Ed Taekema - Road Warrior Collaboration 15.1.2004

January 2004
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A blog looking at business communication, knowledge management, scripting tools, OS technology news and other things of interest to mobile tech workers. As I find interesting news this will also contain pointers to thoughts related to configuration managment, change management and general software development.

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Analyst Best Practices #4: Working in Distributed Teams

Jeff Nichols over at Pervasive Computing has been running an excellent series of posts about good practices for analysts / consultants that are great guides. As a Road Warrior Consultant / Analysis I am finding them very helpful. Here are links to the first set in the series:

And now he has some rules for working in distributed teams. Unlike Jeff, in my experience as a consultant, the travel has not decreased since 9-11. These guidelines, however, are still helpful because as a team, all my peers are remote. So here they are, suggestions for how to collaborate effectively as a member of a distributed team:


  • Use the time with your client/sponsor wisely. Come to meetings prepared, have an agenda, have a recommendation if possible.

  • Send your client/sponsor lots of FYI messages as the work progresses. This gives them insight into your thinking, your solution process, and lets them feel comfortable that you're "on the job".

  • Make sure you get a 2nd or even 3rd set of eyes on any communication to the masses before it's published. Communication sensitivity increases with the square of the audience size.

  • Take pride in your written communications. Check for spelling and grammar errors, even in email. No one wants a sloppy analyst solving their problem.

  • Be clear; be precise. The analyst's job is to bring clarity to projects.

  • Assume all email is read aloud, publicly, by you, in front of everyone you know. There is no such thing as a private email.

  • Never, ever write an email when irritated or upset. If you're tempted, take a break. Deliver bad news or disagree by voice or in person, preferably one-one.


posted at 13:48:32    #
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