Working Out Loud in Hallways with Memory

by Thomas Vander Wal

I am deeply enjoying working out loud again with a team. There are so many great advantages to sharing what you are working on in progress. This is often how I worked with clients from 2005 through to early 2012 and it was so odd to move back into an email heavy work environment, and is now so refreshing to be engaged back with a team that shares works in progress.

As I pointed out in the latest, Shift Happens - Part3: Capturing Decisions in Social the results of the work are most often not the most valuable portions, it is the collective aggregate of the work that gets to that point, that has the most value. As we all regularly experience, what is today’s good decision often is not the best for tomorrow, nor a slightly different circumstance. But, teams, groups, and organizations not working out loud, even if just at group and team levels, don’t have any of these advantages of finding, integrating, nor reusing information and understanding shared along the way. Most often these transactions are lost in email. There is great value lost and buried (with not even the decency of a funeral) in email.

I caught a great tweet from Stewart Butterfield the CEO of Slack that drives home one of the great values of teams working out loud and having all the work collateral attached and searchable, not only is it great for the team or group, but is fantastic for the next member of that assemblage who is added in. Here, Stewart is responding to Chris Sacca asking about if Slack works well for a team of 3 people…

I’ve become a fan of Slack in the past year (it is less than a year old publicly) because it does for teams and groups what a tool I miss (SystemOne) did for larger organizations — it provides search across a collective’s work out loud contributions. Not only the conversations, but the linked to documents, code, sites, etc. to keep what is relative to the teams within easy digital reach. The conversations that used to be lost in meeting rooms and hallways are now captured, as a by product of working in a virtual team the hallways and meeting rooms now have memory.