On being new

The New Kid {Anagram: Think Weed}

This is the first time I’ve started a new job in ten years.

It’s quite a change to go from having a decade’s worth of history/knowledge/context with an organization to being completely immersed in newness. It’s good practice in adopting a beginner’s mindset.

While listening in on a call with our Gear Store vendors the other day I had this thought: “Wow, I have absolutely no opinion on what gear to sell.” Not that I was being asked for an opinion; it was just strange to notice that I didn’t have one. At my old job, I would have had tons of opinions rooted in my understanding of our brand manual and my deep knowledge of our audience. But here, I was completely devoid of insights. It was equal parts refreshing and disorienting.

What am I doing? {Anagram: A dogma within}

I’ve done some thinking about what I want to accomplish in the immediate future. What follows is the totally hackable set of goals I’ve narrowed in on.

Phase One Goals:

  • build a workbench, using the wiki + Bugzilla, that:
    • supports people’s workflows (read: enhances people’s existing workflows, not “adds a new, annoying layer to people’s workflows”)
    • provides some performance metrics
    • helps us identify mis-alignment by providing a birds-eye view of where we are vs. where we should be.


  • get teamwide consensus on processes to support the above
  • benchmark some metrics:
    • something related to “velocity” (some objective measure of the rate at which work is getting done)
    • something related to quality (which, in our case, is probably just the nice and objective metric about whether we’re meeting our stated goals)
    • something related to team members’ happiness (specifically in regard to processes/team communication, not, like, their romantic lives)

I imagine the workbench will go through quite a few iterations before it can do all of the above, so Phase 1 might be a big hurdle.

Phase Two Goals:

Once over the Phase 1 hurdle, I’d like to focus on continuous improvement. That means…wait for it…retrospectives! “Retrospectives” are one of the several things I’d like to adapt from the world of Agile software development (my homeland, if you will) and apply to the engagement team’s work. Retrospectives are the best!

On a software team running “Scrum,” a retrospective would be a regular, dedicated ritual at the end of every “sprint.” The retrospective allows team members to reflect on how they’re doing, and agree upon changes to their process.

I won’t necessarily push for regular retrospective meetings (ain’t nobody got time for that!), but when the time comes, I probably will try to come up with some clever ways to inject retrospective behaviors into our team’s workflow.


One thought on “On being new

  1. This is great, Hannah. Would love to learn more about retrospectives — we currently kinda suck at them. So would be awesome to learn from your skills and experience there!

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