Speed matters. To drive change in an industry defined by legacy, we have to constantly try new things to deliver solutions as quickly as possible. Making rapid progress - one step at a time - requires an enabling environment, one which can handle the pace. Here are three guiding principles we incorporate into our daily workflows to nurture this environment:
- Document everything
- Share early to get feedback early
- Iterate at least four times before shipping to the customer
Here’s a closer look at each one.
Documenting everything might sound like it will slow you down and prevent you from solving problems as quickly as you can. At Root, we know that documentation actually helps you move faster and avoid mistakes as you benefit from immediate, asynchronous input and feedback. Speed sits alongside various other benefits of documentation, such as:
- Forcing discipline to plan and think deeply
- Avoiding silos
- Creating a solid papertrail for learning and context available to new joiners as we scale
Because we work with a lot of documentation, we built a Slack integration called Rio. Simply type “/doc [name of document]” and hit enter to bring up a menu of all of the different types of template documents suited to what you’re busy solving. A link to your document will immediately spin up in Slack (we love Rio, it’s epic!).
Rio forces standardisation and eliminates the need to spend any mindshare deciding on formats, layouts, fonts or colours. We can immediately focus on content to ship it, fast!
You can read more about how we use Slack to communicate with each other and our partners here.
Share early to get feedback early
We believe that the best way to get ahead is to get going, get feedback and iterate. Starting means immediately sharing our work so that others have visibility, context and the ability to give input. This helps us stay on track to, ultimately, move forward faster. Creating the surface area for this type of collaboration optimises for fast turnaround times and high-quality output.
Every time we create a new project document using Rio, Slack sends the following message to the channel it was created in:
This makes it easy for anyone following the channel to jump onto your document and chip in, as you progress from planning to creating to shipping. Getting into the habit of sharing early means that we don’t waste time going down rabbit holes. We receive feedback on early iterations to start moving in the right direction faster.
Rio also helps us keep communication transparent and aligned to our #PublicByDefault virtue.
Iterate at least four times before delivering to the end customer
While speed is important to our organisation, it means very little if the work we’re producing does not meet our quality standards. Rushing through projects to ship fast is not helpful if solutions don’t lead to long-term fixes. We make sure that our work is of the highest quality by iterating at least four times before shipping to our end customer. We believe that input * iteration = high-quality output.
For example, to write this blog post, I used our Blog Post Rio template. It prompts me to go through the following steps:
- Meta planning: To start with, I need to scope out the message and intent of the article so that I know why I’m writing it and what I want the end piece to achieve. This keeps me aligned to our Start with Why virtue.
- Structuring: Here, I take all my ideas and map them out to get an idea of how the overall piece will fit together.
- Writing: When I have a rough idea of what I want to share, I expand my bullet points from the structure phase into paragraphs to get to my first draft.
- Getting feedback from the team: Sharing early means that I get suggestions from the team immediately. This process usually consists of multiple asynchronous feedback rounds until we’re happy with the final product.
We’re looking for people to join our team.
If our “Move Fast and Ship Things” approach resonates with you, take a look at our careers page to see if we have a role open for you. If not, you can apply anyway by selecting “Don’t see a role for you?” and we’ll get back to you when something suitable opens up!