True Triads: The Secrets To Thriving Agile Teams In A Distributed Working World

True Triads: The Secrets To Thriving Agile Teams In A Distributed Working World
SHARE
THIS



At the beginning of 2018, Christina Bell [pictured] made the move from Auckland to Sydney to join Atlassian’s graduate program. 

Since then, Bell has moved up the Atlassian ranks, becoming a full-time software engineer and mentoring new graduates looking to follow in her footsteps. 

Even as she excelled in an industry-leading engineering team at Atlassian, there was an urge to return home to New Zealand at some point.

With COVID-19 plunging the world into lockdown early last year, these feelings became more pronounced.

“I always had the intention to move back home to New Zealand, but with COVID-19 and the lockdowns, the desire to move closer to family increased,” Bell told B&T.

“It was even more challenging because I had family members in New Zealand struggling with serious health issues, and it was tough not being able to just hop on a plane and visit.”

And while the pandemic might have pressed pause on international travel, it did serve as the catalyst to the biggest shift towards remote work ever seen.

This approach has been embraced by Atlassian, with the company launching its TEAM Anywhere work policy – allowing employees the flexibility to work as distributed teams.

Distributed working provided Bell with the opportunity to move back to New Zealand and in March of this year she relocated.

“Atlassian has been incredibly supportive. I always thought I would have to give up my job in order to move home. I am so grateful to have this opportunity,” Bell said. 

“In fact, Atlassian went one step further by providing me with thorough guidelines, support and resources to help inform my decision to move home.

“Atlassian’s ‘distributed-first’ approach helped me feel comfortable making this big decision, particularly knowing my career growth would stay on the same trajectory.” 

Making distributed teams work

Atlassian’s approach to distributed work not only allows individuals like Bell to thrive, but also ensures teams stay connected and on track, regardless of the location. 

Bell works within a TRIAD team (engineering, product management and design), meaning she and her team are constantly solving complex problems. 

“One of the things we have done to support innovation is to be more intentional about our time,” Bell said. 

“As a team, we ensure we’re deliberate about what collaboration has to be synchronous over Zoom, and what can be done asynchronously via Confluence or Slack.”

Bell pointed to “Lightweight Decision Records” – or LDRs – as an example of this approach in action.

While it is inevitable that the team will uncover problems when implementing solutions, LDRs allow team members to outline the issue and the intended solution as they find it.

This can then be left on a Confluence page for other team members to consume and approve at a time that is convenient for them.

“As an engineer, this increases our autonomy and ensures we are accountable for considering problems from a customer perspective, as well as an engineering one,” Bell said. 

“It also provides greater flexibility for TRIAD members, by reducing meetings on an already busy calendar. This allows for increased focus time and deep thinking for technical innovation.”

To further maximise everyone’s time, Bell’s team conducts their daily standup via Slack.

Not only does this help everyone better manage their time, but increases written communications and sharing amongst the team — rather than a passing conversation. This drives greater participation, equality and broader perspectives.

“I often hear about a lack of ‘water cooler’ conversations as a negative outcome of remote working, but in my opinion, this has helped level the playing field,” Bell said.

“Since we can capture these conversations in a written format, it provides opportunities for everyone to see what is going on. You don’t miss out if you didn’t happen to be at the ‘water cooler’ when the conversation happened.”

“Much of what we do now is still very much the same”

While Slack and Zoom might have replaced in-person meetings, Bell believes the fundamentals for how her team communicates have remained consistent. 

“Much of what we do now is still very much the same,” she said. 

“When we were in the office, some team members occasionally worked from home, and we’ve always collaborated with dispersed teams, globally. For example, my TRIAD works with teams in Bengaluru, so we were often dialling in colleagues to our meetings before.”

Bell added that the team has been helpful working across timezones, particularly now she is living in New Zealand.

“I think this really promotes inclusion and helps ensure everyone’s voice is heard,” she said.

“When Atlassian offices reopen, the rule of thumb is, that if one person is remote, all members will join Zoom individually via their laptops – ensuring everyone is equally included.”

While distributed working provides employees with a great deal of flexibility, a common drawback is the loss of face-to-face interactions and the coinciding social culture. 

To remedy this, Bell’s team has added two social Zoom chats each week (where everyone is invited to discuss all things non-work related) and has also incorporated some special virtual team building events throughout the quarter, such as escape rooms and cocktail making classes. 

These sorts of initiatives are also being rolled out across the wider company.

“Atlassian always had an incredible culture in the office. Maintaining that culture remotely is challenging, but we have an amazing Workplace Experience team who are experimenting with lots of awesome initiatives in this new world,” Bell said.

