Sitting down at a desk in your own home is not the traditional way to begin the first day of a new job.
As a new member of a remote team, the first few days can feel disorienting and humbling, but frequent access to my co-workers and the team's established practices enabled me to feel a part of the team immediately.
Posts, found here on the team blog, offered me guidance about remote work, insight into how the INN team works, and a template for reflection. I read through all the posts and appreciated the public record of INN's work and the team's history.
Orienting myself, with guidance and support, included slipping into the stream of both projects in process and our longer range plans.
The team's daily Scrum has been a huge help in getting up to speed, serving as a quick check-in on the previous day's work, a prompt to plan for the next and a barometer of all my teammates' projects. A few short minutes sheds light on the team's priorities and connects us together -- united by our preference for hoodies on chilly days.
A new working situation offers a fresh start, a bit like the first day of a new school year, an opportunity to consider two big ideas and themes – organization and documentation.
Decisions about how to organize communication, resources and time impact work flow and efficiency. Moving onto a new team in a role focused on supporting and documenting digital work, I am inspired to consider organization with design and functionality in mind.
I have started by thinking about existing structures and tools such as the team docs repository on GitHub.
Documentation is both a private and public endeavor. Many years as a student trained me to take copious notes. The challenge is to make them useful to both myself and my team.
As I reviewed the INN member sites using Largo, the WordPress platform that our team builds and maintains, I created a chart that identified the Largo features each member site incorporated. My intention is that the chart can be used a reference for my team and not solely a personal exercise in documenting my own exploration.
I am looking for relevant examples, templates and advice. Here are a couple that I've found helpful so far:
- One I found suggests that etiquette may be an important consideration in creating and sharing your work with your team: The Lost Art of Design Etiquette.
- Communicating on GitHub is a thoughtful guide to how the tool and the message intertwine.
If you have any other favorites, please send them my way.