At my workplace we’ve recently started following Scrum and Kanban. I head the product management team with 2 newly minted product owners. They used to be a product manager and sales engineer respectively. One has limited experience with Scrum, the other none. So how to help them find their footing in their new role?
There’s a lot to learn from trainings and books, but there’s a difference between hearing and reading about what an agile workplace is like and experiencing the reality of it. That’s why I contacted my PO friends at my former employer to see it they would let them take a peek. They would. (Thank you!)
A crate of Füchsen changed hands and N. and N. got to observe a planning meeting and afterwards asked scores of questions. They returned completely psyched: “So that’s what it’s like, when it’s ‘finished’!”
Then at last week’s agile meetup, Sven mentioned that he’d like to do a similar exchange, but that it can be difficult to find a partner, if your company doesn’t have several people in the same role and you lack connections to other agile companies.
Wouldn’t it be great to have a place to look for such exchange partners? Our neighbors, the Software Craftmen, are already talking a lot about craftsmen swaps. We could copy that and make it more broad. Swapping jobs for weeks might work for Coaches and Scrum Masters, but is probably difficult for Product Owners. For them Pairing or even just passively observing are more viable options that still provide valuable insights. And while we’re at it, let’s include the lean practitioners as well!
There are many ways, such a platform could work. Here’s my concept:
To collect exchange partners for this not-yet-built platform, I created this form. I thought, that even if I never get around to building a proper website, a public spreadsheet with possible exchange partners would still be helpful.
Sadly, no one has submitted the form yet, although the “exchange platform”-idea got a very positive echo on Twitter. I’m wondering why that is…
- People like the idea, but nobody wants to really use it
- The idea is great, but the form is a poor implementation
- The “public” bit is the repellant. If the spreadsheet wasn’t public, people would get listed like crazy
- Everybody wants to check with their workplace first, before getting listed
Is it one of the above? Which one? Or something completely different? Please tell me in the comments.
I don’t want to build something that no one is going to use. As Sven pointed out, there are simpler ways to create a go-to-place, such as a Xing-/LinkedIn-/GoogleGroups-Group.
What’s important to me is, that people don’t have to look at 5 different sites to check whether there’s someone in their area with whom to team up. The more people concentrate on one platform, the more valuable that platform is to all of us.
That being said, I’d like to build the platform as pictured above. My current – not yet elaborate – plans are here. If at least 5 people list themselves until May 17th, 2013 (1 week from now) it will vastly increase my resolve to build it 🙂
And if you’re interested in the exchange thing, but not in getting listed, I’d like to know why and what alternative you will support.
Update: Today, 3 weeks later, there are 4 entries in the survey. This strikes me as too little interest to warrant a dedicated platform. Plan now is to use an existing platform such as LinkedIn and organize something there. I’ll update again, when we’ve come up with something 🙂
A big THANK YOU to those people who did sign up!