CHAPTER 30Remote Employees

Normally, the question I focus on in my work and in my writing is “How can we leverage the best practices of the very best companies in order to give ourselves the very best chance for continuous innovation?”

While there are many practices that are important and contribute to this, I have long been a champion of the power of the co‐located product team.

This Jeff Bezos quote sums up my experiences quite well:

At Amazon, a product team has a clear mission, specific goals, and needs to be cross‐functional, dedicated, and co‐located. Why? Creativity comes from people's interactions; inspiration comes from intensive concentration. Just like a start‐up, the team huddles together in a garage, experimenting, iterating, discussing, debating, trying and retrying, again and again.

I don't think it's an accident that Amazon is the most consistently innovative company in our industry.

All that said, for many companies today the question has changed.

Now I'm being asked, “How can we leverage best practices to give ourselves the best chance at innovation, in the scenario where the product team is distributed and some or all of the team is working remotely?”

Addressing this important question is the subject of this chapter.

There's no need to discuss the well‐understood tools and methods that distributed teams have adopted to communicate and manage their work. I will assume you are already familiar with the range of cloud‐based collaboration tools, and video‐based ...

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