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My company is looking to expand technical capability with a particular knowledge / skill-set. We have 5-6 developers of various experience working on similar problems but with different requirements, schedules, etc. We are in the same building, but physically spread out. Several of my directs are in this group.

I would like to form a cross-functional group to encourage sharing knowledge, provide mentor-ship for more junior members, etc. I'm struggling with the details of how to do this, including frequency, structure, etc. For example, to my thinking, a weekly meeting would not be frequent enough to discuss problems as they arise. On the other hand, a daily "scrum" style update is not likely to be in-depth enough to actually encourage detailed analysis and technical growth.

Any actionable MT-style advice on forming a "community"?

Much thanks!

- Jay

GlennR's picture

This book might be helpful. http://www.amazon.com/The-Wisdom-Network-Identifying-Leveraging/dp/08144... I recall it being very actionable.

 

Good luck!

markbyantaylor's picture

Certainly regular face to faces so that they build relationships.  Try encouraging lunches if on the same site.

If the teams are seperately removed then look at getting them to build their own websites/ weekly newsletter (email) - about them, what they are doing, family, pretty much anything (listen to the Virtual Teams cast).

I'd then suggest a closed IM group (skype or equivelent).  Then encourage some open questions to the group.  The more that they know each other - the more they will know which of them to send questions to.  Skype allows for a quick - how do you do this question with quick responses.  If the answer is too complex for Skype then it prompts offline follow up.

One thing that I found go developers to work together (even in the same room) was putting them all through the Microsoft certification program.  Even though they did the training and exams in the groups at different times - everyone was keen to share experience and knowledge.