Having a company with several on going projects may lead to problems of communications. Different technologies, different products and each team seen only their progress.
To help breaking the silos of information, we started using the concept of Chapters, an idea developed by Spotify.
What is a Chapter?
Chapters are a group or team members working within a special area. Imagine a project (squad) being a column form by frontend developers, backend developers, database administrator and testers.
What a chapter does is gather all similar profiles to talk about the different project, exchange ideas, share and help other. And of course, create guidelines for future projects.
This is how we use the concept of chapters at e-verse.
Squads are project based group of people. Each project may differ in terms of scope and even technology being use. But they all contain different specialist handling different technical areas.
How does a chapter come to play?
As stated before, a chapter group people from all squads sharing the same technological profiles.
E.g., Front end developers, QA Engineers, etc.
Who leads a chapter?
As in any Scrum/Agile methodology, a chapter should be lead by a servant leader. The main task of this leader is to help setting the agenda of topics and lead the meetings. As a difference with a Scrum master, the Chapter leader should be someone from within the chapter, part of a squad “doing the work”.
In this custom interpretation of the concept of chapters, we propose a gathering instance where all chapters present what they have been doing every month. This space gives a chance to other teams to know what their teammates are doing, learn from different disciplines and ask for help to other chapters.
It’s also a good instance to show to a chapter all the work done by themselves. We tend to forget what we did as soon as the task is marked as “done”. The big picture gives a sense of accomplishment.
The format of these gatherings will vary from time to time. Generally, it’s a 1-hour event where all the company is invited. Each chapter then presents the work done since the previous Carnival.
The presentation format is semi-flexible. This means that every chapter is free to choose how they will present their work (a video, demo, a slide deck, a game, and any other medium you can think of).
However, if there’s a pre-established template for the presentation format chosen, the team is encouraged to use it. For example, we already have templates for decks or documents following the e-verse brand.
Nonetheless, the team is free to propose a new template or way to present, challenging what’s already established, but this needs to follow a particular reason or logic to propose the change. If the team chooses a format we don’t have a template or pre-established image for, all the better! Extra points for creativity.
What is next?
Why stopping at production teams? Why not a Marketing Chapter? Or a HR Chapter talking how to improve hiring processes? The opportunities are limitless!
I'm an Architect who decided to make his life easier by coding. Curious by nature, I approach challenges armed with lateral thinking and a few humble programming skills. Love to work with passioned people and push the boundaries of the industry. Bring me your problems/Impossible is possible, but it takes more time.