Sharing Knowledge

An important part of the Mangrove Culture


It’s 10:50 AM and my phone tells me there’s a presentation in 10 minutes. I finish what I’m doing and then I hear a loud *ding*. That sound is the ringing of the bell, indicating that a presentation is about to start. Everyone in the agency is there, accounting, finance, management, developers and designers.

Today Rens is sharing his experience with the static-site-generator Middleman. It’s a tool he’s been using for one of our clients and he and his team are very excited about it so he made a presentation telling everyone about the benefits. He keeps his presentation short and sweet, highlighting his learnings and sharing why it’s awesome. Before the presentation is finished I’m already thinking of ways I can use Middleman for an upcoming project!

A little bit about how we work

At Mangrove we work in interdisciplinary scrum teams. These self-organising teams are setup to utilise all the strengths and specialties of every team-member. The teams have their own projects and clients, however this doesn’t mean the teams don’t share their work or techniques with the other teams. We regularly have design and developer meetings. We have these meetings in small, informal settings or online in a Slack channel. And we have our Wiki, for documenting protocols and methods. And when someone wants to share something with the whole team, like Rens did a few weeks ago, we have an “Uitgelicht”, which roughly translates to “Spotlight”.

See more of the Mangrove Culture on our Instagram-feed.

In these presentations everybody at Mangrove can share their learnings and keep everybody in the loop regarding our industry. By having these presentations become part of our company we created a culture of sharing, something that I think made the internet the way it is today. And by stepping away from your screen or handheld device and seeing a colleague passionately talk about a certain topic you get a much better experience.

The last few months I’ve seen presentations about Analytics, Git, Ruby on Rails, Sketch, Notifications and iBeacons. Topics that not everybody in Mangrove is familiar with and probably wouldn’t learn about from behind their screen. By seeing a colleague with a different background talk about his or her learnings brings a better understanding of the work we do.

Many ways of sharing knowledge

These Spotlights aren’t the only way we share our knowledge. We also have Mangrove Make Day, a day where we explore new technologies, hardware and all kinds of random stuff. We also started using Slack for internal communications, and we — obviously — use this Journal to share news and articles to the outside world as well. All different ways of sharing our knowledge and they all add to the Mangrove Culture.

Mangrove is (like many other agile companies) always evolving and we’re always looking for ways to improve our work and communication. What works today, might not work tomorrow.

Do you have any experience in your company you would like to share? Let me know on Twitter.