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"Teamistry" Season 4 Episode 2...let's discuss! (you might win some swag)

shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
December 16, 2022

teamistry.png

Teamistry explores the chemistry of teams that achieve the impossible through collaboration. This season takes on a docuseries format as we deep dive into Concorde: the world’s only supersonic passenger plane to have taken to the skies. Concorde is a testament to what happens when teams go beyond borders, egos, and politics to make the impossible, possible.

⭐️ LISTEN & SUBSCRIBE

If you haven't already, check out the conversation around Episode 1, then respond to our Episode 2 prompts for a chance to win some Atlassian swag 😎 (we'll randomly select a winner from this post the week of Jan 3). 


Episode 2, Building the Fastest Passenger Jet Ever prompts: 

Respond to one or all prompts in the comments for a chance to win Atlassian swag!

  • This episode talks about top down vs. bottoms up project management. Which approach do you typically prefer at work? Why?
  • We learn in this episode just how much Concorde engineers loved their work: “Everyone there knew that this was the most ambitious, most exciting and most challenging job in aviation that had ever existed”. What’s the most challenging, yet exciting project you’ve taken on in your career?
  • What was the most surprising part of Episode 2 for you?

We're excited to hear what you think!

13 comments

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John Funk
Community Leader
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December 17, 2022

Another excellent episode!

I prefer the bottoms up project management approach the best - you know, the self managing teams thing.  :-)

I was in charge of the US Army Corps of Engineers Real Estate system as the contractor for several years (it managed most of the waterways in the US including harbors, rivers, intercostal ways, etc.). We communicated with different offices all across the US with each having something a bit unique about the real estate challenges. Plus different personalities and desires. All bundled through leadership at USACE headquarters. Lots of challenges nearly everyday, but really cool work. 

The most surprising part of Episode 2 to me was that they used an open office set up. Who knew that existed way back then! And even so much success with it then. With the language barriers and other obstacles, it is easy to see why that setup worked so well. Perhaps was even crucial for the task. 

Another fun thing was the story about the wine consumption during lunch. Not going to spoil it hear - but I love the trickery. 

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
December 21, 2022

Thanks @John Funk! So happy to hear you liked this episode, too 😊 

That sounds like extremely cool work! What an experience. I was also stunned to hear about open office plans back then. Tech unfairly gets credit for that one! 

And yes to wine lunches! haha Maybe that's the real secret to great teamwork? 😉

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Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
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December 21, 2022

There are days when I feel like I need a drink. I never tried getting everyone else to drink instead!

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 6, 2023

Congrats @John Funk! You're our swag winner this time around - email me at swinter@atlassian.com to receive your code for our merch store! 🙌

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John Funk
Community Leader
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January 9, 2023

WOOHOOO!!! Thank you!!

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Omar Mohamed Fathi
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February 23, 2023

cool

Amanda Barber
Community Leader
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December 19, 2022

What a lovely concept to love your job so much that getting paid feels like a benefit. I feel fortunate to love my job and my company, but I just loved this part of the episode!

 

Somewhat unrelated to project management, but my most challenging projects I've led are the project based learning projects I conducted in my former kindergarten classroom. Lesson plans aren't so different from project management! Herding cats is easier than leading a group of 5 year olds, but watching them learn and grow was worth it! Planning for our big projects and coordinating speakers and class visitors, and keeping everything organized was always interesting! I used Trello and other tools to try to keep organized. So grateful for my past experiences to guide my current work. 

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
December 21, 2022

Thanks so much for listening and sharing, @Amanda Barber

Herding cats is easier than leading a group of 5 year olds

😂 lol amen to that! ^ I love that example of project management. Definitely an extra rewarding one. And so cool you used Trello to plan and keep it all organized. 

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Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
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December 20, 2022

I found it interesting and surprising how the teams overcame multiple language barriers - spoken language and mathematical language. The fact that the two teams measured their schematics in two different systems is mindboggling in an era when almost all of the calculations and conversions were being done by hand.

Personally I prefer a bottom's-up project management process, and I will now have the success of the British & French Concorde design teams to support me when I cite the failures of the Soviet Union and US to complete their projects due to theirs being a top-down process!

