Monday was the start of Lab Week for the developers at CIM. The idea being that the developers could get a chance to work on stuff that wasn’t part of their everyday routine. Similar to the 20% time that Google has made famous, but in this case the time is collected and used as a team over the course of a week (Lab Week).
Overall I think the concept behind Lab Week is great, we just need to smooth out the implementation. Based on how things ran I learned that for Rapid Iterative Design (method modified from Todd Warfel‘s talk at Refresh Philly) to work there needs to be a moderator. Ideally the moderator would be an unbiased non-participating person, and not the HiPPO in the room (Highest Paid Person’s Opinion – alla Google’s talk to CIM from a week earlier). This moderation seems to be needed to keep the pace of the itteration process as well as keep people in the present and focused on the current goals.
Two other things that I feel would aid the overall goal of Lab Week are the removal of other external workload stresses and bottom up decision making. Actually, I think these last two are essential components, without them it’s hard for members to focus on the lab project or feel the level of project ownership that motivates and inspires.
My comments above meant to guide us for the ideal Lab Week. For our first run there was much to be proud about. On Monday there was nothing, on Friday we had all the parts for our proof of concept. A few more hours this week to bring everything together and we’re done…for now. Even with some hours being done this week the time it it took us to go from nothing to complete will be shorter. The integration between the teams will only help future projects run smoother. And who knows maybe the concept we had has some legs and takes off.