Share and share alike

By | March 26, 2014

When was the last time that you sat down with a team from another company and discussed how each of you tackled a similar problem? How often do you knowledge-share with other firms to learn from one another? Chances are you never have. Most companies seem to prefer to remain an island, struggling alone, rather than engage with other organisations.

Why? Is it fear of showing yourself as inferior to your peers? Maybe. Your having problems implementing [insert your chosen framework name here], your estimations aren’t great, you struggle to split stories vertically, you lack automated regression testing, you are striving for regular releases, and so on.

Dessert island

Fortunately, unlike Robinson Crusoe (where the phrase share and share alike first appeared) none of us is alone; we are surrounded by companies facing similar challenges, experimenting with various different approaches, all hoping to find solutions to similar problems. I’ve had hundreds of conversations over the years with a wide variety of teams and the same themes keep on cropping up.

Taking some time out to meet up with other organisations to share knowledge has many benefits: you can share problems; you will realise that you are suffering similar issues; you will discover new ideas to allow you to approach a problem in a different way; you can learn from each others’ mistakes. It is also free.

Start with a small, friendly company who you already have a good relationship. You’ll soon find that going it alone is the crazy option.

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