How to Combat Zoom Fatigue: Synchronous vs. Asynchronous Communication

How to Combat Zoom Fatigue Synchronous vs Asynchronous CommunicationIt’s 4 p.m. and you’ve got a welcome call with your newest team member. Ideally, you’d feel full of life, ready to welcome her with enthusiasm and get her excited about the weeks to come.

Problem is, this is your 6th video call of the day and you’re overrun with Zoom fatigue.

You’ve been turned “on” (not in a good way) for the last 7 hours and are severely lacking in enthusiasm, let alone excitement.

The worst thing is, the majority of those meetings were unnecessary, everything covered in them could’ve been communicated asynchronously.

Simply put, asynchronous communication involves communicating remotely without expecting an immediate response. This can be done via iMessage, pre-recorded video/audio, making suggestions to an existing project (think: Google Docs/Sheets, Github, Jira).

The challenge is knowing, when and how to use synchronous vs. asynchronous communication methods. Fortunately, this post is here to teach you just that so you can avoid Zoom fatigue and stop being real-time, all the time. Feel free to skip to a specific section of the post using the links below.

Let’s get started! 🚀
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Starting at a Remote Start-Up: My First Month at Process Street

Starting at a Remote Start-Up My First Month at Process Street

Process Street is growing like crazy. Every day I open up Slack, there’s someone new to welcome to the team. It’s like a mini virtual party every day with less cake. 🍰

Starting at a remote start-up can be tough – especially if it’s your first time working remotely, or at a start-up, or at a remote start-up. All those first-day jitters are magnified by the fact that you don’t even have a friendly work-buddy in the next office to walk you through it.

Well, you do have the friendly work-buddy; they’re just not in the next office. Or even the same country.

With this in mind, I thought it’d be fun to interrogate our newest teammates. There’s nothing that’ll make you feel like part of the team like getting interrogated by someone you just met so they can publish your innermost thoughts for all of the internet to see. Right? 😉

In this post, I talk to Process Street’s newbies about their first month with us. Please give a round of applause for my lovely volunteers:

Let’s meet the team!
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Create More Time in Your Day with Our New Slack App

slack app

Having everything you need in one single place just makes life easier, doesn’t it?

That’s why Process Street is launching the Slack App.

According to research, the average employee switches between 35 job-critical applications more than 1,100 times every day.

Turn your Slack Workspace into a super-tool for recurring work with our new Slack App. You can receive Process Street notifications, work on tasks, approve or reject decisions or documents, and complete checklists, without ever having to leave Slack 🤯!

Open fewer tabs, work from one place, and add more time back into your day with Process Street’s Slack App.

Sounds good, right?

That’s because it is. But, don’t take our word for it, read this post to get a quick overview of:

Ready to make your life easier?
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The Inside Secrets of a Process Street Full Stack Engineer

The Inside Secrets of a Process Street Full Stack Engineer

Until a few weeks ago, I had no idea what exactly a full-stack engineer was, let alone what the role entailed. I know, I know – I work for a tech startup, I should know these things.

You’re right; I should.

So, to educate myself, I sat down with one of Process Street’s engineers, Herbie Porter, to discuss what he does, his first year at Process Street, and the art of making pandemic cocktails:

It is my privilege to introduce you to…
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UX Research Methods: Behind the Scenes At Process Street

UX Research Methods Behind the Scenes At Process Street

Jonathan Bond is a Process Street Staff Product Designer, Star Wars fan, and human problem solver. Reach him on Twitter @jrbond.

The path you actually take in life is often wildly different from the one you thought you’d take. I spent years undertaking a fine arts degree. However, after I graduated, I wanted to get my hands metaphorically dirty (and literally cleaner — goodbye, paint!) by going into graphic design.

Initially, I bounced between various agencies doing what you’d expect any freelance graphic designer to do: logos and websites. While it was interesting and paid the bills, there was a new buzzword on the block in 2010 that sounded even more exciting: UX.

“A user interface is like a joke.
If you have to explain it, it’s not that good.”
Martin LeBlanc, CEO

User experience (UX) design is focused on the individual thoughts about a product or service a person might have. It takes into consideration qualitative data like the user’s emotions and attitudes towards a product, as well as the more practical elements like ease of use, efficiency, and so on.

The more I read about UX design, the more I liked what I read. I felt it fit my own design philosophy; I just connected with it. This was something I wanted to be involved in.

As luck would have it, a company that wanted someone to improve their app’s aesthetic hired me to be involved with that. I still didn’t have a clue what I was doing, but I kept reading and studying, and ten years later, I’m still doing that – now at Process Street.

