Subscribing to The Public Square

Our experiment to fix communication breakdowns caused by private conversations

While on a client, it became a normal practice to have lots of work-related conversations in private: direct chat messages, quick video calls, and email threads that didn’t include everyone, were commonplace. Given the size of the organization, it made complete sense; a constant stream of public messages would mean that we would all become helplessly buried under notification rubble in no time.

What we found, however, was that we were being overly cautious about not wanting to “bother” each other. More and more often, we found ourselves out of the loop, misinformed, and spending lots of time getting each other back up to speed.

The solution we’re experimenting with is to organically introduce having conversations in the “Public Square.” For us, that means a dedicated team channel in Slack that everyone can check-in with: developers, product owners, and stakeholders have a single source for updates and communication.

The idea is to not be afraid to share what you know. A good place to start is to update to the channel when you learn something new. Chances are, if you’re hearing it for the first time, others might need to hear it, too.

· process, teams