The Cognitive Framework for Team Management

Reflex is a Team Management Framework that seamlessly integrates planning, projects, processes, and team management. Just as human cognition organizes and manages information to optimize retention and recall, Reflex acts as the cognitive framework within Remotefy, structuring and directing the flow of work across your team. Reflex leverages principles akin to working memory, semantic memory, episodic memory, and attention to enhance team performance and productivity.

The Work Plan as Working Memory

Working memory, which keeps information active and manipulable, is reflected in Reflex's ability to handle ongoing tasks and activities. Reflex dynamically manages each participant's contributions in real time, ensuring that current tasks are aligned with deliverables. The Work Plan serves as Reflex's working memory, detailing the allocation of available working hours on the development of deliverables and the specific activities participants need to focus on. This ensures that the team remains on track and can adjust priorities as needed.

The Deliverables Plan and OKR-D as Semantic Memory

Semantic memory involves our general knowledge about the world. In Reflex, this is represented by the deliverables plan and can optionally be amplified by strategic planning and OKR-D. These elements provide the foundational knowledge that guides all teamwork. By establishing clear priorities and measurable outcomes, Reflex ensures that the employees understand the significance of their work within the team and the broader organizational context.

Reports as Episodic Memory

Episodic memory relates to personal experiences and specific events. Reflex captures this through its monitoring and evaluation mechanisms. Each Reflex Cycle—comprising planning, executing, monitoring, and evaluating—ensures that every phase of the plans is recorded and reviewed. This historical data acts like episodic memories, allowing the team to reflect on past cycles, learn from successes and failures, and refine future plans. The reports on deliverables and work plans focus on the significant moments, both positive and negative, during the development of a deliverable.

Prioritization and Focus for Better Attention

Attention is critical for focusing on important information. Similarly, Reflex emphasizes the importance of prioritization and focus within team management. By offering tools for detailed monitoring and clear visualization of each participant's workload and contributions, Reflex helps managers and team members concentrate on priority activities and tasks. This attention to critical activities ensures that efforts are efficiently directed toward developing deliverables and achieving strategic objectives.

The Reflex Cycle: Integrating Cognitive Functions

The Reflex Cycle mirrors the dynamic process of memory formation and retrieval in the human brain. During the planning phase, similar to encoding in memory, Reflex helps establish the deliverables and work plans. The execution and monitoring phase involves actively working on these plans, as working memory handles current tasks, and continuous assessment and adjustment, much like how attention and thinking help manage ongoing information. Finally, the evaluation phase provides a comprehensive review, similar to how episodic memories are reflected upon to improve future actions.

In essence, Reflex is the cognitive framework for work management, ensuring that all team efforts are strategically aligned, meticulously monitored, and continually improved.

Framework Origin

Reflex is a derivative of the Management and Performance Program of the Brazilian Federal Government (PGD), which was created to handle the dysfunctions of abruptly transitioning hundreds of thousands of employees during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is based on empirical data collected throughout organizations and studies made using information gathered in interviews and focus groups with employees, managers, and leaders. We have written an article on this topic titled “From Chaos to Coordination: How the Brazilian Government is Setting a New Standard in Remote Work”.

The PGD has received widespread attention and recognition in Brazil, with some viewing it as a significant reform of the Federal Public Sector. Here are some links to news articles where the PGD is featured.

The team responsible for the development and implementation of the program is an example of what can be achieved with this framework. It consists of nine members, distributed across 5 countries, spanning 4 time zones and 8 cities. This team demonstrates that it is possible to harness talent from everywhere, assemble a high-performance team, and generate impactful outcomes.