My Simple Agile Framework to Work Async-first

In this video you'll learn how to get started with The 1-Workshop Workweek - an agile framework that helps your team work together asynchronous-first

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The 1-Workshop Workweek is an agile framework that helps your team work together asynchronous-first:

  • 🗓️ Have fewer and more productive meetings.
  • 🧠 Always find the info you need, in your team's collective brain.
  • 💪 Increase accountability, and get more work done as a team.

I just launched The 1-Workshop Workweek on Distributed '22 hosted by Miro! 🍾

If you're ready for the new way of working, I made this for you.

Video transcript

According to a recent Microsoft study, 87% of employees feel productive while working hybrid, yet only 12% of leaders have complete confidence that their team is actually productive.

The problem is that employers fear that they're losing control if they can't see their employees working as they could in the office.

That's why lots of companies have recreated the office online with back-to-back video meetings in an attempt to keep everyone on the same page.

But this comes at the cost of employees productivity and wellbeing.

There are different ways of working hybrid, but the 60 40 model that a lot of conservative companies are choosing right now is the most difficult way to work hybrid, because it requires a team to be great at in-person online and hybrid meetings.

But the fact is that most meetings are a waste of time, and there's virtual workflow instead of helping you be more productive.

And that's why most people hate meetings, but meetings are still the go-to method for giving updates, brainstorming and making.

But actually there's a better way enabling your team to work asynchronously first.

Working async first is the opposite of working real time first.

So instead of collaborating with meetings, you can use tools like Miro to brainstorm asynchronously, post updates, request feedback, and give visibility into what everyone is working on.

I'm in the Miro Expert Program and I've helped many teams to design digital products asynchronously, define their way of working, and even create the curriculum for courses asynchronously working.

Async first means that you have fewer and better meetings and can get more work done as a team.

But working towards a async first approach can be difficult.

So in this video, I will show you how to get started with the 1-Workshop Workweek with the use of a mirror template.

And if you want to, you can copy the template.

Just go to this.

The 1-Workshop Workweek is an Agile framework that helps your team work together.

Async first.

This means fewer and more productive meetings so your team gets more work done.

It enables your team to work anywhere they want and whenever they are most productive.

And by the way, you might not know me.

I'm Agile Arthur.

I'm the founder of Workshop Wednesday, and I help tech teams to work better together.

I've been working in and with virtual team since 2005 as an online gamer, software developer, Agile coach, and a remote work.

Right now I'm working with other remote experts to craft The 1-Workshop Workweek, which is an Agile framework that helps you apply the principles of the best remote companies like GitLab, doist, and Stripe.

If you want to get started with working Async first, then you can follow along with the steps in this mirror template.

In this Miro template, you see a workshop you can do with your team to get started with the 1-Workshop Workweek.

So we have a couple of steps over here.

Let's start at the goal of today.

This is an Async team agreements Workshop.

So it's kind of like a kickoff Workshop that you can do with your team to start working together.

Towers an async first way of working using the 1-Workshop Workweek framework.

This Workshop will help your team answer the question, how might we get more work done together, async first, and just explain to why already.

So let's move towards the how, and those are five steps.

The first one is watching this video.

So you're almost done with.

Then sharing this template with your team, you can do so in the top right corner, run this Workshop with your team, and then start your first 1-Workshop Workweek because you will learn the most by doing and the work inspect.

Improve Cycle helps you to focus on improving 1% every day, eliminating meetings at your own pace, and documenting decisions by updating your knowledge base and team task list.

The Workshop starts with giving an overall idea of the 1-Workshop work.

It's an Agile framework that helps your team work together, async-first, so you can have fewer and better meetings, more time for getting things done, work anywhere you want and whenever you're most productive, it helps you to move from an agenda like this with back to back meetings, towards a agenda where you have more control over your day and more time for deep work.

You can do so by using your communication tools in a different way, because on a meeting, first way of working, which you see on the left.

There is a lot of use of tools like Slack, zoom, or Microsoft teams or maybe face-to-face meetings for real-time communication.

And the problem with that is that everything is urgent.

And probably because of that you have back-to-back meetings.

It's hard to get work done, and if someone is not in the room, be it physical or virtual, then they're missing out on the conversation.

So we want to flip this pyramid and work async.

We want to make more use of a team knowledge base, a team task list, so that we can have less real-time communication.

The benefits of that is that you only have one weekly Workshop, no other meetings.

You always know your priorities.

You have blocks of focus work, and you're always in the loop even if you're not part of the real-time conversation.

Now, why I'm such a big fan of Miro is because it can help you with all these different layers of communication.

You can plug it in into existing tools.

If you want to, it can even replace those tools, for example, to become your team knowledge base.

But the important thing about ASIN communication is that you wanna create a collective brain for your team.

So your Team Knowledge Base and your Team Task List are the single-source-of-truth. 

They’re always up to date with the latest information, so that everyone in your team knows what has been discussed and what decisions have been made. 

Even if they were not part of the discussion.

I will explain the team knowledge base and team task list in a bit, but the overall idea of the 1-Workshop Workweek is that you have one weekly workshop. 

A well designed weekly Workshop makes all other meetings obsolete and you can work together towards async-first practices of working together.

So your weekly Workshop is the only meeting you have as a team, and it has three parts.

Work on new insights, improve your way of working and plan your next week.

It has a maximum duration of three hours, and if you can finish faster, then that's great.

Of course.

Now you might be thinking, what about my other meetings.

