Our people work at customer sites, geographically isolated from other teams and Houston’s management. This enables efficient customer communication but sets great challenges for internal communication and development! Of course we have Houston days, customer specific development meetings, yammer, circles and peer groups, coding dojos, weekly newsletter etc. I still felt this wasn’t enough.
“I would make 100 home visits by the end of the year.”
I made a plan last february. I would make 100 home visits by the end of the year. That meant about 3 home visits a week. Those visits were lunches, breakfasts and other informal meetings where I could share my knowledge and bring up everyday issues. Our people could tell me their ideas and challenges or just let out some steam! 10 months later in december I completed my 100th home visit.
“Oh no…is he coming again?” - An unknown Houstonian
What did I learn? Did I make a difference at all?
I learned to know our people. I hope that now I know at least some of their abilities and ambitions. I am able to share these to our management and to other Houstonians. This way we can support our peer groups, guide internal development and implement the best ideas quickly. We know to give credit to people who deserve it and can identify the biggest causes for frustration right away.
The seeds for Houston days, company-wide retrospectives, coding competitions and architect circle among others have been planted at home visits. I hope I’m able to keep my ears on the ground, right next to our people and customers. My job is to detect the development potential and everyday challenges. We have made 100 small steps this year which have contributed to a truly giant progress that our customers can harvest!
“Whatever we do, we do it with a big heart!”
Yet, in my opinion the most important thing I’ve discovered: Whatever we do, we do it with a big heart! And yes, our people love coding!
Hoping to break the 100 next year,