Automating Cooperation Decreases the Cost of Coordination

If every time a group of people need to work together they need to agree on how they work together, who is involved, and expectations, the cost of cooperation would grow with the number of people (possibly exponentially). By automating established norms, practices, and processes, the cost of coordination goes down because you are no longer solving the same problems repeatedly.

See also:

  • Organizational Linter

    An automated system that eliminates a class of feedback when reviewing a work product. Similar to how code formatters like prettier work to remove code style comments during code review, an organizational linter can take an opinionated, repetitive form of feedback and automate it. This frees up time because automating cooperation decreases the cost of coordination.

  • Async Work Is Doing More Things in Parallel but Slower

    Working asynchronously is an important reason why remote teams work. However, it can devolve into anti-patterns.

  • Double Buffering

    In a two party system you never want both party A and party B buffering at the same time because it creates artificial delays in the system.

  • There Are Surprisingly Few Product Engineers

    Product engineers solve user problems, but why are there so few of them?

  • Spell Check Test

    When designing a review processes within an organization, tease apart the different functions of how the process works then ask which parts are more like ‘spell check’. Anything that is more like spell check should be automated and human reviewers can focus on a higher level concerns.

  • Automation Reduces Marginal Cost of Nonautomated Tasks

    In a recent study, researches looked at the effects of automation on in a supermarket. They found that by automating the process of collecting payment, productivity of the non-automated task of scanning items increased 10%. An explanation for the improvement is that automation enabled specialization and specialization reduces the marginal cost of the other tasks which increases effort and therefore productivity.