Ask Me Anything (AMA) meetings are arranged to allow team members the opportunity to learn from and ask questions of our E-Group, Board of Directors, and others groups who would like to host an AMA on a specific topic. AMAs can be arranged for many purposes, including the following:
AMA meetings typically include the whole company, and are usually hosted by a leader, team member, or a group of leaders.
They can be hosted by anyone who wants to host an AMA, but typically are hosted by one of the following:
Occasionally an AMA might be held for a smaller audience. It is encouraged for all AMAs to be open to the full company whenever possible. Occasionally an AMA may not make sense to be sent to the whole company. In those instances, it is still encouraged to add the calendar invitation to the GitLab Team Meetings Calendar as sometimes team members may want to join a call that may not be directly directly applicable to them. Whenever creating an AMA for a smaller group, be sure to invite the team directly in the calendar invite.
A lot of team members attend AMAs which can lead to the agenda document becoming overloaded. Since this can mean that notes can't be taken for the discussion, it's recommended that team members add their questions to the document and then close the document unless they're actively taking notes.
Team members who require the written notes in order to participate and/or retain information are encouraged to remain in the document.
If the Google document becomes overloaded, people should add their questions to the zoom chat so that a notetaker or moderator of the AMA with access to the document can copy their questions into the agenda.
For team members who are watching the AMA but don't have questions, consider opening the agenda document to gain any initial context but then closing the document in advance of any discussion.
The intention of this is to make sure we're enabling asynchronous communication by allowing team members not in attendance to read a complete record of the AMA at a later time.
It is near impossible to be an effective facilitator while also being a participant. So if you have been identified as a facilitator but would rather participate in the conversation, we encourage you to ask one of your designated facilitator team members (Facilitator Group link to follow) to take your place.
Before facilitating a session, all facilitators will complete the following steps:
Current Facilitators: Template: "Name" - "Role", Self Identified (Optional):
Every Reverse AMA will be hosted by the Executive Business Partner for the E-Group Leader even when the leader is not an E-Group Member
The Executive Business Partner alignment can be found here
Things to remember:
AMAs are generally coordinated, scheduled, and planned by the Executive Business Administrator team when an E-Group member is the host. Anytime that an AMA is to be hosted by an executive, VP, or Director at GitLab, it should be arranged and scheduled by that functions EBA. AMAs of Board Members are scheduled by the Staff EBA to the CEO.
Other non-Executive AMAs are scheduled by the People Operations team. These AMAs are typically a result of a change that impacts the company as a whole and may often be hosted by multiple leadership members in the company. Whenever there is an open slot in the Group Conversation calendar, the People Operations Team will reach out to the EBA team to create an AMA.
When scheduling an AMA, be mindful of timezones. Generally it is best to have two AMAs, one for the Americas/EMEA time zone, and one for the APAC time zones.
Once a Reverse AMA takes place, a 15-30 minutes debrief meeting should be scheduled immediately following to ensure there is a timely discussion and DRIs are assigned to all actions.
Immediately should be within the week or following the Reverse AMA for best practices. Understanding there are time zones and schedules to consider. When possible scheduling the debrief ahead of time for immediately following the the Reverse AMA would be an effective approach. The debrief template includes the DRI and target to complete and should be updated accordingly.
The debrief should include the People Business Partner, AMA Facilitator and DIB team member. There are times where the Debrief is scheduled with the E-group leader however this is optional and as needed.
AMA meetings always start with an agenda. Ensure that the agenda document is added to the calendar invite at the initial time it is sent to allow everyone to be involved. All questions and answers should be documented in the agenda to allow those who can not attend to catch up as well as to avoid team members talking over each other.
The Reverse AMA format was launched in Sales with our Black team members. We wanted to start with this with Black team members to show support and to stand in solidarity, in response to domestic events in the US, and globally. One of our core values is DIB (Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging), and part of embracing that value means being better allies. These can be scheduled to facilitate meaningful conversations with any underrepresented group.
All actions and follow up items should live in the Reverse AMA EPIC under the child EPIC for the Reverse AMA
If your underrepresented group has not been assigned a Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging team directly responsible individual please contact Candace or Liam.
Learnings can be captured in our DIB Sharing page
|Date||URG / TMRG||Leader||DIB DRI - This person will help drive ToDos to completion|
|2020-11-10||Black Team Members in Engineering||Scott Williamson (CPO) / Eric Johnson (CTO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|
|2021-02-05||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)|
|2021-03-31||Women in Engineering||Scott Williamson (CPO) / Eric Johnson (CTO)||Liam McNally|
|2021-04-01||Women in Engineering||Scott Williamson (CPO) / Eric Johnson (CTO)||Liam McNally|
|2021-04-06||Latinx||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Liam McNally|
|2021-05-06||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|
|2021-06-03||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|
|2021-06-22||Latinx||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Liam McNally|
|2021-07-08||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|
|2021-08-05||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|
|2021-09-02||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|
|2021-10-05||Latinx||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Liam McNally|
|2021-10-07||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|
|2021-11-04||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|
|2021-12-02||Black Team Members & CEO||Sid Sijbrandij (CEO)||Candace Byrdsong-Williams|