Status Hero

Best Practices Guide

Hello!

Here are some ways for you and your team to get the most out of Status Hero.

We assembled these best practices from decades of combined software delivery experience plus lessons learned from the thousands of teams using Status Hero every day.

This guide will be brief and to the point, just like the application itself.

Simplify and automate

Status Hero is designed to automate reporting, cut through project management noise, and streamline communications. It uses your existing channels, like email and Slack.

You will still need to put some thought into your check-ins, but each update won't take more than a couple of minutes.

Goals, not tasks

When you check-in, avoid using Status Hero as a tactical task manager.*

Instead, think of your work in terms of goals.

Most software developers should only have one or two concrete goals a day.

Let's look at some examples ...

*There are plenty of tools for task management that you're probably using already, like Jira, Asana, or Github issues.

Goals, not tasks (continued)

Goals represent meaningful progress for your team or project.

Tasks are just the tactics you used to get there. Your day is filled with tiny tasks.

Shoot for only one or two goals a day that encompass your work.

Example Goals :thumbsup:

  • Outline devops guide with Bob
  • Fix the reporting bug
  • Speed up builds by 10%

Example Tasks: :thumbsdown:

  • Meet with Bob at 1PM
  • Update reporting ticket #209
  • Work on CI configuration

Keep check-ins brief

Using goals instead of tasks, communicate just enough information to keep your team apprised of your progress.

Status Hero will show you what you wrote for your goals in your previous check-in to help you fill in your update quickly.

GOOD:

Write the performance tests for the reporting feature.

NOT SO GOOD:

I'll begin the day with a perfectly brewed cup of green tea. Once settled in to my chair, I'll power up my desktop and merge all of the overnight commits from Grace and Steve.

Use 'blockers' judiciously

"Blockers" are issues that 1.) prevent you from moving forward and 2.) require someone other than yourself to fix.

Only fill in blockers when you want someone else to intervene on your behalf.

GOOD:

Need @deborah to complete the security audit before I can deploy.

NOT SO GOOD:

Feeling a little frazzled today from staying up too late last night.

Use @mentions to get attention

When you @mention a teammate in a Status Hero update, they are immediately notified. So make sure you want their attention when you @mention them in your check-in.

GOOD:

Pushing the last bit of the search functionality to stage today. May need @ben to help me address merge conflicts.

NOT SO GOOD:

Work on search functionality. Chat with @ben later.

Comments and "reactions"

:thumbsup: :thumbsdown: :smile: :confused: :heart: :tada:

Like @mentions, when you "react" or comment on a check-in, the author and anyone else who has commented will be notified.

Make sure the communication is meaningful. Reactions are quicker than comments.

GOOD:

Let me know if you need help with the OAuth stubs!

NOT SO GOOD:

The Cobb salad I had at lunch isn't sitting too well

Categorize with #hashtags

Use #hashtags to apply a category or area of work to your check-in.

Later on, you and your team can search check-ins by #hashtag to drill down into relevant updates.

GOOD:

Get the demo account prepped for the #sales webinar with prospects from conference.

NOT SO GOOD:

Modularize all of the scripts in the dashboard module #timeconsuming #mighttakeawhile

Take a vacation

If you've got a planned vacation coming up, block off the dates in your settings. That way you won't be nagged to check-in.

If you are the manager for your team, you can also set up team-wide holidays in the team settings.

Add observers

Team administrators can set up certain team members as "observers." Observers receive summary reports and have access to the status dashboard, but they are not prompted to check in.

This is useful for people that support your team (e.g., operations or security groups) and for providing stakeholders with automated updates.

Kiosk mode

Keep your team informed by taking advantage of the "kiosk mode" and displaying the dashboard on a large monitor.

In kiosk mode, the dashboard will automatically refresh.

Splitting up teams

We recommend splitting up larger teams into smaller ones of around 10 people or less. Otherwise, teammates tend to get overloaded with everyone else's check-ins.

In Status Hero, people can belong to multiple teams*, or check-in into one team and act as an "observer" in another.

*We only charge for each user once, no matter how many teams they're a part of.

In the long run

Immediately you and the team will understand who's doing what.

As you and your team get into a rhythm of setting daily goals, you'll notice an improvement in your goal completion rate.

If you're the team manager, you'll better understand the velocity of your team, which will allow you to better estimate future work.

Help and feedback

We've prepared search-able help documentation here.

You can reach us directly with this form or through in-app chat.

Our team relies on Status Hero everyday. We love feedback, no matter how critical.

Thanks for looking over this guide!