Serendeepia Playbook

Communication

We are a remote company, and therefore, communication is really important, along with well defined processes. Remember not everybody is at the same timezone you are in, so responds can take some time.

English

Although our headquarters are in a non English-speaking country, we are a remote and international company, so we try to make all communication inside the company in English. You don’t have to talk in English in the private slack channels but it is mandatory to speak English when someone is present, or can read the conversation later, and doesn’t share your native language.

Slack

We use Slack for instant communication. Everybody must be connected to slack during their working hours so they are available for the rest of the team.

We try to talk in public channels so the rest of the team can be aware of the conversation and hop to help anytime. We avoid private communication as much as possible.

Slack is not always the best solution. Sometimes it is faster to jump into a videconference in Google Meet and talk rather than keep writing. Then, come back and write your conclusions in the channel so everybody can be aware of what has been decided.

Meetings

Meetings are necessary, but they can become the root of some problems, if you have too many or they are too long. Try to stick to the mandatory meetings with occasional meetings from time to time when they are really necessary.

General recommendations

If you are hosting a meeting:

  • Always send a calendar invite. No matter how quick you plan the meeting to be, make sure you send an invite. This is important so nobody never misses a meeting. Also, too many meetings are harmful for productivity.
  • Try to add an agenda describing what is going to be discussed in the meeting and its goals. Meetings without an agenda are doomed to be unproductive.
  • Try schedule meetings beforehand and not just hop in for a call at any time. Meetings sometimes need preparation.
  • Check the invitee’s calendars before sending an invitation, ensuring that everyone will be able to attend the meeting.

If you are participating:

  • Take notes during the meeting and save them somewhere accessible later so you can review what you talked about and the decisions you took.
  • You should get used to accept or reject meetings. This will help you and your team to know that you are aware of the meeting or that you cannot attend it and the meeting might need to be rescheduled.

Other recommendations:

  • Try to reserve some time without meetings or interruptions during the day and respect the time others have reserved for themselves. We all need a couple of hours without interruptions to be completely productive.
  • Avoid completely to hop in for meetings with clients whenever they ask you to without prior notification. Clients should get used to scheduling meetings beforehand and not just hop in for a call at any time.
  • If you’re in a meeting, be in that meeting. In other words, try to contribute as much as possible and keep your attention on the subject. Electronic devices (like cell phones and laptops) should be used only if strictly necessary.
  • If you feel that you don’t need to be at that meeting anymore, don’t feel bad about leaving earlier. Politely ask if your presence is still necessary, explain that you can’t afford more time at the moment and leave.

Daily Stand-up

We do daily stand-up meetings. These meetings are done daily at the beginning of the day and must be short, like 5-15 minutes maximum. You must ask 3 questions during the daily stand-up:

  • What did you do since the last stand up meeting?
  • What are you going to do today?
  • Is there anything that is blocking you?

The goal of these meetings is to let your team be aware of what are you doing and also detect possible blocks or issues that need another meeting to be solved. You can do these meetings just right after the stand-up.

In order to make the stand-up more efficient and keep track of this information we have a slack bot that will ask you the same questions daily before the stand-up meeting.

Weekly All-hands

We run weekly all-hands meetings where everybody in the company attend. We use these meetings to keep all the company aligned and to let everybody know what other teams in the company are working on and their progress. We also have slides for the weekly all-hands where we keep our old all-hands to keep track of them.

We usually cover several topics in these meetings:

  • News, Company Updates & KPIs: what is happening that is relevant for everybody, like achievements, progress of the company or any news of interest.
  • Marketing: how is our marketing strategy going, what are we doing and why.
  • Sales pipeline: we track our sales pipeline for current and future customers.
  • Product & Engineering: what are the products we are working on and what is their current status, latest features released, etc.
  • Research & Innovation: anything related with research or innovation that is worth to share, both from within the company and from international researchers/companies.

Quarter update

At the end of a quarter we add information to the week all-hands about the financial status of the company and the run away in months.

Team meetings

We strongly suggest teams to self organize meetings, some of them are mandatory as they are part of the agile methodology.

One on One

The one on one meetings are a way to connect the managers with the people who reports to them. This is the best opportunity to raise issues to your manager and also to get to know each other more deeply. You don’t have to talk only about work in your one on one meetings. Actually, we suggest you to also use them for some help with your career path.

One on one meetings should be done every 2 weeks and last 30 minutes.