Community Starts @ Home [inc. video]

Community Starts @ Home [inc. video]


A quick curiosity that will give you a better insight on life at OutSystems while, at the same time, throw an idea your way for something you can run in your own company.

Sometimes we have a very outward looking view of community, how we engage people outside our company: our customers, our partners etc. But where you have 2 people you have a Community, and fostering these relationships, whatever they may be, is building community. This means that Community dynamics can, and should, start inside the company and only then work outwards.

We recently had a small event entitled Class-a-Thon, that was attended by the new 2012 OutSystems staff (aptly called Class of 2012). We grouped folks into 3-4 people teams, mix & matched guys from R&D (Lisbon office) and from Solution Delivery (both from Lisbon and Proença-a-Nova offices) and challenged them to come up with and develop from the ground up one or more improvements to data displayed on the Community Site page.

The team had access to a very small part of the data model (users, forums, topics and posts - nothing more, nothing less) as a mean of keeping them focused as the thing was draconianly timeboxed.

More than the actual output (which was surprisingly good in some cases and I will look into maybe including it here!) it was an awesome team and community building exercise. People got to work and interact with guys from other departments and even locations, which is increasingly important as a company grows.

Credits go to Gonçalo Gaiolas and our HR team for putting this event together and my personal thank-you for inviting me to be a stakeholder and allowing me to do my particular brand of "Mentoring by Walking Around" i.e. slow down the teams with suggestions of dubious relevance :). Kudos also to Alexandra Monteiro of our HR team for rolling up her sleeves, leaving her comfort zone, and putting together a no-budget video of the event for us to enjoy!

Without further ado, here's the video

Let me/us know if you do fun stuff like this in your companies so we can cross-polinate great ideas!