Learning from each other

Post • 2 min read
The tech industry has a wide variety of tools and best practices. To enable a team to work effectively, knowledge must be distributed. At times, the whole team must learn something new. Read about the best practices Managed Cloud Applications team leverages for tackling these challenges. Managed Cloud Applications team faces new technologies and programming languages from time to time. The team also wants to develop their internal processes by learning from the front line. And all this in between the daily tasks of development, customer communication and incident management. How do they do it?

Teaching each other

Managed Cloud Applications team has a bi-weekly slot for 90 minute meeting dedicated to continuous improvement. From time to time, one of the team members is assigned to prepare a training session. The developer will prepare relevant information, examples and maybe a demo or hands-on task on the subject. As a result, the whole team learns a lot in a short time and with small effort. This kind of learning is recommended when one of the team members has knowledge that others don’t. For example, it might be:
  • former experience in a programming language that a new customer is using, or
  • knowledge gathered in using a new technology in a project.
When the whole team wants to learn something new, a study group could be a more beneficial approach.

Study group for books

Besides developing new features, Managed Cloud Applications team handles anything traditional DevOps processes might contain. To be effective in handling the operational tasks, the team leverages from what bigger companies have already learned. This means reading a book in common pace and discussing it weekly. Recently, the team chose a book available online and agreed to read two chapters weekly. Each Monday developers met for three quarters of an hour to discuss what they had learned and how they could apply it to their work. Unfortunately, it soon became clear that not even the majority of attendants had had the time to read the chapters. To allocate time for everyone to read the book, the team changed their process. The meeting time was expanded to an hour, and it began with everyone reading only one chapter further. When everyone had read the week’s chapter, discussion could begin. The pace of reading the book was halved, but team members gained a lot more from discussion. Now every attendant is familiar with the topic and can bring their own ideas to the table.

Learning together builds rapport

Arranging study groups to read a book or assigning one team member to educate others has other effects besides increased knowledge. There are many positive effects, including but not limited to:
  • Developers learn to trust each other by learning together.
  • Leading a learning session empowers individuals to see how their knowledge benefits the whole team.
  • Developers get to enhance their performance skills when leading a learning session.
Does your team take advantage of study groups? Could you start it today?  
Johanna KaihlavirtaHead of Application Management
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Johanna Kaihlavirta
Johanna Kaihlavirta
Head of Application Management