Our team went to the first European Atlassian Summit in Barcelona last week. Along with working at the booth, chatting to customers, and telling people about our new features and integrations with the Atlassian ecosystem, we also spent time in breakout sessions and at the keynote.
Atlassian focuses on teams. Their products push teams to collaborate and communicate better as well as to share knowledge and ideas. These are our top five key takeaways from Summit Europe on how to make your teams work better.
Giving your teams ownership over their area of expertise and letting them run with it can be powerful. New ideas will sprout up, and they’ll be more determined to get their work done. Let your teams take responsibility for their actions and for the information and research they provide for others to make decisions. People are more motivated when they feel like a problem or goal is theirs to solve or achieve. Whether it’s an individual contribution on a team or a team’s overall contribution to the company’s goals, your team members should have something that they can put their stamp on and feel proud about. Rather than micromanaging, trust your teams to do the work that you need done.
2. Clear direction
Set priorities from the get-go. If you give your teams insight into the decisions that are being made at a higher level and why those decisions are being made, it will inform their own actions. Teams will make decisions that bring the company closer to its overall goals, and you may receive more creative solutions and features once everyone understands the reasons behind company initiatives.
3. Diversity and inclusion
The key to successful teams is allowing team members to be creative, express their thoughts, and fail. To make this happen, ensure that the teams themselves don’t think in the same patterns and that they come from diverse backgrounds, diverse experiences, and diverse methods of thinking. Simple, right? Not always. To maintain that diversity of thought and experience, you have to create an environment of inclusion, one in which people feel safe to experiment and express their ideas, even opposing ideas.
We all know that communication is key, especially for growing companies and dispersed teams. Whether you are deciding on the product roadmap or on the callouts for a specific story or feature, you need to make sure that the necessary parties are looped in on the details. This may mean meetings or simply providing information in a comprehensible, manageable format. Use templates and keep notes on key action items, customer profiles, and items you need to discuss further.
From my own experience, having a pre-release meeting has been incredibly helpful. Before a feature is ready to be shipped, sit down for a final meeting to see what it looks like and to pinpoint things that need to be done before the feature is released. Think about overlooked analytics, changed messaging, forgotten edge cases, etc.
One tool that can help you communicate effectively and think through every edge case of a product release is Lucidchart. Creating a flowchart allows you to systematically walk through every step of a customer’s journey and to see where certain aspects of a user experience may have been forgotten or overlooked.
5. Understanding the big picture
It’s easy to get caught up in the details of a project when it’s all you can see. Sometimes taking a step back to see where a team’s objectives or a team’s specific project fits into the overall goals or vision of the company will illuminate a better path forward. If something isn’t going to have a big impact on your initiatives and isn’t urgent, then it should be re-evaluated. Keep things streamlined. You know what objectives you’re trying to hit, and your team now knows them too. Make decisions that make sense for you.
Atlassian is a champion of making the workplace better for teams. While each of these takeaways may not seem revolutionary on their own, together they guide us to create better, happier teams. No one wants too much process, but a growing company needs to understand the balance. Help people help themselves and, in turn, help your company.
Ready for better team collaboration? The add-ons we discuss in our ebook will help you to build a stronger, more collaborative team. Download it for free and start teaming up!