The Klaro blog

Management

02.04.2020

Working together...

A real-life example of asynchronous communication and agile online work boosted by Klaro

It's Thursday 2 April. Under full Coronavirus lockdown and therefore working 100% by remote, the Klaro team is concentrating efforts on building a new website...

Julie, Georges and David are in action. David codes the site based on the structures and communication plan already made in HTML by Julie; Georges takes care of the design and formatting (typography, colours and space layout). They are working closely on a daily basis and for the time being it's all online work. Julie pings David for an online call...

Julie: @David, I checked out the first version - it's great. I've got a hundred comments of course, do you have time to go through them with me?

David: Well... I know I'm not finished yet so I'm probably just going to answer, "Yes, I know, it's not done yet; yes I know, it's not done yet; yes I know, it's not done yet."

Julie: Ah, OK. So best wait until you've done all the pages then?

David: Yep.

The new site comes online a few weeks later, and it's not great. Nothing has come of more than half of Julie's comments: they've been forgetten, arrived too late, were too difficult to take into account at the end due to pressure to get the site online, etc.

STOP. REWIND. PLAY.

Julie: @David, I checked out the first version - it's great. I've got a hundred comments of course. I made a Klaro board and put them all in there, one comment per card.

David: Perfect. I'm not finished yet but I'll take a quick look right now and hopefully have some in "Done" by the end of the day.

Julie: Cool. Let me know if any of the cards aren't clear and I'll sort them out.

David: OK then, I'll put anything I don't understand or that isn't workable as-is in "Hold on", then we can look at them together.

48 hours and 45 "To Do > Done" cards later, and it's already possible to put a first version of the site online. It's not fully complete but it is functional, bug-free and much better visually and from a communications perspective than the old site, that was just a single page.

Why does it work better with Klaro?

  • Managing the project with Klaro sets up precise communication between David and Julie because everything happens via cards arranged on boards.

  • This way of working is primarily asynchronous: each person is master of their own time and focus. This is particularly important for developers, who need, who want, and who must be able to work independently! Asynchronous collaboration is an essential element of remote working.

  • The follow-up online meeting between Julie and David was focused on blocking points, misunderstandings, problems, divergence and uncertainty. Everything clear and workable was already done beforehand, rather than discussed any further. Real issues were on the agenda, as they should be. Collective intelligence expresses itself not when we are in agreement, but when we focus objectively on disagreements.

  • Julie felt that she had been listened to and her feedback on the website taken into account.

  • David felt like he'd done some good work: closing 45 cards in two days is an accomplishment!

And in general working like this is more successful because:

  • A Klaro board can be created in 2 minutes and it serves as an easy, efficient, orderly and visual way to isolate (among the mountain of tasks we are working on) the cards pertaining to improvements of the new website. The board temporarily isolates cards displaying feedback from Julie, that need immediate attention from David, without actually separating them from our wider list of tasks.

  • Klaro helps Julie to create 45 cards for the website -- improvements to do, assigned to David -- without having to repeat 45 times that the the feedback pertains to the website, that each card is for an improvement to the website, and that each task is for David to work on. We don't like to repeat things unless it is really necessary.

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