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Internal Communication

Synchronous Meetings

General guidance

Each meeting should have an agenda and it should be shared prior to the meeting, ideally in the calendar item and/or invitation. This allows potential participants to prepare and decide whether attendance is required. Any participant can add items to the agenda. Prefix your item with your name or initials to communicate who's going to talk and lead the discussion. Adding new items to the agenda while the meeting is started is good practice and can be leveraged to keep the currently discussed item focused.

Video meetings should be conducted with cameras on whenever possible. Video helps provide meaningful context to synchronous communication and makes understanding accents easier.

During the meeting

Meetings start on time by the person with the first item on the agenda, verbalize and discuss the item. Once done, hand over to the owner of the next agenda item.

During the meeting, notes should be taken in an inline fashion. Non-participants can then read the agenda after the meeting and are up-to-date without having to scroll to a notes section.

1:1 meetings

Managers should meet at least weekly with each team member. The team member will be responsible for preparing the agenda with focus on goal setting and reporting. The objective of 1:1 meetings is to:

  • Clarify objectives and goals
  • Resolve priority for conflicting items
  • Communicate anything the team member requires to be successful.
  • Raise awareness about issues that threaten progress

Asynchronous communication


Slack is the primary platform that we use for day-to-day conversation internally. We want Slack conversation to reproduce the kind of open communication that happens naturally in the real world. This kind of conversation benefits from the 'watercooler effect' which encourages others to join and to naturally broaden the conversation into a learning process. There are three principles to strive for:

  • Share Be comfortable over-answering a question. More is better! Don't just answer a question. Instead, provide context, explanation, links, pictures or anything else that makes the answer memorable. Assume that if someone is asking a question, they've already done some minimal research. Be respectful of the question and try to understand why it's being asked.

  • In Groups Avoid 1:1 conversations and communicate in shared groups for all normal conversation. Shared groups invite unusual perspectives and benefit everyone. Use private conversations only when privacy is truly needed.

  • Use Threads Prefer to keep discussions in threads. Threads are essential in Slack and provide several benefits. First, they reduce scroll back, and focuses channels. With threads, it is easier for someone to catch up on the conversation and selectively ignore conversations that they are not interested in. Threads also reduce notification noise. If the main conversation occurs in the top-level channel, everyone gets a notification for every message back and forth. By contrast, if the main conversation occurs in a thread, everyone gets a notification when the thread is created but will get no more notifications unless they are participating in the thread.

Note that information in Slack is ephemeral, it should not be used as a system of record for important information. All workspace, private, public, and direct messages are automatically deleted after 90 days. As such knowledge on a decision made in Slack, or elsewhere, should always be recorded in the GitHub issue, Google Document, or represented in this handbook.