At Files.com, we constantly work "on" our business, not just "in" our business. We treat the management, structure, and internal processeses of the company as if they were themselves a product and continuously iterate on them.
In fact, we actually gave this "product" a name: avOS. We think of avOS as the Operating System for our Business.
avOS is a written set of systems, processes, and structure that set forth exactly how we conduct meetings, set policy, and make decisions at Files.com.
avOS was inspired by the unique management practices of Holacracy, Valve, Google, and others.
Rather than hiring people for exactly one job description, we instead look to find well-rounded employees who are interested in filling multiple roles within the organization.
As a self-organizing team, our people have multiple roles and our role descriptions are regularly updated in small iterations. As their interests and business needs change, the roles that are filled evolve dynamically over time.
Inspired by Holacracy, avOS ensures all roles have a defined "Purpose", which explains the goal that the role will pursue on behalf of Files.com, as well as written "Accountabilities" which explain how that role is expected to serve other roles at Files.com.
Quarterly Goal-Setting and Evaluation
Inspired by Google's OKR process, avOS requires teams and employees to each set specific quarterly goals and self-determine how the company will measure whether the goal was achieved. Teams and employees self-evaluate their performance against their quarterly goals and these evaluations are public within Files.com.
Peer-Driven Performance Reviews
Employees review each other's work performance twice per year using a prescribed process led by a trained facilitator. This provides valuable feedback that our employees are grateful to receive and also drives our compensation process. Pay at Files.com is directly linked to these peer-review scores, but don't worry—we've invested heavily in ensuring that the process is robust and fair.
Clear, Focused Meetings
Under avOS, specially-trained "facilitators" run all meetings at Files.com using a prescribed process. This ensures that those meetings run efficiently, achieve the needs of the meeting requested, and waste nobody's time.
Standard Operating Procedures
Since role assignments change so frequently at Files.com, we place a heavy emphasis on having roles self-document procedures and follow their own documentation. Even though we're a startup, our operations are smooth because we've invested the time in documenting everything.
avOS is open-source under a Creative Commons License, and our employees are encouraged to contribute to it by submitting pull requests on GitHub.
We think that's the most fitting way for a tech company to allow employees to participate in management.
“Great place to work”I have since seen the company double in size, talent, and leadership. I believe that the company is continuing to develop an exceptional product (Files.com) and am excited by our continued growth...As a team member you can ship innovative solutions, work on solving complex problems, and continue to learn from talented individuals. Director of Recruiting
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Does avOS sound like an improvement over your current work environment?