Short communication flow

Imagine a busy kitchen in a top-rated restaurant. Chefs are working tirelessly, waiters are weaving in and out with plates, and the head chef is overseeing everything closely. Now imagine if every time one chef needed an ingredient, he had to ask the head chef, wait for approval and then get it from another chef. The kitchen would be chaotic and the service slow.

One of the critical impediments to a team’s efficiency is the frequency of communication outside the immediate team for decision-making or information-gathering. Every instance where a team member has to pause, reach out, and wait for information or a decision from someone is a potential delay in the workflow. There are two ways to avoid these delays:

  1. Short Communication Flow: Make sure everyone has the freedom to directly address questions or issues by talking to other teams
  2. Cross-Functional Team: Make sure each team has everything they need to work without constantly waiting for, or asking others. (See Cross-Functional Team chapter)

We are always looking for a better balance between different roles and direct communication in our #superagile approach. While it’s crucial to ensure clear communication, it doesn’t mean everyone should be included everywhere—doing so can be inefficient.

Different roles exist such as team lead, tech lead, and product manager. However, the primary purpose of these lead roles is to support the team in achieving their goals, not to act as intermediaries. If one person becomes a bottleneck, it’s time to re-evaluate and reorganize communication patterns.

To truly harness the potential of every developer, granting them access to communicate with other teams and functions is paramount. This not only eliminates the waiting game but also nurtures a generative culture where solutions are sought and found without delay.

KPIs to measure:

  • How often does someone in the team say: “This could have been prevented if we knew that beforehand”?