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Another Rare Gem


At Saab Sensis, we use Atlassian‘s Confluence wiki and Jira issue tracking tools for intra-project communications. They are wonderful, easy to use, and instantaneously fluid communication tools that increase productivity relative to the sole use of paper documents and fragmented, agenda-less meetings.

After reading this article by Atlassian employee John Rotenstein, “It’s the Culture, Stupid!“, I’ve added the company to my list of faves:

So, how did Atlassian squeeze into the esteemed BD00 list of faves? Here are the snippets that did the trick:

  1. Atlassian’s CEOs have instilled an information culture throughout the company with the core value of “Open Company, No Bullshit”. The result is a bottom-up democracy of information where information sharing is the norm and information hoarding is a foreign concept.
  2. The very act of using a wiki, with its easy access to information and default ‘open’ nature of information, led to an information culture in Atlassian of openness and sharing.
  3. Where ever possible, information is made accessible to all staff. Instead of sending person-to-person emails, relevant information is placed on the wiki for all staff to read. Instead of storing information in documents (eg Word files), information is entered directly onto the wiki so that it is searchable and accessible to all staff — even from home! New staff members, upon joining the company, have immediate access to all historical information kept on the wiki.
  4. From the very beginning, Atlassian founders Mike Cannon-Brookes and Scott Farquhar had a firm belief in having an ‘Open Company’. Unlike other companies that kept information in silos, their vision has always been of a company that has open information by default.

Regarding number 1, I love when employees and executives use everyday language within and without the company – not the carefully crafted, robo-management jargon that wall-streeters and elitist big-wigs want to hear.

Regarding number 4, I love how the company policy toward information is open by default; not closed by default like the moo-herd.

Note: With a tinge of regret, I replaced Saab Sensis with Atlassian in my list of faves. It’s a good company and I really do like working there, but after a bit of reflection and re-evaluation, it’s just not in the same class. In BD00’s whacky and weird world (where you don’t wanna go because the sky is pink and water flows uphill), Saab Sensis is a notch above the sea of CLORGs and DYSCOs that dot the landscape, but a notch below these world class organizations.

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  1. December 30, 2011 at 1:05 am

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