2: War Rooms

CrunchBase 2.0 development is well into high gear now. While everyone in the team is accomplishing a ton and working efficiently, we were still running into many blockers and gaps in spite of our best efforts, both from a process and team point-of-view. To address some of these, a few weeks ago we decided that the entire team of 10 engineers and the product lead, will work together in a common, enclosed space and try to mimic a war room, hackathon-style working environment until we relaunch.

While I expected this to benefit our situation, I was initially concerned if it would feel forced. However, the result surprised me — everyone took to it with the right spirit and it felt organic. So far, it has worked wonders for us. We are moving at a much faster pace, identifying potential problems ahead of time, coming up with simple and effective solutions to problems, and unblocking each other quicker. The energy in the room is palpable and there is a buzz akin to a hackathon.

In my previous gig at Qualcomm, we did some war-rooming the closer we got to the software release date and inevitably things moved faster.

While this working model/style may not be appropriate for very long periods of time or large teams, I would say it is probably the best mode of working for groups of 2-3 when they are collaborating on a project. When the project/feature is done, team members rotate to other projects and this continues.