Beakman is still alive

Joan Díaz

Well actually Beakman has not came back to his TV show, but our IT team take his soul to our (let’s say) “R&D laboratories”.

In another post I talked about what we did with Moving Motivators trying to find our intrinsecal motivations and other stuff that makes us a little more happier at work. Ok, that’s a good experience but now I’m going to talk about one of the outcomes we made from the Moving Motivator workshop.

All team agree that, one of our weak points was investigation, we were really focused with on: our day-to-day work and acting as fireman extinguishing fires and these things takes our time away. An investigations is one of thoses things we were also giving away and we were aware about that and we were also worried, we work with technology and being up to date is a must.

Moving forward

For these reason, we decided that we could do something like Exploration Days, all of us sometime take holiday or day off, so what if we allocate a full laboral day only investigating, learning, using our imagination, etc… I said “only” ironically, because usually people view these days as idle or lazy days, but is not! I think these days could make great breakthroughs and also could improve team performance ( surely John Kay would say that this is an obliquity way to do that). Hence we created BEAKMAN DAY or B-DAY!

Ground rules

One day, we moved to a meeting room and we built a set of ground rules in order to put boundaries and purpose. All of us contributed, we drew it on the fly in a wall (sorry I don’t have pictures about this little brainstorming) and afterwards we move this to a shared space at our Confluence. Basically these rules are:

  1. Beakman days are optional.
  2. At the end of the day you should build a new development or prototype.
  3. You have a clear idea about: what you’re going to investigate or which necessity you want to cover.
  4. It should long one labour day.
  5. It could be an individual or collective.
  6. You should notify the team with the day and topic you are going to spend your beakman day.
  7. You should write and upload a brief document at Confluence, where all team members could check what you did in order to learn and check if this could work for them (we know that shared documents are not the same that shared knowledge).
  8. It would be nice to ask for feedback inside the team.

For the moment, we decided that each of us could make a Beakman day one time every two or three months.

Outcome

Since we started this initiative one year ago, we did an overall of 4 to 5 beakman days, all worked ok and as a result we did a couple of workshops in order to talk and share about what we discovered, because all team was interested on it and though it could be usefull for them. Now we use source data base control in one of our big projectes, we introduced more testing tools inside our developments and we started working with a new RESTful framework.

One very important thing is, Beakman days emerged from Moving Motivators workshop (doble reason to celebrate yaaay). For this reason, I think we have to take into account that we also build awareness about our lack of investigation or our lack to be involved with new technologies. This help us to have a more openness mind ( jointly with how we choose new technologies at our delegation board ), though now we’re developing real stuff with new technologies and it seems that people are less excited with Beakman days, we cannot give up and still working on it!

Joan Díaz

Written by

Agile, Lean, company culture, new ways of management or self-management enthusiast.

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