This section outlines:
Introduction to MLT
The operations of administrative, tactical, and strategic meetings
Process for alignment and cascading communications
Process for quarterly business reviews, planning, and board meetings
Ian Tien: Co-Founder and CEO
Corey Hulen: Co-Founder and CTO
Chandar Venkatamaran: Chief Product Officer
Aneal Vallurupalli: VP, Finance
Chris Overton: VP, Engineering
Lindsay Brock: Head of Product Management
Tuesdays 10:00am to 11:00am Palo Alto time with MLT
Required attendees: MLT + extended team (TBD)
The purpose of MLT WBR is to review the health of the business by reviewing our goals dashboard, identifying key risks/challenges/issues, and identifying owners for actions. Discussions held in MLT WBR Channel.
Dashboard to be updated by all owners by Tuesday 9am Palo Alto Time.
2x2 prepared by each functional owner (TBD if reviewed separately or aggregated into one 2x2) (e.g., next product releases, marketing launches).
(0:10) Review WBR Agenda Doc: Time for all to read data
(0:15) MLT Good News: Always start with anyone wanting to share the good news, e.g., customer wins, new release delivered, new web page launched, etc.
(0:20) V2MOM Metrics Dashboard Review: Review Dashboard
Discuss reds and new goals to create
Discuss yellows and paths to green
Review key updates to greens
Create new action items and assign to owners in Asana
(0:25) 2X2 Business Review: Review WBR 2x2 document summarizing:
State of the business
Key business metrics (ARR, churn, customer count, health score)
Big updates from Sales, R&D, Marketing, Finance, etc.
Key customer issues (at-risk customers, deals, etc.)
Key R&D risks/challenges/issues
Key marketing risks/challenges
Upcoming R&D milestones and dates
Upcoming marketing milestones and dates
(0:55) Decisions/Actions: Summarize decisions/actions in writing
Tuesdays 11:00am to 12:00pm Palo Alto time with MLT
Required attendees: MLT only + HR representative
The purpose of the MLT Weekly Executive Meeting is to discuss MLT topics like CEO updates, board-level topics, hiring, sensitive HR-related announcements, company-wide programs like annual reviews and compensation, staff top of mind, etc.
Ian to moderate through Asana.
Wednesdays 9:00am to 10:30am Palo Alto time with MLT
Required attendees: MLT only + extended team (as appropriate by topic)
The purpose of this new MLT Weekly Deep Dive series is to achieve a deeper understanding and clarity on functional areas and/or strategic topics through reviews, discussions, and decisions.
Topics are queued in a central spreadsheet and prioritized by the Vice-Chair. Examples of topics are Cloud MVP, DevOps Command Center launch, customer journey and packaging proposals, marketing OKRs, etc.
(Vice-Chair) Agenda drafted based on queued topics in a central Google Doc
(Owner) Prepare narrative document for the meeting
Two slots of 45 minutes each. Typically two topics - one for each slot. However, bigger topics can occupy two slots
MLT reviews document for the first 15 minutes; discusses for the next 25 minutes to reach any decisions for clarity and closure
(Five minutes before end of slot) Decisions/actions are summarized
The purpose of target setting is to confirm targets, plan and budget for MLT departments for the period.
The MLT plan consists of:
Company and department fiscal year 1-page VPMOMs
Quarterly plan, in the context of fiscal year VPMOM
Financial plan, including revenue
We’re currently focused on quarterly plans and will move to halves.
Quarterly plans are locked for the quarter – Changeable only in MLT team meeting
Progress on quarter plans reviewed at the start of next quarter
Okay to reduce targets prior to 20 days before quarter end (except revenue & pipeline)
Quarterly plans are in context of annual VPMOM
Drafting MLT Plan
T-Minus 4 Weeks to announcement
The following should happen within a 2 week period, with 1 - 2 iterations in each step:
CEO discusses company and department V2MOMs 1-1 with department heads to ensure alignment
If applicable during the period, Sales, CEO, and Finance set or adjust the revenue targets
People meets with department heads to discuss current and future org structure
Include discussion on performance, potential and any FYIs
Finance works with department heads to discuss headcount and program spend budget
Include budget variance
Department heads social plans with their teams
Review WIP Plan
T-Minus 2 Weeks to announcement
At Monthly Strategic Meeting:
WIP V2MOMs, quarterly plan and proposed orgs reviewed by MLT
MLT shares feedback on each V2MOM and quarterly plan
Cross-department dependencies documented
Review of MLT Plan Process
Company V2MOM and Q2 plan
Sales V2MOM, Q2 plan, and proposed org
R&D V2MOM, Q2 plan, and proposed org
Marketing V2MOM, Q2 plan, and proposed org
Customer Success V2MOM, Q2 plan, and proposed org
Finance V2MOM, Q2 plan, and proposed org
People V2MOM, Q2 plan, and proposed org
MLT socializes updates to high-level plan with their departments
T-Minus 1 week to announcement
Company and V2MOMs updated given feedback
Financial plan adjusted
Headcount approvals published
Week of announcement
Company V2MOM shared at all-hands
Department V2MOMs are posted
MLT presents company plan to their departments
Each quarter we review process towards our V2MOMs and discuss achievements and opportunities. The QBR is an exercise to increase output through concise, efficient review of quarterly goals for company and department in the context of V2MOMs.
