No Email!

Thursday, October 20, 2005 – 3:45 PM
Here’s an idea that got floated out of the cross functional team that did the majority of the work on VSTO for Outlook
"Don’t use email to resolve development issues in the ten days before major deadlines."
VSTO and Outlook guru John Durrant sent me the slide deck this was on so I dropped by his office and asked him a bit more about it…
Email is a great tool for asynchronous communication… If your up against a deadline then asynchronous isn’t what you need. You want an answer synchronously… as in NOW! So John’s team, who were all co-located got into the habit of getting up and going and talking to the people involved. John’s take was this was really one of the things that allowed them to hit their goals.
Of course this requirement for immediate intra-team communication is why many agile teams prefer shared workspaces. Obviously a daily standing meeting also fills some of this need, it’s a chance for team members to sync up on issues effecting them.
But even if you’re development environment is very traditional I can see real benefit in using John’s "no email" rule on deadlines. It forces the team to communicate in a much more immediate way.

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