The following rules apply to all cells by default. Project cells have the option of specifying their own, but if they don't do so explicitly, these ones will apply.
To take vacation, you must complete the vacation checklist. The vacation checklist will assist you in coordinating your vacation with your team members and making sure that all of your responsibilities are handed off. You can find the vacation checklist on the templates page of Listaflow.
Requesting time off¶
- Make sure to book your vacation:
- For 1 day off, 3 days in advance
- For 2 days to 1 week off, by Thursday evening of the week preceding the sprint in which time off starts
- For more than a week off, two weeks in advance.
- Check the team calendar first to see if anyone else has booked those dates off. To ensure maximal availability and responsiveness within the cell, if the number of persons corresponding to 20% of the cell size (rounded up) are already away on some days, you can't book the same days. There is however a tolerated 1 day/week per person that can overlap. If in doubt, ask Xavier.
- If you decide to travel and still work, it's useful to let everyone know, but it's not necessary to go through the vacations process. As long as you have a good internet connection and maintain work hours and communication / reactivity levels, you can work from anywhere.
Besides the "normal" vacation, we also offer the following two variants:
- Reduced time off: A temporary reduction of the number of hours you work each week.
- Scoped time off: A temporary change of the scope of work you will work on, to reduce availability to/from specific projects, clients or roles. This is usually used to allow to focus on one or several specific projects for a time, or to take time off projects without being fully off.
The same process and limit as for normal vacations applies. Simply also mention the amount of time that you will have available, or your exact scope of work, for that period of time while you announce your vacations.
- When you are sick and unable to work, let the rest of the team know asap using the forum thread1, and let people know where you would need help/cover as much as possible. In particular, mention which tasks are at risk of spillover or have a looming deadline.
- Then, rest! Don't half work while sick - it will take you longer to recover, and your work will likely not be very good.
- Note that it is also possible, and encouraged, to take sick days for mental health, when you need it. Just like other sick days, use them to rest and disconnect - don't check emails or tickets!
Because project cells are tailored to specific project needs, they are not required to subscribe to the default cell rules that govern member availability. For instance, a four-person cell in an initial development phase may establish that short absences that would otherwise break the 20% rule are allowed. (On the other end of the spectrum, a cell with a strict client SLA may want to expand on its firefighting rules so that more timezones are adequately covered.)
If the rules are different from the default, they must be explicitly mentioned in the list of Cell-Specific Rules. If no custom vacation rules are defined there, the default cell rules apply.
There are constraints, though:
- The project cell's vacation rules, if different from the standard, must be reviewed and approved unanimously by all of its members and the CEO during the cell's inception, and at any time thereafter when a change is proposed, as a change request to this handbook.
- The rules must always provision for self-approval of vacation requests without ambiguity, like the default vacation rules, and not require to seek explicit approval from another cell member. The rules can still specify dependencies on other cell members, like ensuring to find backups, but we don't want vacation rules to depend on the subjective approval of a member - the rules themselves should explicitly encapsulate all the constraints to be considered when taking vacation, and empower individual cell members to evaluate them by themselves.
- The default OpenCraft client-facing SLA always applies. In other words, the 24-hour reply rule continues to apply if not superceded by a stricter SLA, so a cell with few members needs to make sure that the client is being adequately supported when some of its members are on vacation.
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