by Alfonz Martinez, Javier Fernández and Juanes Alejandro
Chapter 1 – Lessons learned from our Scrum Masters
Are you killed by overreporting? Are you overloaded with meetings, reports? Are you a bit lost with the amount of escalations, requests?
Even in companies that are familiar with home office, we are all are facing an increasing demand of reporting and meetings due to Covid-19. This situation is happening at all organization levels.
It often comes from a top-down need so the company is able to
- make more decisions,
- make them properly
- and make them faster.
Do not minimize the information the team needs either. So often bottom-up information needs shall increase and these must be met (a bunch of small chats and informal conversations are not happening right now).
Over reporting also comes from some companies with a “just adopted” home office culture and from some individuals with a weak understanding of trust. When changing from Presence Work to a 100% Working from Home scenario, lots of doubts might arise to some people at the company.
This extra reporting dramatically impacts us, every day, decreasing our productivity and our motivation. So, we must adapt our activities and objectives to this new scenario, looking for pragmatism and efficiency.
See below some tips you can consider to improve this “over reporting” scenario, aiming to recover the confidence as fast as possible.
- Ask for expectations, understand, get context. Ask your leaders, managers, stakeholders about what extra info they need, why they need it and how often. You need to understand their concerns and needs.
- Think about how to sustainably support this new reporting. Suggest productivity improvements about how to create and maintain it. Align the extra reporting you do with the extra reporting you ask for.
- Think about information confidentially. New reporting scenarios might need different “read/edit” rights. New working groups are created, more critical decisions are done. Check that everybody sees what they have to see.
- Do not duplicate reports. Build short executive summaries instead and bring the original reports to this “extra reporting” environments. If needed, you can open them.
- Do minutes. In over reporting scenarios, do minutes, they will help everybody to remember and focus. Use digital tools always, obviously.
- Fastly review meeting structure and minutes. Improve fast the extra meeting structure and the way you do minutes. Get feedback fast and improve next extra meeting ASAP!
- Proactively plan for more if needed. Increase the number of reporting meetings if needed but keeping them shorter. Initially they will take longer but after one or two weeks, the meeting will be much fast and productive
- Conciliate all agendas. Take care so all participants can join the extra meetings properly. Covid-19 needs us to be more flexible and empathic about when we can meet or not
What is the impact in all of us?
- Visibility and confidence is boosted. You plan for a structured and proactive way of communicating to all people. You managed all expectations and generated the information to make decisions properly.
- Productivity is increased. We avoid hundreds of mails and communications, we improve unmanaged communications and we reduce escalations. We can forward most of the questions to the regular extra meeting.
- Priorities have to be reviewed. New reports, meetings, communication channels require time and effort. Analyze stopping other initiatives, ask for being released in other duties. Ask for priorities.
- Motivation is boosted. If you manage better, you feel better, you feel productive and efficient. Your stakeholders as well