Not every task has to be powered by a Rube Goldberg Machine
I'm a sucker for automation and software tooling.
In the early aughts, I remember loathing that Rube Goldberg machine assignment in Physical Science class where we had to assemble a series of simple machines into a complex system to complete a basic task. My team came up with one where a ball dropped, sled down a ramp, ran into a doo-hickey—whatever—all to staple some pieces of paper. I could not (and still won't) get past how inefficient, full of effort, and time-consuming it had all been to do something so simple. Lesson learned, streamline the work.
Today, overseeing service delivery requires me to ensure my team can work as efficiently as possible, and most work tasks still look like Rube Goldberg machines.
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The Integrated, Automated Work
Increasing efficiency across my team so they can focus on the work that makes the most impact is the assignment of my dreams. To name a few, automation is sprinkled throughout our process:
Productboard's integration with Intercom automatically ingests designated customer feedback and relates it to emergent features that we build into our product;
Jira's integration with Productboard automatically assigns and reassigns issues to right the team member as features are pushed into it;
Gitlab's integration with Jira automatically updates issue statuses with simple code merges;
Postman's integration with Jira automatically generates bug issues from our code-level automated tests; and
Testim's integration with Slack automatically generates a message with the results of our automated smoke tests
I've even thrown in some humorous automated messages in Slack to keep us all on task and in sync with our collective goals (click the media below to view full image).
(Nothing makes me more discombobulated than Jira issues whose statuses are inaccurate. If you're the same as me, here's a link to gifs you can use to remind your team to update their tickets: Software Delivery Gifs for the Graceful & Patient Scrum-Master/Project-Manager)
Powering all of this, though, is our integration of tools across work streams. As integrated as we are in one another's work, so is our tooling. The automation reduces unnecessary meetings, allows us to focus on deeper conversations, systematizes routine actions into a mechanized ecosystem, and frees us up to collectively think about bigger goals rather than menial tasks.
Gearing Up for Q3 - 2022
Thinking of what teams can anticipate heading into Q3-2022, efficiency will be the name of the game. For the work of teams to remain core to the business, now more than ever, it is key that we embed ourselves in work across the organization and ensure our efforts contribute to the success of our colleagues.