Support Team Rituals

Team rituals help maintain healthy communication, boundaries, and expectations between teammates and as a team. Our rituals can and should evolve as our team evolves. It is welcome to iterate on and experiment with our rituals.

Asynchronous collaboration

In order to stay in touch throughout the week and support each other, we share the following in our #customer-support-internal Slack channel…

  • Weekly planning. Every Monday we take some time to orient ourselves and then share with each other our intentions for the week.
  • Daily captain’s log. Every day as we go about our days, we share things we learn/read/hear that are important for us to all know. Yes, we are all in the same channels, but a lot happens in Slack every day and this is how we collectively stay on top of things.
  • Weekly reflection. Every Friday we take some time to reflect on the week and share a summary with each other.
  • As-needed what you missed compilation. When someone is not working, before they are out, they share a doc for the rest of the team to populate with anything we want to be sure they are aware of from when they were away

Synchronous collaboration

In order to get some purposeful face-time in with each other, we convene synchronously over Zoom each week for…

  • CS team planning and retrospective where we consider what is going well vs not, discuss, brainstorm, and share important information; more details in on our team meeting norms.
  • Weekly social gathering to gather and just chat as humans; more details in on our team meeting norms.
  • Collaboration time to discuss cases that we need help with, things we’ve learned that we’re excited about and would like to share with the team
  • Weekly support donut pairing is an auto pairing for those in the #customer-support-weekly-pairing channel to get paired together for a social chat.

Communication

In order to maintain healthy communication, we…

  • We populate and refer to our team README to orient ourselves for working with each other
  • We honor that not everyone writes/speaks English as their first language and use Grammarly and HemingwayApp to help make sure we are saying what we intend
  • We rotate who facilitates our weekly planning/retro session so that we normalize hearing each other and noticing when someone isn’t getting a chance to talk
  • We create succinct title-like first posts and share details in the thread in #customer-support-internal. This is our most active channel and doing this makes it easier to find threads we might need a day or two later. We still make sure the handbook is our source of truth, not Slack; this just helps keep things easier to navigate whilst talking about multiple topics.

An occasional challenge of being async by default is there can be a lot to read in Slack. To ensure that we stay as informed as possible and set healthy boundaries around Slack, for the following channels we do the following

  • #customer-support: We stay attentive as this is where we collaborate with everyone outside of support. If there is a question/request, you have the agency to assist. We are a fully remote team and it is our responsibility to ensure our teammates feel supported. Leadership note: If there is a specific @cs-leadership mention an online member of the leadership team is expected to respond within 24 hours (this time frame is for each thread)
  • #customer-support-internal: We read EVERY single thread even those that are posted when we are not working within 24 hours of it being posted to stay aligned with our teammates and emoji react accordingly so we all have confirmation we are on the same page.
  • #announcements: We read every single thread by the end of each week to stay informed of what is happening more broadly across the entire organization.
  • #customer-support-triage: whoever is responsible pays close attention to that channel, as well as the manual triage channels, and actively asks for coverage if needing to be AFK.
  • #eng-announce: We read every single thread by the end of the week to stay informed of what is happening across the product/engineering organization.
  • #technical-customer-collaboration: Where customer-facing technical teams collaborate in support of customer questions and issues.

Expectations

In order to keep the air clear with each other, we do the following:

  • We honor our Sourcegraph values, code of conduct, and team ethos
  • We make it clear when are committing to do something, we make it equally clear when we cannot, and we adjust and communicate accordingly when life happens
  • We let each other know immediately when we are feeling like it’s anything other than feasible to get done what we have committed to doing
  • We let each other know immediately the moment we realize something we committed to doing may be at risk somehow

When we are away from our keyboard (afk) or out of office (ooo)

If you are going to away from your keyboard (afk) or out of office (ooo) – planned or unplanned, the team relies on you using your agency to make sure what you ensure there is a plan to cover what have committed to being responsible for. Please refer to our PTO guidelines for more details.