My place of work has been a source of constant change for about 10 years now. Restructures, realignments, reorganizing; but we’re just about to hit a change that’s putting all the others to shame. Complete redesign. New reporting lines. External audit. The works. This is putting a strong strain on morale and highlighting our former collaborative culture has been eroded. Over the years we’ve had a few attempts at communities of practice for coders, getting people together from different areas, bouncing ideas off each other, trying to get a community going.
They have never panned out. The few interested people drive it while they’re at the wheel; but once they hand over or burn out it just. Stops. So I’m trying something different now, formalizing a Skunkworks. Over lunch, so it’s very laid-back and voluntary, and just talking to the people I know who are keen on doing _THINGS_ and see opportunities that are _MISSED_ because of budget or priorities or whatever. I’ve got three people interested and we’re doing it the right way – Git, repositories, projects, all the fun stuff. And I’m getting to work with people I wouldn’t normally work with, and it’s fun. Other people have seen our plans and have actually managed to offer some training space over the lunch break to use as work/ demonstration spaces.
This thing is useful for coders, sure, but definitely crafty-types would benefit from this to. So I’m looking for advise/ experience from people who’ve done this sort of thing? Pitfalls? Positives? Let everyone know.