Atlassian's secrets to running better teams

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Perhaps you’ve finished a team meeting and suddenly realised you can’t remember what the whole thing was about.

Or you think writing emails during meetings is rude, but still go ahead and sneak a few off.

Maybe you spend half your waking hours thinking about something other than what you’re meant to be doing.

If this sounds familiar, Atlassian, the Australian tech start-up now listed in the US, has some good news.

The company has decided to give away its set of internal tips and tricks for running teams and its health monitors for projects.

Dom Price, head of research and development at Atlassian, has about 300 teams working on developing, building and improving collaboration tools for the world.

“We’ve had the philosophy for a while that if you look at the great human achievements of the world the vast majority of them have been achieved by teams,” he told Business Insider.

“Sadly, the teams don’t get the recognition, it’s the singular that does. We all remember Buzz Aldrin landing on the moon but not the thousands of people who got him there.”

This month Atlassian posted a 43% jump in full year revenue to $US457.1 million.

Founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes have each kept a 37.7% holding in their company, making them billionaires.

Atlassian’s mission is to unleash the power of teams.

“And when we took a step back and looked at that we realised that a whole lot of the mechanics of business and the systems of business have been setup for individuals,” Price says.

“If you think about the traditional HR department, they do career planning for individuals and they do promotions … it’s all for individuals.

“And yet when you think of the complex tasks that we do, or even getting any of our work out there, it involves teams.”

Price went looking for a provider of a solution for running effective teams.

“There’s a whole lot of anecdote and rhetoric about what a high performing team looked like but no-one could point me in the direction of a guidebook,” he says.

So, Atlassian decided to create one.

“What we found was patterns, ways of working, that can make things more efficient and effective,” he says. “And it’s creating such value for us that we decided we had to get it out there. We’re not going to charge for it. We genuinely want the teams of the world to have access.”

It’s less a system and more a set of guideposts or self checks where teams can go to ensure they are in a healthy place. Atlassian’s monitoring system to assess the health of projects and teams is HERE.

In the meantime, here’s a few tips from Atlassian on running effective teams:

Tip 1 – Deep work

Tip 2 – Carve out some time

Tip 3 – Learn to say no

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