Time and people
Scheduled 1 week after quarter end and can be broken out into:
90 mins for Sales QBR (30 mins for each region)
45 mins CS QBR
2 hours for MLT QBR (30 mins each for Product, Engineering, G&A, and Marketing)
Prior to meeting
Materials for QBR agenda are shared by Friday prior to the QBR meeting.
(CEO) Reviews MLT Cadence V2MOM (10 minutes)
(Each department head) Reviews quarterly goals in the context of V2MOMs, including the following (25 minutes per person, including 5 minutes for review, 5 minutes for MLT to share written feedback, and 15 minutes for discussion):
Goals for previous quarter
Previous quarter achievements and opportunities
Goals for current quarter
Hiring plan and org chart
(MLT) Product strategy discussion (30 minutes)
(MLT) Review of actions and follow-ups (10 minutes)
(MLT) Review of cascading communication (10 minutes)
As reviews happen, follow-up items are noted in RAPID format and meetings scheduled based on RAPID assignments.
Between 21st and end of the month
Scheduled 18 months in advance
Board deck is sent to Board three calendar days before Board meeting
General session: Includes leads from Mattermost team, usually sales, occasionally CS, product
Closed session: VP Finance and CEO update Board
CEO and Board: Board gives feedback to CEO
Board without CEO: Board discusses feedback among themselves, then one board member delivers feedback to CEO
25 minute debrief scheduled with each board member same day or the day after board meeting via their admins
One hour debrief with MLT scheduled same day after board meeting
Preparation for the annual plan and budget for the next fiscal year begins in the second half of the current fiscal year.
In Q3 we have three goals:
50% VPMOM for company and departments based on our latest thinking
Prioritized issues to solve before we lock 99% plan at end of Q4–largely coming from Obstacles in 50% VPMOM
After aligning with MLT, begin to discuss 50% VPMOMs with departments to develop into 99% in Q4
Typically there is not pressure for budget or headcount discussions in Q3, focus is strategy.
Q3 Punchlist for Next Fiscal Year Planning
The company 3-year aspirations are reviewed
A 1% MLT V2MOM for next fiscal year is drafted by CEO and reviewed with MLT department heads
Department heads draft 1% Department V2MOMs for next fiscal year and review with peer stakeholders and CEO
At Q3 Planning Offsite, MLT reviews 50% MLT V2MOM for next fiscal year developed from 1% draft
At Q3 Planning Offsite, department heads present 50% Department V2MOMs, reviewed by peer stakeholders and CEO
Action items are documented and developed around Obstacles to success of next fiscal year
50% MLT and Department V2MOMs, plus Obstacles, are presented to department leaders
The focus of Q4 is arriving at a 99% draft of the plan for next fiscal with alignment across MLT and departments, with key Obstacles mitigated, and headcount and budgets reviewed.
MLT and middle managers work through key Obstacles for next fiscal year
Finance works with MLT to draft financials plan for next fiscal year
CEO works with MLT to develop MLT V2MOM from 50% to 99%
Department heads work with their teams, peer stakeholders, and CEO to develop Department V2MOM from 50% to 99%
99% MLT V2MOM is reviewed by MLT and agreed
99% Department V2MOMs are reviewed by MLT peers and CEO and agreed
Plan for next fiscal year is locked based on V2MOMs
V2MOMs, quarterly plans, and proposed orgs are reviewed by MLT. Use the following order to review V2MOMs:
MLT shares feedback on each V2MOM and quarterly plan. Cross-department dependencies documented.