Two-Person Teams: Listener Questions

Two-Person Teams: Listener Questions

Jul 5, 2023

This week, Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, co-founders of 37signals, join host Kimberly Rhodes to answer listener questions from the recent episode about Two-Person Teams. They tackle topics ranging from two-person team collaboration techniques to their innovative approach to team cooldown periods and the benefits for individuals and the overall project workflow.

Listen in as they discuss their journey in refining the on-call process and the power of "spring cleaning" to address unresolved issues.

Tune in to this episode for valuable advice based on questions asked by listeners like you.

Show Notes:
[00:00] - Kimberly dives into today’s episode with more listener questions sourced from various platforms beginning with Kenneth from LinkedIn and his question about how a two-person team can be resilient to vacation, sickness, and turnover.
[00:42] - Jason shares how having multiple two-person teams and time-boxed cycles allows for handling absences.
[02:52] - "Scope is this magical flexible bubble of energy that you can squeeze into different size containers."
[04:24] - A viewer on YouTube responds to David's remarks about trust in teams by asking if there are any prerequisites for trustworthy individuals.
[04:51] - The critical foundation of a long-term collaboration: David shares why trusting employees is a worthwhile investment and how to establish the right boundaries within your organization to build trust.
[08:30] - How the concept of the "trust battery" (introduced by Toby from Shopify) helps in understanding the dynamics of trust and its impact on relationships and perceptions.
[10:02] - Trust is a gradual process that allows individuals to gain confidence and demonstrate their readiness for higher levels of responsibility.
[11:23] - The next question comes from a voicemail inquiring about how Quality Assurance (QA) and testing are handled at 37signals and the interaction between QA and the six-week cycles of the Shape Up paradigm.
[12:16] - David reveals the priorities of 37signal's recently revamped QA approach with two QA team members and no more reliance on external vendors.
[13:12] - The importance of customer data using the example of the launch of a card table feature in Basecamp.
[16:27] - You are responsible for your own work; the QA team is there to find the edge cases, not the other way around.
[17:18] - QA (like many things) is everyone's job: how the 37signals model helps individuals level up more quickly AND ensures that the quality is right when things ship.
[18:26] - Justice, a fan of Jason and David's books and products, emailed a question about how 37signals handles bugs, smaller tasks, and standalone features that vary in time requirements.
[19:10] - Clearing up the confusion about the 6-week rule. The distinction between proactive and reactive work and ensuring efficient project handling.
[21:49] - The 37signals "spring cleaning" approach to tackling non-critical but lingering issues, allowing for dedicated time for focused resolution while preventing constant interruptions in delivering ambitious goals.
[24:11] - Cleaning up your own s***! An explanation of 37signals two-tier code system for handling issues
[25:41] - How the on-call rotation works at 37signals.
[25:51] - The on-call rhythm: a chance to stretch problem-solving muscles for a period.
[27:37] - The vital role of the cooldown at 37signals: empowering developers and designers to recharge and fostering a balance between ambition and reflection.
[31:41] - Do you have questions for David and Jason about a better way to work and run your business? Leave your voicemails at 708-628-7850 or send an email. Remember, you can find show notes and transcripts on our website.

Links and Resources:

Two-Person Teams REWORK episode:

Do you have a question for Jason and David? Leave us a voicemail at 708-628-7850 or email

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