Clear Structure For Remote Teams

Noah Beddome

VP of Security Engineering at Datadog



"I work remotely, and I hired a security team of three people who were also all working remotely. The first couple of works were really easy because we all went onsite to New York and worked together. However, after this, we split back up and didn't have any organization set up around how we would collaborate."

Actions taken

"I sat down and wrote a document listing how often we would talk, how we would handle problems, and how we would work together. It mapped out that we would have two stand up meetings and two longer working sessions a week. I also allowed some time during each of the working sessions to just chat about things other than work and to build relationships. I also added open office hours so other people from outside of our team could come in and I split our standups up, so one was external-facing, and the other just consisted of the security team so they could talk among themselves and vent if they needed to."

"I found that providing structure around when we need to get on calls to talk to one another and when we can work independently with Hangouts just on in the background has resulted in the team becoming really close. When we added another team member they were able to hit the ground running because what was expected of them was very clear. Recently, they commented to me that the team felt really cohesive, there was a good tempo, and everybody felt hooked in."

Lessons learned

"When working remotely you need to schedule in both social and work-focussed time and it's useful to provide a clear structure around when and how you should communicate with each other. Remote teams can be very effective, but you have to put the time in to map out what would otherwise be taken for granted."

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Noah Beddome

VP of Security Engineering at Datadog

CommunicationOrganizational StrategyTeam & Project Management

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