How can companies build high-performing asynchronous teams? In this episode of Product Talk hosted by Deel Director of Product Barbara Bermes, DuckDuckGo SVP of Product Beah Burger-Lenehan discusses remote work culture and communication strategies at DuckDuckGo. She speaks on how the company operates remotely and the tools they use like Asana, Mattermost, and Zoom. The interview also provides insights into how DuckDuckGo structures work, evaluates employees, and continuously improves processes to support a remote workforce.

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Show Notes

  1. DuckDuckGo prioritizes writing and asynchronous communication to facilitate remote work.
  2. Asana is used for asynchronous communication and organizing work around objectives at DuckDuckGo.
  3. DuckDuckGo structures projects with a directly responsible individual (DRI) and advisor.
  4. The organization uses common templates to define project scope and provide structure.
  5. The project teams align during synchronous kickoff meetings held over Zoom.
  6. Teams continuously update templates as living documents.
  7. Face-to-face interactions are important for building trust among remote teams.
  8. Functional team meetups aid product discussions and relationship building.
  9. Asynchronous writing reduces misunderstandings and improves clarity.
  10. DuckDuckGo emphasizes an open culture of discussion and constructive criticism.
  11. Experimentation and feedback improve templates and processes.
  12. The organization prioritizes onboarding and continuous improvement.
  13. DuckDuckGo articulates clear expectations and rationales for processes.
  14. Advisory roles help evaluate employees’ progress in remote environments.
  15. Asana manages projects and tasks with optional subtasks.
  16. Mattermost is helpful for quick conversations before transitioning to Zoom.
  17. Concise, direct writing avoids communication overload.
  18. Visual aids aid problem-solving in asynchronous environments.
  19. Audio-only calls aid focus without distractions.
  20. In-person interactions build deeper understanding between colleagues.

About the speaker
Beah Burger-Lenehan DuckDuckGo, SVP, Product Member

Beah is SVP, Product at DuckDuckGo, an independent internet privacy company that offers privacy-respecting alternatives to Google. Before DuckDuckGo, she co-founded a startup called Stoop, lead product at Ticketleap, and was a Product Manager at Google back in the day.

About the host
Barbara Bermes Workleap, Director of Product

Barbara Bermes is an extremely passionate data-driven product leader, a previous International conference speaker, and a book author, with a comprehensive technical background and deep experience in B2B SaaS products at growth-stage companies. Motivated and driven by customer happiness, she is a decisive leader and executive with a proven track record of leading high-performing product teams with empathy, evangelizing product strategy and delivering world-class customer solutions. She frequently writes about product under

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