“This has included pivoting our annual A-Festival to be a remote care package (employees were given the choice of an ice cream maker or movie projector), and providing remote events like Friday DJs, online workout classes, and social activities.”

There is also emphasis being placed on mental health, with employees being supported through access to a variety of tools including — Headspace subscription, Modern Health app with 1:1 coaching support, licensed therapist sessions, and additional COVID-19 paid Special Leave.

“The mental health conversation has been driven by senior leaders, which really encourages myself and my team members to carve out the time for our mental wellbeing,” Bell said. 

“Having Atlassian be so supportive and understanding makes me feel valued as an employee.”

 

Please login with linkedin to comment

Atlassian covid-19 engineering remote work softwre triads

Latest News

Jessica Alba’s & Zac Efron’s Latest Adventure For Dubai Tourism Drops
  • Campaigns

Jessica Alba’s & Zac Efron’s Latest Adventure For Dubai Tourism Drops

Hollywood A-listers Jessica Alba and Zac Efron return for the fifth instalment of the Dubai Presents series of trailers by Dubai Tourism, again directed by award-winning Aussie filmmaker Craig Gillespie. The latest spot to drop over the weekend is called “A Riveting Mystery” and again plays on the whole cinema genre that runs through the […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
DDB Honours Legacy Of First Copy Chief Phyllis Robinson
  • Marketing

DDB Honours Legacy Of First Copy Chief Phyllis Robinson

Phyllis Robinson was one of the founding employees of Doyle Dane Bernbach back in 1949, the agency’s first copy chief and the first female copy chief in the United States. Robinson was a pioneer, not just for women but for the creative advertising revolution that she helped ignite, changing the face of the industry forever. […]

TBWA\Sydney Promotes Katrina Alvarez-Jarratt To Executive Creative Director
  • Media

TBWA\Sydney Promotes Katrina Alvarez-Jarratt To Executive Creative Director

TBWA\Sydney has announced the promotion of Katrina Alvarez-Jarratt to the role of executive creative director. Alvarez-Jarratt has been with the agency since 2016, working across accounts including Tourism New Zealand, Pepsi, Woolmark and Optus. Her work has been recognised at major award shows with her most recent achievement being PLAY NZ receiving metal at D&AD, […]

Make A Wish Foundation Names Mindshare New Zealand As Media Partner
  • Media

Make A Wish Foundation Names Mindshare New Zealand As Media Partner

Mindshare New Zealand has announced its new partnership with Make-A-Wish Foundation, a purpose-driven charity with a mission to create life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. The partnership, which is effective immediately, will elevate Make-A-Wish Foundation’s digital marketing strategy in New Zealand. It will aim to increase and nurture donors, drive brand awareness and ultimately […]

Quest Apartment Hotels Unveils New Brand Campaign “As Local As You Like It”
  • Campaigns

Quest Apartment Hotels Unveils New Brand Campaign “As Local As You Like It”

Quest Apartment Hotels’ local business owners will take centre stage as the global serviced apartment operator unveils its new brand platform being brought to market with a multi-million-dollar omni-channel campaign. Named “As Local As You Like It” and responding to consumer appetite for authentic local experiences, Quest will invite guests to check in and check […]

The Australian Marks 10 Years Digital Subscription Milestone
  • Media

The Australian Marks 10 Years Digital Subscription Milestone

The Australian is celebrating a decade since it became the first general newspaper in Australia to launch its digital subscription model, marking the beginning of a new economic model for Australian newspapers. Since launching, digital subscriptions have grown to represent a majority of The Australian’s total reach, paid audience and consumer revenue. In 10 years […]

My Muscle Chef Nabs UM’s Liam Loan-Lack For Head Of Marketing
  • Marketing

My Muscle Chef Nabs UM’s Liam Loan-Lack For Head Of Marketing

My Muscle Chef (MYMC) has announced the appointment of Liam Loan-Lack (main photo) to  head of marketing based in Sydney. The company has further appointed two additional senior marketing leaders as part of its growth strategy. Loan-Lack  has spent the last decade working in agencies in both Australia and the UK partnering with some of […]

Arletta Turnbull Joins Strategic Insights Consultancy, Nature
  • Marketing

Arletta Turnbull Joins Strategic Insights Consultancy, Nature

Leading strategic insights consultancy Nature today announced the recruitment of Arletta Turnbull as director in Melbourne, plus a series of new hires in its Melbourne office. Turnbull joins after five years at The Evolved Group, where she was head of insights and consulting, leading a team to deliver strategic research through technology programs. At Nature, […]

