New Certification Makes Teamwork an Objective Discipline
TeamOps is how GitLab scaled from a start-up to a global public company in a decade. While GitLab has shared some of its practices in its handbook, through The Remote Playbook and partnering on the Coursera course on Remote Team Management, the TeamOps certification encompasses the actionable set of techniques and tools for making decisions in all work environments — remote, hybrid, and in-office. Supported by a set of Action Tenets with real-world examples for process, organisational structure and culture, TeamOps enables teams and companies to create an environment for better decision-making and improved execution.
Up to this point, teams, and the ways people on them work, have been treated in a profoundly subjective manner: ad hoc, DIY, and the quirks of a given corporate culture. In 2022 and beyond, the world has shifted its focus from where people work to how work happens.
“Organisations need people and teams—their creativity, problem solving skills, perspectives, and humanity. That need will take on more importance as we move towards a future with bigger problems to solve, and as AI displaces any rules-based knowledge work which can be automated.” said Sid Sijbrandij, GitLab CEO and Co-Founder. “Starting with the introduction of the TeamOps Certification, we aim to help organisations make greater progress with behaviour-based ways of working that can be implemented immediately. There are a lot of best practices already out there, but the best practices about making decisions are tactical. TeamOps is a more comprehensive approach.”
Grounded in four guiding principles that help organisations rationally navigate the dynamic, changing nature of work, TeamOps focuses on the behaviours that make for better teams.
Teams exist to deliver results
Organisations often judge teams based on key results, performance metrics and other indicators. In reality, a result is not a one-time event; rather, delivering a result establishes a new baseline. As part of the TeamOps framework, all team members are empowered to contribute to all meaningful business outcomes.
Teams must be informed by an objective, shared reality
To make informed decisions, teams must have access to shared knowledge. While other management philosophies prioritise the speed of knowledge transfer, TeamOps optimises for the speed of knowledge retrieval. With everyone consuming the same information documented in a single source of truth, this allows for maximum contribution and inclusivity among organisations.
Everyone must be able to contribute
In conventional organisations, there’s often inherent pressure to present a complete and polished project, document, or plan before asking for feedback. This expectation slows progress and expends valuable time that could be used to exchange multiple rounds of feedback on smaller changes. Despite the initial discomfort that comes from sharing the minimal viable change, TeamOps creates a system where everyone can consume information and contribute, regardless of level, function, or location, thus creating faster execution, a shorter feedback loop and the opportunity to course-correct sooner.
Decisions are the fuel for high-performance teams
It can be appealing to seek out the most interesting solution to solve a problem and consensus among teams to avoid risk. This can result in slow decision-making, an increase of complexity in the organisation and decrease the frequency of innovation. With TeamOps, success is correlated with decision velocity: the quantity of decisions made in a particular stretch of time (e.g. month, quarter) and the results that stem from faster progress. This unlocks an organisation’s power to collaborate, reduce politics and create asynchronous workflows.
It is GitLab’s mission to make it so that everyone can contribute. When applied to management, this creates an atmosphere where everyone is empowered to lead. GitLab has released a TeamOps Certification course, free and open to the public, which enables teams and companies to experience the framework in a shared environment. To enrol and complete the certification, visit here.