People:removing roadblocks to productivity/project how we work

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How We Work Together

Project manager: Amie Tyrrel

How to get involved

What we heard

A lot. There were a lot of roadblocks that fell into this bucket (you can see them below). There were so many in fact that we struggled with what to do with them all. In the end, and after much discussion and debate, we decided most of what's here points to the things that are necessary for any healthy community to thrive - mutual respect, empathy, a culture that values accountability, and a shared commitment to being a little more excellent to ourselves and to each other.

Mozilla's culture is special and the way we work together is what makes it that way. Culture is not something that happens to us, it is us. We get to decide. So, if your meetings aren't working, let's figure out why that is and fix that. People writing endlessly long emails with no point? Help them understand the impact that has on your day. If that sounds hard, you're not alone. And, there are a number of programs already in place and many more in the works that can help. To do the important work we are all here to do, we need to be good to each other. Period.

Shorter term actions

These are things we expect to accomplish in 2014.

  • Work in progress: TRIBE
  • Work in progress: LEAD
  • Tools to encourage a thriving geo-distributed community
  • Articulating expectations for travel and recovery time
  • Creating a development program specific to people managers (or those interested in becoming people managers)

Longer term changes / shifts

These are things we expect will take time, influence, and repetition to shift.

Responses in this category

  • Too little workweeks where we actually get stuff done (pulled from a pile-on response). 33 votes
  • Needless disruption: (e.g. excessive or unfocused meetings, unrelated conversations outside of conference rooms, vidyo with the door open, etc.). 22 votes
  • Lapses in self-discipline. 14 votes
  • Not enough face-to-face time to kickstart things and push them forward. 13 votes
  • Unreasonable or uninformed requests/demands from others pulling time away from achievable objectives. 10 votes
  • Lack of resources for getting tools built that would help us do our specific tasks better (paas, while awesome, is not production tier or easy to develop on without significant webdev skills and extra time for learning). 8 votes
  • It's hardest to get a new idea off the ground - getting buy-in from other teams, getting resource allocations, and getting past the stop-energy that comes from fear of change. 8 votes
  • Idealistic views on finding "perfect" solutions instead of something "good" and then focusing on continuous improvement. 8 Votes
  • Too much churn and bad leadership. Not keeping up with rest of industry. Job undefined and never given anything I ask for. 7 votes
  • Getting sucked into reading endless internal arguments and idealistic viewpoints on Yammer. (the virtual water-cooler). 7 votes
  • Overworked SecReview people and overworked IT deployment gurus means my things take a long time to launch after code completion. 6 votes
  • More learning opportunities and information on continuing education. I've looked many times, but never found much. Ex: business ed courses, inter-company workshops that teach varying levels of coding, non-engineering brownbags from experts, etc. 5 votes
  • Too many people trying to get my help instead of other team members. 3 votes.
  • Not knowing what/task to cc: (as opposed to who, because people change jobs). 1 vote.
    • Expectations to travel on weekends & frequently with no recovery times, leading to burnout. 19 votes
    • The feeling that other teams aren't behind the work that you do. Ranging from Engineering to HR, a lot of work feels like it's Us vs Them instead of just us. 18 votes
    • People who are unwilling to collaborate. 17 votes
    • Expectations by some for responses at the weekend/during off periods (leading to unfair expectations/burnout). 12 votes
    • Slow or even complete lack of response to requests for help from the people team. 8 votes
    • The "I can do your job better than you" attitude. 7 votes
    • Unwillingness to jump on a quick phone call to answer questions leaves room for miscommunication and hinders ability to move forward on projects (and is a good way to save inbox). 6 votes
    • Unresponsive people (after several attempts). 5 votes
    • Unprofessional or rude behavior with colleagues. 4 votes
    • When people commit to do something but don't actually have time/ability to do it. 2 votes
    • People not taking ownership for tasks and subsequently are not held accountable either. High performers are not recognized, and are often blocked by low performers - eventually sapping their motivation. 1 vote
    • Often impossible to focus on individual tasks due to the volume of requests, forcing inefficient multitasking. 43 votes
    • Too much time spent on the 'critical' path negates my ability to work on things that are important to me (like community building). 17 votes
    • Little time allocated to devote to strategic planning, learning, furthering the mission. Too busy completing individual tasks. 5 votes
    • It's a tricky balance keeping my own work moving versus doing reviews (to keep others' work moving). 4 votes
    • Lack of blocks of time in which I can focus (meetings span the globe and require me to be available at all hours). 48 votes
    • Lot of the stuff is Pacific Timezone centric. 27 votes
    • We have no German speaking HR or WPR in the Berlin office. We often have to take care of WPR, HR & other issues ourselves. 11 votes
    • Collaborating across timezones, multiple roofs leads to slow decision making and actions. 6 votes
    • Having teams in really separated timezones slow downs decision making across the board. 3 votes
    • Communication on teams where members are spread across the globe. I often end up taking calls at midnight (local time) and working hours after that on immediately required deliverables. 3 votes
    • Minutes of meetings not shared and not archived in a stable URI space. 53 votes
    • Too many meetings (pulled from a pile-on response). 33 votes
    • Meetings seems to default to 1hr increments where 30 mins should be attempted as the max for most. 25 votes
    • Daily meetings during my most productive/busiest hours. 23 votes
    • People generally showing up to meetings a couple of minutes late rather than being there at the meeting start. 14 votes
    • Too many meetings with no clear agenda where the world (read, too many people) is invited. 6 votes
    • Back to back meetings. 3 votes
    • The potential for great leadership in the company lost in a sea of poor leadership. Instead of creating more leaders, let's create better leaders. 28 votes
    • We are getting better, but in several occasions the ""Peter Principle"" has created a mediocre managers out of amazing engineers. Good managers do not need to equal or better the skills of those they manage, merely be good enough to understand. 15 votes
    • High performers are not recognized, and are often blocked by low performers - eventually sapping their motivation (pulled from pile-on response). 1 vote
    • Noisy office. 41 votes
    • Offices that are too quiet - When I visit as a remotee, at some offices I feel I can't just go and talk to people (even those next to me) in case I disturb others. 10 votes
    • Terrible glass white boards. They look really cool, but they are an inefficient use of space and markers don't show on them very well. 1 vote