Your first project at Feather

Rob Schumacher

This is an internal company guide that we've shared externally.

The most important thing about a complex project is… communication. Here’s how to set yourself up for success as you’re now in charge of one of these.

What projects to use this on

Remote. We run a mostly remote setup at Feather, and here is how we get things done. I think all of these apply to non remote work too, but maybe the toolstack looks different.

Non-tech. While the communication basics apply to all projects, the toolstack is only for non-tech projects. For tech projects we use a different toolstack.

Complex project communication basics

If you nail these three things, the project will feel easy. Miss any one of them and you’ll end up chasing people, chasing deadlines and things will slip away from you.

(1) Push updates. Everyone contributing should be as up to date as possible on the project without them having to pull the information. Especially when progress is made.

(2) Visibility on current status. Everyone can see the current status of the work in the obvious place and doesn’t need to ask anyone for the “up to date file” or “what did we decide last time?”

(3) Clear next steps. Starting with the release date, you have deadlines for all big intermediate steps, and super specific sub-deadlines for the next intermediate step with names attached.

The Feather implementation


Documentation: Notion. All documents in current versions here, or linked to from here. All expected outputs as empty pages or folders.

Push updates: Slack channel for the project. Must have: Link to notion documentation page in the slack channel. Optional: Link to important other files/pages/output directly.


Doing the project kickoff: The project owner will outline what the goal of the project is along with the final deadline. Working backwards sub-deadlines are shared in the kickoff, and each person involved with the project has a short call with the project owner on their part in the project. We start this with a message in the slack channel with the project plan as well as the deliverables assigned to each person.

Setting a push cadence: The project owner decides on a daily/weekly/bi-weekly cadence of sharing all the main updates that happened since the last update, as well as any changes or updates to the plan. This is shared in the slack channel.

Maintaining source of truth: The project owner is responsible for keeping all documents in the notion page up to date.

Maintaining momentum: When a sub-deliverable is complete, this should be shared as a win. Use this chance to update and remind everyone of the next steps for the next sub-deliverable.

Finishing the project: Depending on the size of the project, post what you did in the releases channel, tag all the people involved, and show off what it means for us/our customers in a Friday celebration. Make sure documentation is up to date, archive the slack channel (unless it turns into a rolling project), and make sure all moving pieces have an owner (probably you!) in future.

When in doubt, over communicate. And read the simple vs complex projects to understand why.