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One small process improvement we made lately at DEV

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Thank u, next

We try to keep our meetings quick and productive, so we have a couple weekly meetings structured such that folks submit their key talking points in Slack and then we run through them in order.

In order to alleviate the awkward "not sure if you're finished talking" silence of group calls, we have instituted a policy of saying "thank u, next" to pass the mic, so to speak. It also seems to cut off necessary rambling because folks know how to cut themselves off. And it all has a positive intonation by default.

The results have been great (at least I think so). It is a small thing, but it matters for a distributed organization.

Do you have any similar practices at your org?

Happy coding.

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We use a conch.

In startup school, they designate one person to be a moderator so they are given the social allowance to police the meeting to stop rambling and keep the structure. I really like this method.

 
 

When I read conch. I thought of the spongebob episode with the magic conch shell. lol

 
 

The Conch system is simply taking turns with no clear leader.

The Moderator controls all aspects of communication.
In a Moderator model, you'll want to rotate out the moderator per meeting, otherwise, people are going start hating that one person and lets other people learn to improve their communication skills.

Both systems have their trade-offs.

 

And it all has a positive intonation by default.

TBH "thank u, next" sounds extremely passive-aggressive when I read it.

 

It can if you're saying it to someone else, like if someone is talking and as soon as they pause for a breath you jump in with "thank u, next", but in this context the speaker themself says it to indicate that they are done speaking, not directed at anyone (or perhaps directed at themself). Used in that way, I can't find any passive aggression; who would it be directed toward?

 

I get that when I read it like this, abbreviated "u" and all lower case. However, saying it aloud doesn't carry that connotation for me.

 

I have zero insight into the dev team dynamics, but from what I have gathered it has two advantages over most teams:

  1. It has a capable leader
  2. It is relatively small

Being relatively small under a capable leader has massive, innumerable advantages - far too many to mention. Suffice to say - combined with capable leadership - a small team can accomplish great things.

My point in bringing this up is that I put less stock in the practice and more stock in the team. I suspect if this practice is abandoned in the near future, it would be in exchange for a better practice that is more effective for the team. This practice, therefore, is just one evolution of a team self-optimizing around its mission. While I do not know the dev.to team's official mission statement, I would imagine it goes something like "To create the most inclusive and productive online software development community," and the results speak for themselves.

 

I wonder who inspired that Thank You, Next one... 🤔

 
 

reminds me of playing around with friends over walkie-talkies over :)

But however you're ending your turn. Having a stop word and passing the mic is a good way to improve the roulation times and prevent awkwardness and rambling!

 

Love this! My son also likes listening to the song by Ariana Grande... so... fun!

 
 

Sounds like a good practice. Need to try it with our team. Thanks for sharing it!

 

Add achievements for how long people have been in here, and how many posts they have posted.

 

In physical meetings I have used a ball before, passing it around to whomever needs to speak.

Everyone else shuts up, or gesticulates their want for the ball in silence if they need it. :)

 

Think I might see if I can get this to take off at work. Thank you... next!

 

We say "no blockers" or "not blocked".

Unless we're blocked. Then we say what's blocking our work.

 

I might to implement this on myself as I’ve been catching myself meandering.

 
 

Yes. We aren't a remote org but I keep a list of talking points to make sure the meeting doesn't veer off. It also helps me to not forget important things :P

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