Short Notes
March 15th, 2024

Slack time - is lack of it a warning sign?

I feel that something important is increasingly missing from how organizations are handling the work: slack time. In many cases, I see a rush to fill the day in such a way that each team member is fully occupied.

When thinking about development, there is a tension between the effort to write code faster and release it quickly AND the effort to grow as a team or individual. While running at a high pace to release quickly, we cut the slack time from our projects => there is no time to think and cooperate. 

Want to have people do quicker code reviews? 

Ensure your team has some slack time for each iteration and add light processes to manage code reviews. 

Want to have more proposals to improve your team/product/releases/CI/CD/builds?

Make sure your team has some slack time available and then make it so to facilitate the exchange of ideas about these areas.

Want to help your team member grow their technical skills? 

One way to do it is by making sure your team has every iteration some slack time to wonder and play with the code, with the environment, or even focus on developer experience. 

Want to have team members work better together? 

Make sure you have some slack time so they can interact, exchange ideas, debate, and have meaningful conversations.

In case the team is just forming, make time to properly go through Bruce Tuckman's team-forming stages.

There was a time when I conducted innovation workshops for different companies to help their teams be more creative and contribute ideas to their products.
 

The first complaint from team members was the need for more time to focus on this kind of initiative.

Here is one idea to try for #engineeringmanagers or #productmanagers

Schedule a meeting with your team for 2 hours. Write in the title: "Slack time" and in the description: "Free time for each of you to play with the product or refactor anything you like or write down some ideas"