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
December 21, 2022

Thanks for sharing @Andy Gladstone! And I'm with you...truly incredible that they did this stuff by hand and got through all the various barriers during the process. 

I will now have the success of the British & French Concorde design teams to support me when I cite the failures of the Soviet Union and US to complete their projects due to theirs being a top-down process

Haha! So very true - I like your thinking!

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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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December 21, 2022

Lanuage is a lot more complex and nuanced than most of us think.

Working with people using a language that isn't your first is hard, and the people on the other end of that have a LOT more to have to do.  I do not know if it is the same in other languages, but I feel that English is complicated and hard to learn.

I had a meeting a few hours ago where my native language was English, and Zori's is Ukrainian.  Zori dealt with me being crap really well.  I talked a lot, she listened, and then she told me where I'd gone wrong and talked too much crap.

I think one of my "give up well-paid-work and do new things" goals now has to be "learn a new not-even-vaguely-English language"

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
December 22, 2022

So very true @Nic Brough -Adaptavist-! I always wish I had learned another language earlier in life, but never too late! Thanks for listening and sharing 🙏🏼

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G subramanyam
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December 25, 2022

Hi @shannyshan 

I liked this podcast and it's a good to know about Concorde history.

 

Regarding the task:

  • This episode talks about top down vs. bottoms up project management. Which approach do you typically prefer at work? Why?

>> During my initial years as an "associate", I preferred top down approach given that is the only visibility and management style I experienced. Over the years, when I wore lead hats, I realized the efficiency of bottoms up given the ground reality- facts, ideas came from the team members that are workable. So, I gradually experienced "Holacracy" which really paved way to team collaboration and tapping new ideas.

 

  • We learn in this episode just how much Concorde engineers loved their work: “Everyone there knew that this was the most ambitious, most exciting and most challenging job in aviation that had ever existed”. What’s the most challenging, yet exciting project you’ve taken on in your career?

>> I personally didn't see challenges in professional career as every day's work is a challenge in the corporate world. Infact stealing (projecting) our hardwork as their work by manager(s) and showcasing for leadership was the biggest and unwanted challenges I faced and experienced.

So, I would relate this 2nd question to my non-software career role. I joined as a "Junior research associate" in a startup medical company who took up the task of "preparing medicine and get patent rights". Till date that was my challenging project involving collaboration, communications, hand-overs to rotating shifts, constant R&D with testings, understanding Doctors and senior Scientists terminologies etc..etc..

 

  • What was the most surprising part of Episode 2 for you?

>> My initial opinion was "collabartive efforts can solve/ address any kind of issue". However, when I heard that, collaboration wasn't just about combining the best of these different groups. It also allowed for any deficiencies on one team to be compensated by the other. And while it's a great example of teamwork, sometimes there are challenges even great teamwork can't overcome. This statement reminded me about "PEST analysis" and it's prominence time and again.

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 4, 2023

Excellent points, thanks @G subramanyam! And you taught me some new words! Had to google Holacracy and PEST analysis, and both are super interesting and relevant here :) 

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G subramanyam
Community Leader
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January 4, 2023

Thank you @shannyshan for taking time in Googling about those 2 beatiful and powerful methods that shape an Enterprise planning and strategy.

janaki_joshi
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January 12, 2023

Insightful 

Curtis December 28, 2022

What an exciting story. I had no idea about any of this behind the story of the Concorde.

  • What was the most surprising part of Episode 2 for you?

It was definitely the espionage. Usually, you think of this happening more with war related items. I wouldn't have thought it was an issue with the Concorde.

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 4, 2023

Thanks for listening and contributing!! I too was shocked to learn about the espionage when we were creating the episode. Fascinating stuff. 

Rafael Meira
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 2, 2023
  1. Personally, I prefer a bottom-up approach to project management. I find that it allows for more input and buy-in from team members, and can lead to more ownership and accountability for the project. It also allows for more flexibility and adaptability, as the team is able to make decisions and pivot as needed based on the specific needs and challenges of the project.

  2. One of the most challenging, yet exciting projects I've taken on in my career was leading the development of a new software platform for a large enterprise organization. It was challenging due to the complexity of the project and the need to coordinate and integrate with multiple different systems and stakeholders. However, it was also gratifying to see the final product successfully launched and positively impacting the organization and its users.

