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Leadership Cadence

Mattermost Leadership Team (MLT) consists of Mattermost department heads plus the CEO

This section outlines:

  • The VPMOM for MLT cadence summarizing purpose and measures
  • The operations of administrative, tactical and strategic meetings
  • Process for alignment and cascading communications
  • Process for quarterly business reviews, planning and board meetings



  • MLT delivers outstanding results with first-team mindset and cadence driving alignment, effectiveness and predictability


  • MLT is our first team - Prioritize company over departments. No one fails alone
  • Alignment - MLT in sync on plan, priorities, process and progress
  • Effectiveness - We run the company well
  • Predictability - We make progress on plan with few preventable surprises


  • Strategic, tactical and administrative MLT cadence - Stay in sync, solve problems as a team
  • Quarterly planning process (moving to halves) - Develop, adapt and finalize plans for next quarter
  • Quarterly business review - As a first team, review previous quarter and align plans for current quarter
  • Annual planning offsite - Discuss and finalize plans for the year
  • Board and adviser reviews - Check-in with board and advisers to align on annual plans
  • Team leadership workshops - Increase organizational health by investing in team cohension
  • Opportunity for leadership coaching / advisers (no obligation) - Invest in our leaders


  • Need to realign natural tendency to prioritize department over company
  • Need to make time for MLT cadence


  • MLT meets and exceeds objectives
  • Company is excited about direction and understands their contribution
  • Measures, budget and program spend agreed and stable for the period

MLT VPMOM Review Process

VPMOMs, quarterly plans and proposed orgs are reviewed by MLT. Use the following order to review VPMOMs:

  • Measures
  • Priorities
  • Vision
  • Obstacles
  • Methods

MLT shares feedback on each VPMOM and quarterly plan. Cross-department dependencies documented.

MLT Daily Admin

The purpose of MLT Daily is to keep our team in sync and accountable.

In MLT Daily we can share:

Heads up

  • Share priority info, e.g. PR issue, customer escalation, product schedule change, etc.


  • Top FYIs for yesterday or today, e.g. key hire starting, handling escalation, notes from important meeting, etc.
  • Include links to detail for people to learn more


  • Ask MLT members for things, e.g. need input, need to escalate issue, ask for update, headcount plan past due, etc.

Time and People

  • Weekdays 8:31am SF time to 8:41am SF time with Mattermost Leadership Team


Stand-Up Post

Before meeting use /standup command to post updates to peers in the channel of what's important:


- Met with Alice Evans from Gartner - [Notes posted](XXX)
- Carter Lee starts today as Director of BizOps 

If you post incorrectly, use the "Edit" option to update.

Most updates will look something like this:

##### Status Update for Tuesday 16 April 2019

- Met with Alice Evans from Gartner - [Notes posted](XXX)
- Carter Lee starts today as Director of BizOps 

#standup-20190416 #standup

If there's a lot to talk about, use this format:

##### Status Update for Tuesday 16 April 2019


- CTO of ABC Co escalating ask for custom SAML provider, blocking purchase. Need R&D's help 


- Met with Alice Evans from Gartner - [Notes posted](XXX)
- Carter Lee starts today as Director of BizOps 


- @john.smith can you share where things are with the Twitter issue brought up yesterday?  

#standup-20190416 #standup

MLT Sync - 8:31am to 8:41am SF time

  • Meeting starts promptly at 8:31am SF time
  • Each MLT member has ~60s for updates
  • Meeting ends at 8:41am SF time

MLT Admin - 8:42am SF time to 8:55am SF time

  • 8:42am to 8:55am offers 14 minutes to talk through cross-team communication and administrative items outside of meeting
  • Use Zoom in DM channel or phone

MLT Weekly Tactical

The purpose of MLT Weekly Tactical is to keep MLT team on track to quarterly and annual targets.

Time and People

  • Tuesdays 10:00am SF time to 11:30am SF time with Mattermost Leadership Team


MLT Daily - 10:01am to 10:11am SF Time

  • Daily check-in on administrative and hot topic items, including heads ups and asks

Scoreboard Review - 10:11am to 10:45am SF Time

  • Review sales, marketing and support numbers to flag and discuss issues

Tactical Agenda - 10:45am to 11:10am ST Time

  • Talk through queued items, 5m max per topic. Resolve or find next step

Decisions/Actions - 11:10am to 11:20am SF Time

  • Agree on decisions and actions

Cascading Communications - 11:20am to 11:25am SF Time

  • Agree on what and when to communicate to directs and rest of company, including Customer Obsession Meeting announcements from the CEO. If meeting ends without agreement, meeting chair notes in the MLT: Weekly Tactical channel with an @all mention.

MLT Monthly Strategic

The purpose of MLT monthly strategic meeting is to review and decide on strategic decisions

Time and People

  • Scheduled monthly for 3 hours with Mattermost Leadership Team


The following outlines the process for monthly strategic meetings:

Materials Shared - before 9pm night before Monthly Meeting

  • Any materials for monthly agenda are shared prior to 9pm SF time before monthly meeting

Agenda - 0:00 Meeting Time

  • Agenda of strategic topics reviewed MLT and agreed upon
  • Topics are queued during weekly tactical in the month

Strategic Topics - 0:03 Meeting Time

  • Strategic topics discussed per agenda

Decisions/Actions - 2:30 Meeting Time

  • Agree on decisions and actions

Cascading Communications - 2:45 Meeting Time

  • Agree on what and when to communicate to directs and rest of company

MLT Planning

The purpose of target setting is to confirm targets, plan and budget for MLT departments for the period.

