The Remote Weekly goes out every Wednesday and brings to you original content, product tips and latest stories around remote working.
P1E12 - A model to better plan remote work 🕒
The past week was eventful with great traction for Remote Work 2020 on Product Hunt, Twitter and HackerNews. So with that done, I was browsing through my LinkedIn feed and came across this interesting post. While we will keep circling back to the concepts discussed in Remote Work 2020, in this week's issue, let's delve deeper into this article.
Plan 1 week, Execute 12 weeks
Ben Erez, product manager at Abstract, says his biggest pain point as a remote PM is the lack of in-person time spent during the planning period.
Drawn out planning phases with asynchronous feedback. Ben says what a single daylong in-person planning meeting could achieve is now accomplished over weeks of back and forth on documents and calls.
With 13 weeks a quarter, Ben proposes to bring together the key people from product, engineering, design involved in planning, for a week every quarter. For the remaining 12 weeks, individuals teams execute independently and asynchronously.
The advantage is clear. In-person planning reduces future back and forth, and in turn, speeds up execution. But the major downside is the cost and logistics of getting relevant decision-makers together once every quarter.
I have reached out to Ben to understand if they execute the model at Abstract since I can imagine the implementation hassles with this. Have you come across a remote team executing something similar? What do you think are the downsides to an approach like P1E12?
Shane Evans' (CEO, Scrapinghub) thoughts on this
Interestingly, when Shane Evans, CEO of Scrapinghub, joined us on our show, he spoke about how the ideation and planning phase suffers the most in a remote setting. If you listen to Shane talk about this (for a minute or so), he says even for functions like engineering, the ideation phase involves a lot of brainstorming and whiteboarding.
In a co-located setting, you often see such discussions stretch for 4-5 hours when originally scheduled for an hour. You can simply drag everyone to a room and brainstorm if needed. Such a scenario is often tough to simulate in a remote setting.
I would also recommend listening to the entire episode if you have the time, where Shane goes on to share the initiatives and methods that have made them a successful remote company.
Siddhant Goel moved to Munich after graduation and has been working there since. But the major transition in his life happened in 2016 when his professor mailed him about turning a project into a full-time startup. The fascinating aspect about this change was that all founders were based in different cities and none wanted to move, and thus came into being an all-remote team.
Siddhant says the best thing about working remotely is that he wastes no time on commute. As a result of this, a tangible output he has seen over the years is that he's founded another startup part-time and open-sourced 7 Python libraries. Read more about Siddhant's journey here.
As always, here are our top-picks of remote-first products:
🧠 Emvi is an easy-to-use knowledge base for teams of all sizes
🖥 GroWrk supplies ergonomic workstations for optimal remote performance
🗓 P.A.D.A provides templates for better meeting invites
🌎 YouTeam is a platform for hiring remote dev teams
📆 Woven brings powerful scheduling tools to your calendar