Categories: Founder's Blog


Sam Bayer


HITting people at Corevist

It is true that we have First Degree and Fourth Degree Taekwondo Black Belts on staff at Corevist (yours truly and Master Ray Mannion respectively).  It is also true that Black Belts have been known to hit people and break boards under crazy conditions.  But I assure you that we’re not a violent company.  However, as part of our Agile evolution, last week we did decide that we are going to HITeach other as part of our daily standup routine.

Well, we aren’t actually going to hit each other (which would be impossible anyway since our daily standups are held in the virtual world of Google Hangouts) but we’re replacing the magic standup three questions about yesterday, today and obstacles, with our own HIT format (Help InformTeach).

Instead of everyone taking their turn telling the team what they accomplished yesterday (which actually devolved into what they “did” yesterday…which has nothing to do with “accomplishing anything”), what they plan on doing today and what obstacles they have, we’re starting right off with dealing with the obstacles.

Our first order of business is to ask for Help…if we need it.  Or, if we have a lull in activities, offer our Help to whomever might want/need it.

The assumption here is that everyone knows what they should be working on.  And if they don’t, they ask for Help in figuring that out.

Speaking of knowing what we’re working on…we have a simple hierarchy of priorities that governs our days at Corevist and, of course, it has an acronym as well, (you know I love acronyms) they are the 5 P’s – Production, Projects, Prospects, Product, Process.  We also have a Corporate Calendar that has every significant Milestone in public view.  At the very least, every one of our Focus Groups and GoLive dates are fully visible to everyone in the company.  But that’s all blog fodder for another day.

Asking for Help is not a demerit.  Just the opposite, it’s rewarded.  It’s a sign that we’re human, we don’t want to waste time or make big mistakes, and we’re eager to learn something new or accomplish something important.  Asking for Help (and offering it) is part of the team culture that we value so much.

The demerit comes in when a team member knew that they should have asked for help and didn’t.  The consequences are usually a a negative impact on our clients, their customers or our profitability… none of which we’re very happy with at all.  We know that the technological world is a complex place to live in, we really don’t need to make it more difficult by fueling it with our own hubris.

Once we get past asking for Help, we Inform (or Inspire) our colleagues of things that we think are of interest to them.  I’m hoping that we’ll take the time to share anecdotes of things we’re seeing in our production support activities and on our various implementation projects, results of conversations we’ve had with partners or prospective clients etc.  These aren’t necessarily “actionable” tidbits (I can hear the tsking Agilists).  But they are things that anchor all of us to our rapidly evolving business.

Lastly, if there is something that we learned yesterday that we think could be of value to our fellow team members, we should strive to Teach them.  Or, at least let them know the headline and schedule some time to get together to share in more depth.  It could be something as simple as a better way to use one of our many internal tools.  A new way to debug code.  Anything that you’ve invested time in that you think could add value to a colleague’s day.

If you don’t have anything to HIT anyone with during the meeting, it’s OK to pass for the day.  Just listen up and see what’s going on with the rest of the team.  However, I can’t imagine going more than a couple of days without wanting to HIT someone.

Now if I can only figure out a way to get people to stay off of their PCs during the standup and really be in the moment.

That makes me so mad I wish I could just reach through monitor and…