At an early stage, it's relatively easy to implement processes that are deliberately designed, but there is also a strong pull towards letting processes emerge on their own based on whatever is the highest priority at any given time.
I think that in-person collaboration is still fundamentally more efficient than remote work for hardware development. However, it is too often used as a crutch to avoid setting up good processes for work that isn’t hindered by the lower efficiency of remote collaboration. Having good tools and systems of record for these kinds of work is something that adds a lot of value to a company.
With a good foundation of shared experiences with our partner, we were able to do a really good job with the design in this JDM model even though we no longer had the option of collaborating in person.
The JIRA user interface is also a mess. They keep releasing new versions, and each one makes it harder to find what you’re looking for than the one before it. There’s just too much space devoted to fields that are not applicable, and there’s no easy way to remove them to free up space for what matters. I'm hoping that new, better tools can surface only the necessary information and make the irrelevant stuff fall away more easily.
Hardware-focused software tools would be a huge improvement because instead of spending part of every meeting catching everyone up on the latest state of a design, they would enable designers to focus on concerns that reviewers have already pointed out and make sure they get the group’s input on all of them.
So in summary, be wary of moving too fast and try to find a sweet spot between getting stuff done and understanding the risks and expected outcomes of your actions. Don’t get too bogged down in process, but know that if you’re always sprinting you’ll probably be overlooking important things along the way. This is based on mistakes I’ve made and witnessed, and hard-earned lessons I’ve learned at eero and elsewhere.
My advice is to try to organize information about what is changing in a design, why it’s changing, and what problems are being solved with each change.
Hope you enjoyed this blog post :)
Get access to management tools built specifically for hardware designs