  3. The most surprising part of Episode 2 for me was learning about the rigorous testing and quality assurance process that the Concorde team went through to ensure the safety and reliability of the aircraft. It was impressive to see the level of attention to detail and dedication to excellence required to bring such an ambitious and groundbreaking project to fruition.

    I want some swag :)

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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
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January 4, 2023

We all like the swags ;-)

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 4, 2023

Thanks @Rafael Meira! Great responses. I'm seeing lots of similar themes in the most challenging projects folks have taken on (lots of stakeholders, complex, etc.) And  you're so right that it's usually those types of projects that become the most rewarding. 

vikram
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January 8, 2023

@shannyshan thanks for the episode, I learnt the story of  Concorde.

I liked the teams coordination, bottom up approach and their testing. 

When I started my carrier, we had water fall model which is top-down approach,

then we had hybrid

and now we all depend on DevOps models. 

Vikram P

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
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January 9, 2023

Thanks for listening and sharing your thoughts!! 

Amit Shil
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January 8, 2023

If they only had back then Jira we would might see those planes flying over us today :)

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shannyshan
Atlassian Team
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January 9, 2023

haha love it!

Tushita Sarkar Biswas January 8, 2023

Where can I see the episodes of teamistry?

Andy Gladstone
Community Leader
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January 8, 2023

It's a podcast, you cannot see it but you can listen to it on multiple mediums.

https://www.atlassian.com/blog/podcast/teamistry

Enjoy!

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Tushita Sarkar Biswas January 9, 2023

@Andy Gladstone  Thanks!

shannyshan
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 9, 2023

We also have started to put them on YouTube so you can watch a bit of archival footage and then listen to the rest @Tushita Sarkar Biswas

Enjoy! 

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Tushita Sarkar Biswas January 10, 2023

Thats very helpful.Thanks a lot

janaki_joshi
Community Leader
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January 12, 2023

During my initial days when I started coding I used to follow top down approach of development but eventually, I learned bottoms up project management techniques and found it more reasonable and beneficial. 

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Saralie S.
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January 31, 2023

Awesome!

Sam Nadarajan
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February 15, 2023

Not responding for swag obviously but enjoying the discussion:

  • I prefer bottoms-up project management (team-managed eh) because I've been in situations where teams are not empowered to make decisions on their own yet individuals are expected to contribute towards the greater good of the team. Feels like a conflict because you're told to "stay in your lane" yet "find opportunities to grow." I am looking at this now through a plane analogy - a pilot on the ground about to take off observes a # of different circumstances, but that perspective changes the higher the plane climbs. At that point, a combination of monitoring instruments, keeping in touch with air traffic control, and communication between various levels of teams (each with different perspectives) is necessary to ensure the safe and reliable transport of passengers. Bottoms up project management works when just enough direction has been provided from the people on top to set boundaries on objectives/deliverables to accomplish. A bottoms up approach with no direction from on top may lead to a fully empowered team that goes nowhere (even though they have complete control). Sprinkling some direction from the people on top should provide a large enough boundary for the team to explore and find ways to meet certain objectives, without feeling so cramped that it's restrictive, while also not being so open that anything can happen (and there's no accountability).
  • When I became an Atlassian admin. I was tasked with an engagement to implement an Atlassian solution and I didn't have admin experience (though other people at my company did). I spent day and night learning, then teaching the next day, talking with other people, wrestling with other concepts, all within a short time frame. And the implementation went well (thanks to the abundance of resources). I think my excitement carried me through those marathon nighttime studying sessions, and to this day I look back fondly on that memory because I proved to myself that with enough effort and grit I can rise to meet the challenge.
  • The external pressures that the Concorde team didn't cave to - they were very disciplines. When the TU-144 was taking off the Concorde team didn't rush to compromise to be first to market, even facing more competitive goals from the US didn't lead the Concorde team to deviate from the initial mission - I thought that was neat. Nowadays I see a lot of reactionary events that occur simply because (cough Google announcing Bard shortly after the Big/ChatGPT investment cough) and while there's circumstances for that kind of thinking it should not come at the cost of discipline and working towards a large goal.
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