We are growing rapidly in all areas of the company, especially on the Software Engineering team! With this growth, they are in the process of re-organizing the team members to now have a total of seven teams. With so many new faces, Claudia Dunn, Manager, Software Engineering decided to have some fun team building lunches to get everyone acquainted.
The 2016 Department employee survey feedback indicated that folks wanted more opportunities to meet with their peers in a group setting instead of only with their direct team. They wanted a place where they could share experiences with lessons learned and share new technologies.
I sat down with Claudia who told me she has found success with the first three she has done so far! Claudia collaborated with Vanessa Tranchi, Manager, Human Resources for some team building ideas. The first they did was called the SCRUM ball. This event was all about process improvement, where the entire team had to work together to find the fastest way to pass a tennis ball. They had to estimate their success rate. This exemplified that there is no such thing as a stupid idea and they did a great job working together.
The second challenge she did was called The Marshmallow challenge. This is a timed building exercise with groups using only spaghetti and marshmallows to build the tallest structure. This is all about communication and strategy. To see a Ted Talk on this challenge, please click this link: https://www.ted.com/talks/tom_wujec_build_a_tower
The most recent challenge involved Legos. This was a timed exercise in which folks were randomly thrown into teams. Within the team they had to elect a director, runner and a builder. The director is the only one who can see the plan, so this person has to communicate very clearly to the runner which piece to grab. The builder is the one creating the masterpiece. The focus here was on communication. For example, there are many different shades of green bricks. The take away was to not assume you are always being clear, you need to be incredibly specific and concise. The other important lesson was choosing a leader and trusting in that person.
Claudia plans to also include Tech Talks in addition to games for lunch-time get togethers. Next, she hopes to have presented will be on unit testing. She wants everyone to be able to learn a new skill or entertain a new outlook.
The engineers are having fun with these lunch time games and it’s a perfect way for the newer team members to meet the team!