With the first half of 2014 coming to an end, I looked back to the progress of the marketing team during the past six months. What I saw was not promising: There have been meetings, discussions, plans and work, but almost no results. Results in the sense of achievements in the market. While every member of the marketing team did what they could, I felt there was far too little output compared to the amount of hours invested. I decided for myself that continuing like this is not an option, neither is stepping down.
The Marketing Team has evaluated a new collaboration concept in our team last week. We call it "Fields of Responsibility” (FOR). The basic concept behind is a very simple rule set:
We define "Fields of Responsibilities", which are assigned to certain team members. Having a “Field of Responsibility” means that the team member pro-actively cares about that field of activities him/herself. Doing so, every team member can commit to a field which they are interested in, which fits their skills and which is of a size/workload they are able to handle.
The clearer the “FOR” is described, the better. In addition, it helps a lot with finding new team members. (And yes, we will have to find quite a few additional team members!)
Every team member commits to deliver what he/she promises. No matter what.
We have to be real about it: Making promises and not delivering on them harms the whole project. TYPO3 voluntary work should be given the same priority as daytime work. If one is young, voluntary work is easy to achieve – but it suddenly changes if you are married with children. While we are neither willing nor able to force anyone, we generally expect companies to give this TYPO3 time to their employees. Doing so, team members will have a real chance to get things done.
Every team member commits only to what they are really able to deliver. Both in terms of skills and in terms of time.
No more «mission impossible» for any one. It’s only natural that if you are enthusiastic about things you want to achieve you tend to overcommit. But if, for whatever reason, we fail to deliver, we are not helping anyone.
The team meets every other month in real-life and in between on Google Hangout
Meeting in real life is important. The real-life meetings take a full day and should give room for a retrospective of the results and work done as well as an outlook on future tasks and events. Furthermore, meeting in person is fun as we are friends.
We make it easy for new team members to get in and easy for members to step out of our team
I believe it is essential to make it as easy as possible for people who want to drop out to do so. Not without emotions but without hard feelings. It's better to have someone leave the team than keeping someone who is unable to commit wholeheartedly.
As you can see, this is an experiment. We have discussed the model in the marketing team and the feedback was surprisingly enthusiastic. There wasn’t much of a controversial discussion. I take that as a sign that everyone is happy to finally generate momentum in the marketing team. Yet the outcome of the experiment is very unclear. I will keep you posted on the progress we make in the upcoming months.
As there are a number of FORs that do not have anyone assigned yet, we are looking for additional team members; we will create descriptions of who we are looking for next week. If you want to participate right now please contact me immediately – I will be more than happy to talk to you.