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Rhythm: the Original Coordination Technology

Rhythm is the pulse of synchronisation that keeps a team coordinated. It’s about who, when, and why we meet. There are 4 essential rhythms that keep a team humming:

  1. CONNECTING Trust is the fundamental building block of any collaboration, so we set aside time to intentionally build and maintain trust.

  2. PLANNING We collectively agree on the high-level direction, so we can leave the details up to the autonomy of each team member.

  3. WORKING We allocate tasks, visualise work-in-progress, and create peer-to-peer accountability, using processes from Agile & Kanban.

  4. REFLECTING A habit of regular retrospectives ensures we’re always learning and making continuous improvements to our ways of working.


Here’s the “Rhythms Map” we use to visualise the coordination of our own team at The Hum. You can see we spend time on each of the 4 priorities: connecting, planning, working, and reflecting. We have coordinating rhythms that operate on different time-scales, from daily to quarterly or yearly.

A 2D chart visualising different categories of team collaboration rhythms
Visualising team collaboration rhythms

You can use this tool to help you think about the structure you need when you’re getting started with a new collaboration. Or if you’re in an existing team that’s not perfectly in sync, you can use these 4 rhythms as a lens to diagnose the issue.

Download the Rhythms Map here to reflect on your own team rhythms.


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