Project Management

The Remote Revolution: A Secret Weapon in the War for Talent

Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

As all-remote teams have become more popular, it is useful to examine organizations using this format effectively for some time. GitLab is one such organization I have written about before. It was deliberately all-remote, with no offices, long before the pandemic. Yet, it successfully manages over 1,250 people spread across 66 countries, building a suite of interconnected software solutions for 30 million users.

For a modern software company building agile and DevOps tools, it uses many documentation-heavy processes. It has extensive onboarding documentation, and its employee handbook would fill over 8,000 pages if printed. It also relies heavily on documentation for coordination and communication.

For agile practitioners, this likely seems suboptimal. If people are remote, why not make more use of two-way video communications? It is higher bandwidth than documentation and allows people to get their questions answered immediately. Video can also convey emotion better than written communications. The answer, of course, is asynchronous access.

Anywhere, Anytime
A vital perk/differentiator to help Gitlab hire the best people is the flexibility to work from anywhere you like, whenever you want. Before COVID restricted travel, many workers traveled and worked extensively.

As a kid, I surfed in the chilly waters of Cornwall’s Atlantic coast and watched films like


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"Don't play the saxophone. Let it play you."

- Charlie Parker