Internal operational management structures and process 2016

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This is one of the pages on this wiki which came out of the Wortley Hall 2016
Co-operative Technologists First Annual Gathering at Wortley Hall, 14th - 17th November 2016.

Copied from the Hackpad.

Internal operational management structures and process

An round table, to surface issues around time-management, prioritisation & resourcing

when working on a client project, fitting other things in is problematic.

Outlandish aim to work 4 days out of 5, but even then it feels

Float a tool to allocate human resources, and identifying clashes.

Hard to get devs to proactively commit. (devs agree. Always using the specialist vs professional development)

Useful for seeing if they've allocated too much work or not enough.

Challenge: Dealing with multiple responsibilities and accounting for time spent


quoting for dev time is hard. 10 day quote taking 20 days is a problem.

not enough of company getting involved at the start.

quoting is hard!

Using freelancers developers, what tools should we use to work with them.

- not from a tech background, what's good.

resourcing is hard! time management is hard. Stress of context switching.

comms internally and decision making. As you grow, all teams meetings become complex.

when a topic needs wider needing buy in, how do you overcome inertia

how to prioritise which non-client / non-profit work when time is available.

experimenting with always working "part time" on client work.

Time management

issues around: context switching | admin overhead | prioritise

context switching

internal work, illness, covering for others. it happens.

build in flex. assume unlikely things happen.

publishing your "don't interrupt me" status via a red/green light (via usb). Not everyone respects it.

trying "gimmicky" seeming things to proactively tackle issues of

core team are responsible for dealing with surprises, freelancers are left to get on with a specific job.

Avoiding fully committing anyone. 4 days per week instead of 5, to acknowledge the roll swapping

manual scheduling, look at all the work, and define the weeks plan, but it's not published very well.

[Float] could be a good solution.

22 projects running, starting to track time. record all of it and analyse it, as part of cost reporting.

ended up using it for budgeting, and dealing with 'overhead' in the org. realised "We should be charging more"

Using OfficeTime

It was totally worth it.

Production manager calls in each persons OfficeTime log, when producing report.

Outlandish has tools for this... See the next session.


get everyone to write a todo list the end of the day.

must have less than 6 things.

massively helpful.

coordinating "circle" (like an informal dept.) meets every 2 weeks and prioritiese the highest "risk issues" for next 2 weeks.

5 day sprints keep things focused. you can only be so wrong in 5 days.


Getting the right people involved / resourcing & healthy internal comms.

working with outlandish as an outsider

  • colocated
  • has an email address.
  • slack.

reply all in larger teams is terrible.

slack channels

limit the numbers! what is the smallest group of people that can talk about this thing.

make it clear that it's totally fine to say "take me off this list"

it's ok to opt out.

slacking with clients works well.

vs not paying for upgraded slack.

you need sign off

looking for an online signing tool that keeps docs on our servers.