This post will cover:

Let’s begin!
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Tech Out Loud: The Best Tech Posts Delivered Straight To Your Ears

tech out loud

Who resolved to read more this year? ✋

Who actually has? 🙈

Let’s be honest: you’re never actually going to make it through that folder of bookmarked articles you’ve been collecting since last year. Hey – not judging. I’ve been cultivating my own To Be Read monolith for months.

So what’s the deal? How do you catch up with all those industry insights, actionable advice articles, and entrepreneurial retrospectives when there never seems to be any time to, y’know, read?

Simple: let us read them for you.

Introducing Tech Out Loud – the coolest podcast around bringing those must-read articles directly into your waiting ears.
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DACI: Group Decision-Making Made Easy With Our Free Template

DACI: Group Decision-Making Made Easy With Our Free Template

We’ve all been there: an hour and a half into a 45-minute meeting. You’re trying to reach a consensus but as one department makes a suggestion, the next disagrees.

Customer success insists the next product should be geared towards students; sales thinks their parents are a better demographic. Content marketing started out by spitballing potential names until someone brought up the latest Process Street post and they all got sidetracked discussing whether it’s better to use odd or even numbers in a post title. Social marketing is scrolling through newsfeeds and graphic design isn’t even sure what they’re doing in this meeting at all.

It should have been simple: get everyone together, brainstorm ideas, then form a game-plan and timeline to use moving forward. Except no one can agree on anything and, at this rate, the only accomplishment the meeting will have made is wasting everyone’s afternoon.

Group decision-making is complicated. Fortunately, there are processes for that.

You may have already read our post on DECIDE, which is a great decision-making process for individuals. However, what works for an individual does not necessarily translate to a group. In this post, I’m going to introduce you to one of the most popular group decision-making frameworks: DACI.

The DACI (Driver, Approver, Contributors, Informed) decision-making framework is a set of processes geared toward doing just that. As a variant of the RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) responsibility matrix, DACI’s emphasis on decision clarity for complex projects often makes it the go-to framework for product managers.

That’s a lot of acronyms all at once, huh?

Don’t worry. We’ll take it slow – or you can jump straight to the point:

Let’s get some decisions made!
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Master Project Management with the Critical Path Method

Master Project Management with the Critical Path Method

Project management requires a wide spectrum of skills, organizational abilities, and attention to detail to make sure everything moves forward according to plan. A good project manager is able to keep all the plates spinning in sync while making it appear effortless at the same time.

However, the more plates you have spinning at once, the harder this is to accomplish. Critical path method (CPM) is one of the tools project managers can use to create a comprehensive plan and organize complex projects with many moving parts.

In this Process Street post, I’ll take you through the CPM process step-by-step, and then show you how our templates and checklists can take some of the stress out of your project management.

Read on, or feel free to skip ahead:

Let’s jump in!
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5 Essential Lessons I Learned From GitLab’s Marketing Playbook

5 Essential Lessons I Learned From GitLab's Marketing Playbook

Writers are inherently nosy curious. Here at Process Street, we’re no different. So when I was given the opportunity to check out GitLab’s marketing playbook, I jumped at it.

GitLab itself is an interesting company. Completely remote and open source, GitLab’s evolution comes not only from its own development teams, but also contributions from a community of over 3,000 contributors and two million users. Plus it promotes total transparency; all of GitLab’s documentation is freely accessible on their website.

Like I said, interesting place.

There are enough similarities between our two companies, that their approach is particularly valuable in terms of what procedures we might steal learn from to improve our own processes.

And we love improving processes.

In this article, I’ll list the five most important lessons I learned from GitLab’s marketing playbook:

So, let’s get started.
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5 Critical System Failures of the Coronavirus Pandemic

5 Critical System Failures of the Coronavirus Pandemic

At 5 AM on August 29, 2005, the largest drainage canal in New Orleans, the 17th Street Canal, was breached by torrents of water, an hour before Hurricane Katrina struck the city.

Levees and floodwalls fell in 50 different locations, flooding 80% of the city – under 15 feet of water in some parts.

No doubt the system failed. But which system?

The Bush administration claimed the break couldn’t have been foreseen. Scientists claimed they’d given warnings about that exact situation for nearly ten years previous. The US Army Corps of Engineers blamed the city; the city blamed the engineers.

It could be said – and many have – that in this case, it wasn’t the levee system that failed that day, but the human system certainly did. Later, experts determined that budget cuts, outdated engineering, and inadequate process infrastructures are what led to the disaster.

But that was 2005, and something of that magnitude couldn’t blindside us again.

Right…?

System Failure: COVID-19
(Source)

At Process Street, we’ve been paying very close attention to the different responses to the COVID-19 outbreak. This post is going to look at seven of the most notable system failures that occurred during the pandemic, why they happened, and how they could have been prevented.

Let’s get started.
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