Asynchronous Workflows at IR

February 6, 2023
Asynchronous Workflows at IR

From the company's inception, Integrated Reasoning has tested an asynchronous (or as we say, async) workflow. Before forming the company, each of us has had the experience that meetings, text chat, and other sync forms of communication can be limiting to productivity. By getting rid of this formal structure, we allow every person on the team the flexibility to work efficiently - however that looks for them.

There are many reasons why sync communication can be inefficient. One of the largest is that folks work at different paces. That might be because someone likes to re-read or re-write sentences over and over, or because someone needs to step out for a few minutes frequently. Whatever it is, sync communication forces everyone to work at the rate of the slowest individual on that given task. Another significant reason that sync is inefficient is because it’s to get together the wrong group of people. This might be because you didn’t think someone would be needed but later realize that their input is crucial - or this might be because someone was added but didn’t actually need to be there. Running an async process means that folks can step in and out at will, and can choose for themselves the level of involvement needed.

Striving for async practices has taken some adjustment. Moving meetings to slack threads, moving dm’s to comment in documents or pull requests - these are all things that feel foreign to us. But, as the company adjusts, we’ve found ourselves able to be so productive.

Fundamentally, one of the most surprising thing about running an async process is that it allows collaboration to be batched. This makes the collaboration more effective - as you’re able to keep more context in your head when working together on something. And it also allows for longer periods of time to focus on individual work. Altogether, this has significantly improved productivity.

Be sure to check the IR blog in the future for additional insights into the world of Integrated Reasoning, and how we navigate this asynchronous world!

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