Managing a global team – technology saves the day!

As is usual these days, “it’s been a while” is a standard on this blog. So without breaking stride, I’ll say that ‘it’s been a while’ since I posted anything about Metal as Fuck. Tonight though I struck a total win and absolutely must share it. Because I think I finally struck that vein of gold ore in terms of managing releases/team/etc, when that team is scattered all around the world.

And it was so fucking simple. Google Docs. I <3 Google. There is nothing else that quite matches the simplicity and intuitiveness of Google Docs.

In my day-to-day work I use Google Docs all the time. The majority of my work lately has been through collaboration on shared documents, so maybe that’s why I figured I should just bite the bullet and see if it would work for me. Happily it did.

All I did was set up a spreadsheet after logging in, plonked the relevant content in, shared it (and changed the settings so that all I had to do was send the link to the team), and voila! Magic happened!

Setting up a spreadsheet that everybody can see and edit (without having the necessity of a Google account) has been a total godsend. Not only can my whole team view the sheet at once, but they can see each other making changes to it, and can chat to each other in the same window. It’s exciting to see people moving around the spreadsheet and doing their thing, and making random comments to each other. Previously, some of the team members were hooked up on Twitter, or on Facebook. Now, they can talk to each other about “work” matters.

As you know, I’m biiig on team love. Hopefully this will help us all bond a bit better.

Better yet, Google Docs has totally removed the long, hard-to-track email train, and the email-to-spreadsheet-to-email workflow that has been a total pain in the arse for me. Things get lost, people don’t know what they’ve been allocated, or where things go. And the person who looks like an arsehole without a shred of a sense of organisation at the end of it is me.

Not any more, baby!!

Of course, like any system, it’s not perfect. Those who don’t have a Google account, and therefore aren’t logged in, come up as AnonymousXXX (where XXX is a random three-digit number). It has formatting limitations, too, but it’s simple enough for my needs, and for my team’s needs. I commented in the spreadsheet window to one MaF-er that everybody with numbers is a little bit fascist. Oi, have a number, I don’t need your name! LOL But it works, so that is why I’m so happy.

Even better is that I don’t have to check it every day. I can (and have) set up a “daily digest” email notification, so I know whenever anybody makes changes to the content. It sounds so complicated, but this type of technology makes managing a team like mine just…. pleasurable! Which is the way it ought to be. The dread of management is lifting. At last.

And now that I have three editors as well, I’ll finally be able to take a bit more of a back-seat and keep an eye on the Big Picture. Strategic direction is what Metal as Fuck has been lacking for well over six months, and lest it start to drift, it needs reigning in. Now. Especially now – because MaF is starting to gain a good reputation around the world, and I don’t want to lose it.

So – ask and ye shall receive. Having new peeps on the admin team, and having this new way of managing releases to people around the world, came all just at the right time.

And perhaps even better is that I don’t even need to be in the office to see how things are rolling and keep track of it all. Thank you, Google! Thank you, mobile technology! I don’t know what I’d do without you.

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