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Frantic After Work: Creative work culture

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Frantic After Work November 2012 presents:
Creative work culture – lessions learned over the years

by Mika Hämäläinen, Designineer at eQsign

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Frantic After Work: Creative work culture

  1. 1. Best PracticesNotes from the New Media Grand Tour 1998
  2. 2. Beware big IT-companies Most people interviewed who had worked on co-projects with Big IT Companies seemed to be quite upset by it. Be careful.2
  3. 3. Evolution of culture, not revolution Cherish New Media Culture. We know that not all the things we do are done the best way they could be done. But don’t try to change everything at once, there will be clash of cultures. Remember that young experts, working in friendship- culture started this industry, work with that, and don’ttry to bring in some American Consulting Company culture at once. It means trouble.3
  4. 4. Build on ambition We are ambitious bunch. Use it, work with it, and don’t throw it overboard with company structure, weird project management and concentration on earnings. It is nice to make money, but most people seem to be driven by being able to plan, produce and to be thanked for doing such a good work.4
  5. 5. Managing Growth –delegate responsibility Keep on growing, put remember to let go. More people, bigger projects, now things have to be delegated. Give juniors a bit more responsibility that you thing they can handle, and you will see that they grow to fulfill the need.5
  6. 6. Implement your designs Say what you do, do what you say. Document your work, become better by following up.There seems to be lot of development work done in each company, but in too many cases it is just design work, with no implementation and follow-ups.6
  7. 7. Centerpiece of an office creates spirit Company has an identity, let it grow. Create places where people like to hang around, keep those places alive.Maybe we all could have feeling of a family dinner when having lunch?7
  8. 8. Give stories to media Media loves New Media. No wonder there is such publicity for us.But remember to tell stories, give histories, have places to photograph, make it interesting for the journalist. Control by giving, not by blocking.8
  9. 9. Keep it flat Keep the organization flat. Yes, there can be very complex organization, but mostemployees want to have flat organization with direct and personal influence on decision making. Cherish experience and expertise, but don’t look down on those who have just started.9
  10. 10. Keep it simple Whenever designing tool, methods and templates, keep them simple. You probably can create perfect tool if you have enough time, but even then don’t make them too complicated.No one wants to have Debriefing Template 27 pages long!10
  11. 11. Forget the waterfall, build iteration into project If project is planned as set of steps to be performed one after one, it will create enormous pressures into lastphases. Especially in our line of work where changes are more rule than exception. Workflow should be planned according to iteration, setting small milestones so that all the phases are done simultaneously, going further and better with each iteration phase. If the deadline comes too early, the project can be released as it was in last milestone, smaller than planned,11 put whole and tested.
  12. 12. Small creative teams –with ambition When the projects are getting bigger and bigger, there seems to be more people involved in projects. Remember that by putting in more ”Man Months” byadding people is not the same than having small compact steady team with reasonable timetable.The best creative teams seem to be 2-5 people, no more. Give them power, time, resources and honor.12
  13. 13. Make things easy for hardworking When the deadlines are approaching, and the working days are getting longer, what do you do? Make things easier for those under pressure. Haveenough food and drinks available, have places for resting,hire someone to babysit their children, have their laundry done for them etc. And when the pressure is off, send them, and their families for an vacation. Remember you’ll need them next time, don’t burn them up.13
  14. 14. Senior experts Build up expertise.Don’t waste your best designers or developers to do chores that someone else could do for them.Use experts as coaches; keep them moving, developing, pointing directions…14
  15. 15. Professional Guilds to build know-how and prideIf you are arranged into industrial or customer teams withmixed expertise, build up ”Guilds”, parallel teams which coordinates development inside an expertise.15
  16. 16. Creative forums to see further Create forums to cherish creativity. Take some time off, have interesting people to come to forum, do some exercises, play around, and keep the flame burning.16
  17. 17. Professional development is the key to future Keep on developing. Have internal developing days, meet with outside experts, go to seminars, read books. And remember to take time to do this.17
  18. 18. Recording lessons learned Start collecting data. What is done, how it was done and why. What did we learn from it? Remember that next time it might be different people, team or may even different company, who is working on similar case.18
  19. 19. Keep on teaching and sharing Spread out your knowledge, and it will come back double!Coach the juniors, share your information and knowledge. Even though the companies are getting big, and you can’t know all of them personally, keep on sharing your knowledge.19
  20. 20. Cherish yourself Enjoy, be proud. This may be the most interesting, at least the fastest growing industry in the world. Enjoy being part of it.20
  21. 21. Get headset for the phones Yes, free your hands21
  22. 22. Free Coke! Yes, everyone should be allowed free speech and free softdrinks. Some of us do!22
  23. 23. ”Aluksi tuli agile ja scrum, joilloin saimme vihdoin kauan kaivatun oikeudenpäivittäin raportoida tekemisiämme. Todella hienoa! varmasti jokainen, jokajoutuu työskentelemään ilman jokapäiväistä seurantaa kadehtii meitäkehittäjiä. Eipä enää koodarit pääse notkumaan tyhjän panttina, kuntekemisten seuranta on saatu melkein reaaliaikaiseksi.Nyt otetaan sitten käytöön uusi hieno käytäntö. Jokainen rivi koodia, jonkakirjoitamme, tarkistutetaan toisella kehittäjällä. Tästähän me kaikki olemmeunelmoineet. Sanotaan sitä vaikka katselmoinniksi, koska kyttääminenkuulostaa pahemmalta, vaikka asia ei siitä miksikään muutu. Siis kulkeekosairaanhoitajat osastolla joku toinen olan takana tarkistamassa kaikkityövaiheet? Miksei HKL:n kuljettajilla ole kakkoskuskia, jonka tehtävät ontarkkailla ratissa istuvan työn laatu?Jos joku nuori tällä palstalla pohtii tulevaa uraa, voin suositella IT-alaatodellisena unelmatyönä. Päivittäin saat tehdä selvityksen, miksi työsituottavuus ei ole yltänyt tavoitteisiin. Jos tuottavuus onkin kohdallaan, niin jokutarkistaa kaikki tekemisesi ja kirjaa ylös virheet, jotta niistä voidaanasianmukaisesti rapostoida eteenpäin. Onko mitään, mihin kehittäjät eivätsopeudu?” - koodiorja
  24. 24. ”Suomalaisissa teknillisissä korkeakouluissatietojenkäsittelytiede ja javascript tuntuvatolevan toisensa kokonaan poissulkevatkäsitteet (”Eikös tämä web olekin jo vähäneilisen juttu?”), joten laaja-alaisesti front end -puolen hallitsevia henkilöidä ei löydy kuinkourallinen. Useimmiten uupuutietojenkäsittelytieteen tuntemus tai sittenhenkilö ei osaa tai ole kiinnostunutkäyttöliittymäsuunnittelusta jakäytettävyydestä.” - Petteri Koponen
  25. 25. Mika Hämäläinen 2012