The MLT plan consists of:

  1. Company and department fiscal year 1-page VPMOMs
  2. Quarterly plan, in the context of fiscal year VPMOM
  3. Financial plan, including revenue
  4. Headcount plan

We're currently focused on quarterly plans and will move to halves

Plan Expectations

  • 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

Plan Process

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:

  1. CEO discusses company and department VPMOMs 1-1 with department heads to ensure alignment
    • If applicable during the period, sales, CEO and finance set or adjust the revenue targets
  2. People meets with department heads to discuss current and future org structure
    • Include discussion on performance, potential and any FYIs
  3. Finance works with department heads to discuss headcount and program spend budget
    • Include budget variance
  4. Department heads social plans with their teams

Review WIP Plan

T-Minus 2 Weeks to announcement.

  • At Monthly Strategic Meeting:
    • WIP VPMOMs, quarterly plan and proposed orgs reviewed by MLT
    • MLT shares feedback on each VPMOM and quarterly plan
    • Cross-department dependencies documented
    • Draft agenda
      • Review of MLT Plan Process
      • Company VPMOM & Q2 plan
      • Sales VPMOM, Q2 plan and proposed org
      • R&D VPMOM, Q2 plan and proposed org
      • Marketing VPMOM, Q2 plan and proposed org
      • Customer Success VPMOM, Q2 plan and proposed org
      • Finance VPMOM, Q2 plan and proposed org
      • People VPMOM, Q2 plan and proposed org
  • MLT socializes updates to high-level plan with their departments

Finalize Plan

T-Minus 1 Week to announcement

  • Company and VPMOMs updated given feedback
  • Financial plan adjusted
  • Headcount approvals published

Plan Shared

Week of announcement

  • Company VPMOM shared at all-hands
  • Department VPMOMs are posted
  • MLT presents company plan to their departments

Quarterly Leadership Review (QLR)

Each quarter we review process towards our VPMOMs and discuss achievements and opportunities.



Quarterly Leadership Checkin

QLR is an exercise to increase output through concise, efficient review of quarterly goals for company and department in the context of VPMOMs.

Time and People

  • Scheduled monthly for 3.5 hours with Mattermost Leadership Team.

Prior to Meeting

  • Materials for QLR agenda are shared by Friday prior to the QLR meeting.


  • (CEO) Reviews MLT Cadence VPMOM (10 minutes)

  • (Each department head) Reviews quarterly goals in the context of VPMOMs, including the following (15 minutes per person):

    • Goals for previous quarter
    • Previous quarter achievements and opportunities
    • Goals for current quarter
    • Cross-department dependencies
    • Hiring plan and org chart
  • (MLT) Break (10 minutes)

  • (MLT) Deep dive into GTM (90 minutes)

  • (CEO) Wrap-up, including follow-ups (10 minutes)

Quarterly GTM Review

QGR is a quarterly drilldown on sales, marketing and customer success in the context of VPMOMs. Agenda to be determined.

Quarterly Product Review

QRR is a review of product vision, near term roadmap and long term roadmap in the context of VPMOMs. Agenda to be determined.

Quarterly Operations Review

Review of non-GTM, non-R&D departments in context of VPMOMs. Agenda to be determined.

QBR follow-ups

As reviews happen, follow-up items are noted in RAPID format and meetings scheduled based on RAPID assignments.

Board Meetings

  • Between 21st and end of the month
  • Scheduled 18 months in advance
  • Board deck is sent to Board 3 calendar days before Board meeting

Meeting Structure

  1. General session: Includes leads from Mattermost team, usually sales, occasionally CS, product
  2. Closed session: VP Finance and CEO update Board
  3. CEO and Board: Board gives feedback to CEO
  4. Board without CEO: Board discusses feedback among themselves, then one board member delivers feedback to CEO

Debrief Calls

  1. 25 minute debrief scheduled with each board member same day or the day after board meeting via their admins.
  2. 1 hour debrief with MLT scheduled same day after board meeting.

Fiscal Year Planning (1%)

Preparation for the annual plan and budget for the next fiscal year begins in the second half of the current fiscal year.

Q3 Planning for next fiscal year

In Q3 we have three goals:

  1. 50% VPMOM for company and departments based on our latest thinking
  2. Prioritized issues to solve before we lock 99% plan at end of Q4--largely coming from Obstacles in 50% VPMOM
  3. 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

  1. The company 3-year aspirations are reviewed
  2. A 1% MLT VPMOM for next fiscal year is drafted by CEO and reviewed with MLT department heads
  3. Department heads draft 1% Department VPMOMs for next fiscal year and review with peer stakeholders and CEO
  4. At Q3 Planning Offsite, MLT reviews 50% MLT VPMOM for next fiscal year developed from 1% draft
  5. At Q3 Planning Offsite, department heads present 50% Department VPMOMs, reviewed by peer stakeholders and CEO
  6. Action items are documented and developed around Obstacles to success of next fiscal year
  7. 50% MLT and Department VPMOMs, plus Obstacles, are presented to department leaders

Q4 Planning for next fiscal year

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.

  1. MLT and middle managers work through key Obstacles for next fiscal year
  2. Finance works with MLT to draft financials plan for next fiscal year
  3. CEO works with MLT to develop MLT VPMOM from 50% to 99%
  4. Department heads work with their teams, peer stakeholders and CEO to develop Department VPMOM from 50% to 99%
  5. 99% MLT VPMOM is reviewed by MLT and agreed
  6. 99% Department VPMOMs are reviewed by MLT peers and CEO and agreed
  7. Plan for next fiscal year is locked based on VPMOMs
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