PodSpot Studios Expand To Sydney & Gold Coast
  • Media

PodSpot Studios Expand To Sydney & Gold Coast

PodSpot Studios, the first network of purpose-built studios founded by content creator and former breakfast radio host Dave Matthews, has launched in two new locations as it gears up for further national expansion amid Australia’s podcasting boom. PodSpot Studios is a collaboration between Matthews’ podcast production company PodSpot and the ASX-listed WOTSO Property, which owns and […]

Cricket Australia Unveils Ashes Campaign “It Just Means More” Via Apparent
  • Campaigns

Cricket Australia Unveils Ashes Campaign “It Just Means More” Via Apparent

As Cricket fans everywhere will tell you, we’re only weeks away from the start of the 2021/22 Men’s and Women’s Ashes series. To mark the occasion and promote the sport’s greatest rivalry, Cricket Australia has launched their largest fully integrated campaign of the season, via creative and media agency Apparent. The work, under the campaign line […]

NSW Government Launches “Feel New” Travel Campaign Via Leos
  • Campaigns

NSW Government Launches “Feel New” Travel Campaign Via Leos

The benefits and transformative powers of feeling have long been the subject of research reports and medical studies. The experience of travel is not only beneficial to our wellbeing, but even the act of travel planning makes us happier. These truths are at the heart of the new tourism campaign launched today by the NSW […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Principals Appoints Rachel Terkelsen To Creative Director
  • Advertising

Principals Appoints Rachel Terkelsen To Creative Director

Branding design agency Principals has appointed Rachel Terkelsen to head up creative for its Melbourne office. Terkelsen joins Principals after spending nine years at PUSH Collective. She has been with PUSH since its inception following lengthy stints at both FutureBrand and Interbrand as well as five years running her own practice, Terkelsen Design. An award-winning […]

Tinkerbell Is Putting Vegemite On Pizza
  • Marketing

Tinkerbell Is Putting Vegemite On Pizza

Over the years, VEGEMITE has been largely misunderstood across the globe, with Aussies often having to defend the spread and detail exactly “how to” best enjoy the stuff. But as it turns out, Australians have been getting it wrong this whole time! VEGEMITE and Thinkerbell ventured to food mecca New York to recruit Brooklyn Master […]

Subway Makes Return To High Seas With ‘Sink A Sub’ Battleship Game
  • Campaigns

Subway Makes Return To High Seas With ‘Sink A Sub’ Battleship Game

Subway has this week, officially launched its digital game Sink A Sub, with the first $10,000 prize already being awarded to a lucky recipient in Queensland. Subway’s Sink A Sub game is a user-friendly experience based on the infamous naval war board game Battleship. It was successfully launched for the first time in 2020 as […]

NITV Appoints Peter Noble To General Manager
  • Media

NITV Appoints Peter Noble To General Manager

National Indigenous Television (NITV) has announced the appointment of Peter Noble as general manager, to support the continued growth and evolution of the channel dedicated to First Nations voices and perspectives. Noble (pictured) a proud Girramay and Bandjin man, joins NITV with more than 20 years’ experience in the media industry, working across content disciplines […]

Queen Of Aussie Pop Culture Abbie Chatfield Signs Podcast Deal With LiSTNR
  • Media

Queen Of Aussie Pop Culture Abbie Chatfield Signs Podcast Deal With LiSTNR

Reality TV star, influencer and unabashed over-sharer Abbie Chatfield has signed with SCA to bring her hugely popular and fiercely candid podcast, It’s A Lot to Australia’s biggest audio content creator –  LiSTNR. Chatfield’s never been afraid to call out bad behaviour or tell it like it is. And that’s just what people love about […]

Sydney Headshots; Daniel Sommer Photography; Sydney Headshot Photographer; Daniel Sommer
  • Marketing

Cheetah Digital Announces Major CM Group Merger

CM Group, a portfolio of martech companies focused on multichannel digital marketing, today announced its merger with Cheetah Digital under the CM Group name. The merger expands and enhances both CM Group’s and Cheetah Digital’s ability to deliver innovative email, omnichannel, personalization, and loyalty solutions. The combined company will own a broad array of technologies […]

Smart Accelerates CTV Growth Ambitions Via Publica Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Smart Accelerates CTV Growth Ambitions Via Publica Partnership

Independent ad tech platform Smart has announced a new partnership with connected TV (CTV) ad platform Publica to accelerate its growth ambitions. The integration is a major step in Smart’s commitment to building a scaled, vertically-integrated TV advertising platform for media buyers and sellers following its recent acquisition of global premium CTV demand-side platform (DSP) […]