What is a follow-the-sun model?

The follow-the-sun model is a business strategy that involves organizing teams and work processes in a way that enables 24-hour operation, with work being passed between teams located in different parts of the world as each region’s working day ends. The goal of the follow-the-sun model is to maximize productivity and efficiency by leveraging the time differences across different regions of the world.

In this model, teams are typically located in different time zones, and work is handed off between teams as one team finishes their day and the next team begins theirs.

Example of a follow-the-sun model

For example, a team in the United States might work on a project during their day shift and then hand it off to a team in Europe to continue working on it during their day shift. This allows the project to be worked on continuously, around the clock, without interruption.

The follow-the-sun model is particularly useful for organizations that operate in global markets and have customers in different parts of the world. It enables these organizations to provide 24-hour support and service to their customers, which can be a significant competitive advantage. Additionally, it allows for faster turnaround times and more efficient use of resources.

Atlassian is a software development company that uses the follow-the-sun model to maintain a continuous development process across different time zones. When the development team in their Australian office finishes their workday, they hand over their ongoing tasks to teams in the United States and Europe. These teams then continue to work on the software development tasks during their respective workdays, ensuring that the work is always progressing.

In addition to development, Atlassian also uses the follow-the-sun model to provide 24-hour support to their customers. They have support teams located in different regions, who take over from each other as their respective workdays begin and end. This means that customers can get support at any time of day or night, regardless of where they are in the world. This has helped Atlassian build a loyal customer base and expand their business globally.