Julia Evans has an excellent blog post about writing a brag document as an individual to track all the things that you accomplish during a year. Brag documents are especially useful around review time, as it provides an easy way to communicate your accomplishments during the past year and identify your strengths and opportunities for growth. As a manager, I thought about extending this concept to a team. Would a team brag document be useful?
- Celebrate things we have shipped as a team!
- Make the impact of the team’s work more visible to other teams and our management chain.
- It provides a concise list of the team’s recent accomplishments in response to the question “What projects has your team shipped lately?”. This is especially useful if you have someone new in your management chain.
As a team, every week we highlight projects that we have shipped to our management chain, peer groups and identify why this work is important. This is a great start for content of our team brag document. What else can we include?
- Mentoring someone on the team to help them learn a new domain.
- Attending a conference or a training session.
- Conducting a presentation for other teams on our roadmap and upcoming tooling changes.
- Starting a regular team social meeting to deal with the social isolation and deep uncertainty from living during a pandemic.
- Taking ownership of a new or existing project.
- Mentoring an intern.
For the team brag document, I use a Google doc where all team members have edit permissions. Every week I add a heading for that week and ask the team to update the document. At the end of the year we should have a concise summary of all the work we have done instead of having to dig through team meeting notes and 1:1 docs. Of course, the work that an individual does has a deeper level of detail than you would share with a team and that’s where individual team brag documents are useful.