So the overall idea is that you don't have any other meetings with more than three people involved because it's usually best to wait until the weekly Workshop.

But some other meetings that might be helpful are one-on-ones pair programming or pair problem solving.

Now, to be able to do that, your async communication needs to be on its A-game.

So if you want to learn more about async communication, look at another video I created.

But the basic idea is that you wanna move from meeting first, where a lot of communication is happening face to face via video call or phone call to an async wave, working with shared documents, pre-recorded videos or audio messages, and to give an example of what can be done, async first status updates, sharing information, brainstorming planning, problem solving, decision making of them can be done async.

But working together, async first takes practice and depending on the needs of your team, it might change.

So there's an exercise in the Workshop, which will help your team to decide how they wanna move towards async.


Maybe you're already doing some things async first that you want to continue doing or do more of.

In the second step, you can list the things you wanna stop doing real time.

And then the third step is the things you wanna start doing.

A Synchron.

Use this area to brainstorm ideas with your team.

Ask them to write down their ideas asynchronously.

So this could be before a real time meeting, or if you wanna do it in a meeting, then give some time for silent thinking.

So set a timer for four minutes and then ask them to write down their answers here before you start discussing that with each other.

After you've decided how you want to move towards acing first, there's also a second exercise that you can do with.

To set expectations about availability, how to handle urgent things, what communication channels you want to use, and how you can see if other people are available.

And after you've done that, it's time to design your team knowledge base.

Your team knowledge base is your single source of truth which enables you to work together.

Async first.

It's a place where you store all team knowledge.

It increases team productivity, and it's easier to onboard new team members.

Your knowledge base can be built in a notion in Google Docs, in Confluence, in click up.

It can be even built in Miro, but it is important that everyone knows where to find it and that it's up to date.

So a good exercise to do if you already have a current knowledge base, is to ask your team what's missing in that knowledge base.

What's given problems or is bothering people, and what do you really like about the current knowledge.

This is all great input for keeping up to date and improving your team knowledge base.

In the next exercise, you can ask your team to pick the building blocks or topics they find important in the team knowledge base that still needs to be put in.

I've included many examples in these templates.

You can find questions below those examples to pick the topics that makes most sense for your team.

Then up to the team task list.

And a team task list is your single source of truth as well.

But this one is about connecting your daily work with your team's goals and.

It helps you to visualize the work in progress, always know what's next, and find decisions that have been made.

It's a prioritized list.

So similar to the product backlog Scrum, the most important things are on the top.

The things that you will do later in time are lower on the list.

The idea is that it will only be worked on, if it is on the team task list.

So everything from tasks, discussions, documents, debates, decisions improvement.

If it's something that isn't task that your team has to do, it has to be put on a team tasks list because otherwise there will be confusion about priorities and when you confuse, you lose.

Similar to the knowledge base, it's important that your team knows where to find the project management tool.

So it could be notion Jira, Asana, click up, or even Miro.

And once you have picked that tool, it's important to make agreements about how others can see a new work item as started.

How others can see someone is stuck on a work item.

And what conditions your done work items need to meet.

Now, creating the team task list is a whole exercise on its own, but, uh, overall ideas that you want.

Connect the mission efficient of the company with your daily execution by picking the best possible strategy.

So work together with your team to make sure all tasks, discussions, documents, debates, decisions and actions are in your team task list.

And only break it down into smaller tasks when you actually start working on the item.

Now, we're almost there with The 1-Workshop Workweek. Still, an important part is to set accountability standards, and we can do that by making use of automated questions, automated questions on a regular schedule.

Help us practice sharing, writing, and communi.

Automated questions help for higher accountability, faster and better feedback loops, and to improve your asing habits and skills.

An inspiring company when it comes to automatic questions is Basecamp.

They have their own two Basecamp, which you can use for this, which can help you to set automatic dailies, weeklys, or basically automatic reminders whenever you want.

It'll send a question to your team, and then you have a dedicated page where everyone in a team can answer this.

So Basecamp is a tool that you can use, but of course you can also just plan it in your calendar.

You can make use of Slack and uh, set outer reminders over there.

And also in notion you can set recurring events.

So brainstorm with your team what automated questions will help them learn more about their work and each other.

There are some examples included the air as well, so the automatic weekly, the weekend highlight trivia, the automatic daily.

You can use those as inspiration, but of course, feel free to add your.

After you've picked automated questions that make most sense to you, put it over here.

So the question will be over here, and then ask your team to practice with it.

So if it's an automatic daily, what is the question.

And then ask them, give them some time to practice, to review each other's answers, and then give feedback on it, because that's a great way to learn communication.

So that's a quick overview on how to get started with the 1-Workshop Workweek.

After you've done this session with your team, start your first 1-Workshop Workweek.

And then a week after do the weekly Workshop to review the progress that has been made and to plan your next week, because this will give you feedback loops and it's all about working and inspecting and improving.

Focus on improving 1% every day.

Eliminate your other meetings at your own pace, and then document your decisions by updating your team knowledge base and team task list.

Now, if you need extra help or want to learn faster with your team, then one of the ways to do that is with our hybrid work team training.

It's a four week program that will help you and your.

To get from the old way.

So the meeting first approach to the new way, the Async first approach using our deal framework to define, eliminate practice, async and liberate your team from the Meeting First approach, it's a four week program with personal coaching, personal work life team workshops, and on demand videos, and that's how you get more work done together.


First, I wish you the best and fun with getting started with the 1-Workshop work.

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