Brussels / 3 & 4 February 2018


Asynchronous Decision Making - why and how

How Asynchronous Decision Making works and why it's essential

The Asynchronous Decision Making techniques commonly used in open source projects enable efficient remote collaboration, in teams which have no boss, no schedule and often no cultural consistency yet produce world-changing software.

This talk describes the key elements and tools of the Asynchronous Decision Making process, based on concrete examples from the Apache Software Foundation and from federated governments, which, interestingly, work in a similar way.

We'll reflect on how Asynchronous Decision Making supports the efficiency of our projects, and how to refine it to be even more efficient.

If our Open Source projects required synchronous meetings to make decisions, everything would grind to a halt. Even remote digital meetings are very hard to setup in our environments where there's no boss, no schedule, often no common culture and varying expectations and goals.

Yet, many our projects produce world-changing software, making many decisions every week without having to interrupt people when they are "in the zone" and without wasting everybody's time with spoken rehashes of things they already know.

Our way of making decisions asynchronously obviously works. What are the key tools that enable it, and how can we make the best use of those tools while staying inclusive and keeping the fun level high and aggravation low?

In this talk we'll discuss concrete examples of Asynchronous Decision Making at various scales ranging from small projects to the Apache Software Foundation's Board of Directors and to federal governments which use similar techniques.

Although we'll focus on software projects, it's interesting to note that these techniques apply to most types of projects, and don't even require computers.

Focusing on the key elements and tools will help us get to the essence of Asynchronous Decision Making, which should help us make better use of these techniques in our projects.


Photo of Bertrand Delacretaz Bertrand Delacretaz