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#241 – Remote Strategic Planning

February 26th, 2021

This week, Parabol kicked off its strategic planning process.

When your entire team is remote and distributed, working toward strategic alignment is tough. We’ve always been remote, even pre-pandemic but we’ve always done strategic planning in person. Since the pandemic we’ve had to adapt along with everybody else and find a way that works.

Here’s the process we’ve implemented and tweaked on for the 3 planning cycles we’ve conducted since the world went into lockdown:

  • Brief writing: executives and founders take a week to write a one-page strategic brief together, with multiple planning horizons spanning the immediate to the far future
  • Brief iteration: the brief is shared with the company asynchronously (with an accompanying video) describing the thinking behind the strategy, questions and reactions
  • Plan formation: executives draft a more detailed plan for the quarter, which is improved by individual teams during the synchronous part of Parabols’s week-long team retreat

End to end, the process takes 3 weeks to complete; each step above takes roughly a week.

Later on in the year we’ll be looking at defining what the conditions in the world will need to be before we gather in person, but we expect we’ll largely keep this process intact changing only the final step in our strategic development process to be done in person. We look forward to that day!

Metrics

Metrics for Parabol Friday Ship 241Green lights across the metrics dashboard this week—top of funnel growth and the number of meetings ran being the stand-out numbers. It’s been sweet to watch how quickly folks are making our Sprint Poker tool a part of their workflow, with its adoption now roundly unseating our Check-In meeting for the #2 spot in product feature popularity.

This week we…

published our latest blog on psychological safety. We wrote this one with an eye toward giving practical advice, we hope you enjoy it.

published new navigation elements for our marketing site. If you’re reading this blog on parabol.co, the elements are at the top and bottom of this page.

conducted over a dozen interviews. We’re meeting some great folks, we’re honored they’re interested in joining forces.

shipped v6.1.0. Parabol now includes a robust message transport between the server and clients. If an application-layer message is dropped in error, the clients will eventually catch up and receive the missing data. This will improve the overall experience for lots of folks. We also made a few bug fixes.

revised our color palette. Terry (who leads design here at Parabol) gives a walkthrough of his process for our team:

 

Next week we’ll…

wrap up Sprint 74.

get input on next quarter’s strategy from the team. And, we’ll also get ready to break for a week while we attend our 17th team retreat, once again, fully remotely.



Have feedback? See something that you like or something you think could be better? Leave a public response here, or write to us.

Jordan Husney

Jordan Husney spent 20+ years helping technology serve people. His passion for collaboration, agile development, and remote teams led him to start Parabol, a free online retrospective tool.

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