face in person: The person is working today and physically in the office, even if it’s a different floor or building.
  2. Live video chat: The person is working today but not physically in the office and the communication is more than a quick answer or request.
  3. Live phone call: The person is working today but not physically in the office and the communication is more than a quick answer or request, and the person can’t use video.
  4. Slack/instant-message: The person is working today but not physically in the office and the communication is a quick answer or request.
  5. Comment in visual-management tool: If the person is unavailable now, can it wait until the next standup meeting or when the person returns?
  6. Email: Only if the person on vacation or otherwise out of the office today.

Who wants to join me?

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One Comment on “Face-to-face Friday!”

  1. Greg says:

    I am up for it!

    My team is all located here in the office near me (which is different from my last company), so I try to do this everyday. Even if I don’t have something that I need to communicate to them, I stop by everyday just to check-in and typically they will have something that they need to communicate to me (or we chat about something non-work related).

    While I enjoyed working from home at my last company, there is something to be said about coming into an office everyday. I enjoy the face-to-face interactions with the team.


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