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The productivity insider

Top insights , stories and advice on productivity
Editor's note

Hey ! 👋

Emna here, CEO and co-founder of Veamly.

We often use the term getting things done to express our intention that the tasks at hand are indeed done. However, since I started Veamly, I couldn't help but notice that getting things done almost never reflects the actual desired status. And it depends on the team and specific circumstances.

To a software developer, done means different things: bug fixed/ticket closed/ passed tests. You can clearly see now where the confusion often happens. Stand-ups run longer and there is always this unbreakable tension that often affects the team morale.

I even co-wrote a feature on Zoom burnout and how to avoid it with Sophia Platt on Thrive Global

I wanted to cover in this issue the fundamentals of getting things done and offer better mechanics for seamless communication across teams.


Get Started with your productivity insider tip

Here’s how you can get your team aligned.

STREAMLINE a clear process and identify key metrics for what needs to be done.

NARROW the  scope of the project to fit within your sprint time-frame. Unrealistic deadlines are the enemy of success.

PROTECT the time of your engineering team during the sprint by reducing distractions.

Graphic of the month :

Hill charts for better visibility

As a product owner who is obsessed with communication, I have realized that "in progress" doesn't convey anything about the actual task at hand especially when there are a lot of unknowns. This is common with developing new features or creating new technology from the ground up. Folks at Basecamp came up with a new term called Hill charts that visually track the progress of the task(in the form of a hill as the name suggests. From absolute uncertainty and figuring things out to complete confidence and flawless execution. However, this technique has a major trade-off(among others) that I will cover in the next section.

Hill Charts - Courtesy of Basecamp

Productivity read :

Hill charts as a technique isn't flawless. My biggest one in my opinion, is leaving the task's difficulty level out of the equation when tracking progress. But There are other blind spots that might hinge your progress. So, before thinking about adopting it within your engineering team's workflow.

Make sure you are aware of these pitfalls

Productivity Video :

With the rise of AI, there is a constant fear that machines wilI take over one day. I don't fear machines. I think machines are here to enhance the human life. We can even learn a thing or two from machines. Actually, I wanted to share with you this video from Ted-Ed on how to be more productive and get things done according to machines.

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