Focus Friday

DM will observe Focus Friday.


The driver for the focus day is to allow staff a block of time without interruptions or the need to be online and receptive. By reducing traffic we will reduce the need to participate in threads on specific discussion topics. Hence there should be:

  • No planned meetings, generally. There may of course be exceptions, for example if your focused work includes a co-work with others who agree to meet, this is OK. Such agreements should be between peers and not use any hierarchy. You may elect to attend meetings/workshops outside DM — or occasionally we may be required to attend such meetings.

  • Slack messages on public channels are discouraged. Conversations are discouraged on general channels and specific users should not be @ed. You may Slack an individual, or a group of individuals if you have agreed such interactions ahead of time. There should be no expectation of response to Slack messages.

Asynchronous communication is perfectly acceptable on the understanding that no response is to be expected before the next work day (normally Monday). Hence it is OK to, for example:

  • Send email, though you may consider using a delayed send.

  • Update Jira issues, which will result in email notifications that are OK.

  • Update confluence, which will also result in email notifications that are OK.

  • Perform GitHub work. Code reviews, merges etc. which will result in notifications are OK.

It is acceptable to set up an out-of-office reply pointing to this page on Focus Friday.

Emergencies and on call

There may on occasion be an emergency, urgent bug, machine failure, fire, flooding etc. In this case it is OK to make Friday noisy. This may include a post to public Slack support channel. As we approach operations there may also be agreed people on call who may need to respond to communications even on a focus day.


Though we did one experimental day and changed the rules according to feedback we assume there may be more refinements needed to get this correct. This concept has been reassessed and refined in several DMLT Face to Face meetings since Nov 2020. Feedback on the form and format of the day is welcome and may be sent to your T/CAM or directly to William O’Mullane.