As a team, we’re very careful not to have too many meetings. We believe people do their best work when given lots of uninterrupted, heads down, focused time. That said, we do have recurring team meetings weekly on Mondays to get that valuable face time and keep each other on track.
Every week on Monday at 17:00 UTC everyone joins our Zoom meeting to review the prior week and talk about the coming week. Like we touched on earlier, this meeting is SkyVerge sacred time — time for everyone to see each other, learn what everyone else is doing, and build trust. In October 2017, after reviewing feedback from our Q2/Q3 survey, we made the decision to shift round the horn updates to be more personal rather than professional in nature. This allows us to get to know one another better in the absence of “water cooler” talk that can happen naturally in a shared office space.
We follow the rose/thorn format for our round the horn updates:
- Rose/thorn for the previous week
- “rose”: an event or occurrence that stood out as particularly joyful or exciting
- “thorn”: an event or occurrence that stood out as frustrating or stressful
- Something you’re excited about for the current week
- Response to the weekly question: shared by Catherine in Slack about an hour before the meeting
We all love to share, but we try to keep it to no longer than two minute talk time per teammate. Everyone needs their time to shine–and we’re big on keeping meetings short and directed : ) The meeting usually lasts about ~45 minutes (at least at our current size of 30 people) — please feel free to join a few minutes early if you’d like to chat with people before we officially get started!
We also do team-specific calls to go more in-depth about what you’re working on. The WooCommerce team chats right after the weekly standup (usually 17:45 UTC), the Jilt product/engineering team at 18:15 UTC, and the the Jilt marketing team at 19:00 UTC. The WooCommerce support team meets on Tuesdays at 15:00 UTC.
We regularly experiment with new formats to make our meetings most efficient and effective. Currently, all team-specific meetings follow roughly the same format. Each week, a to-do list is created in the team’s Basecamp project (eg. Product/Engineering), where anyone can add specific questions or topics they’d like to cover during the upcoming weekly meeting. This allows time for people to contextualize questions, and organize their thoughts before the actual meeting. The to-do list is then archived after each meeting.
Outside of team-specific meetings, we’re also experimenting with GAP as a meeting organization tool. Whatever format it takes, we’re always looking for ways to make our meetings more streamlined and productive–so please share any ideas you’ve got!