Experimenting with Celebrating

Journal — December 5, 2017 — organization, learning

I belong to Veda, a cooperative that constantly experiments and celebrates the unexpected as a means to continuously improve.

I’m celebrating that first of all, because Veda itself was highly unexpected for me.

I’m part of a team of four. So far, we’ve been celebrating our work amongst ourselves. My intention with this post is to widen that.

We have a kanban, full of numbered cards. I’m looking at the far right column, labeled “Celebrating”. I see four cards assigned to me here, all somewhat related:

I’ll go over these the way I would with my team, saying what happened and naming elements that seem relevant for improving our way of working together.

Card #578 was about transforming ultroneous.org from my personal website into a website shared by everyone in Veda.

Things to learn:

I could have named the card more clearly. In the end, all I had to do was change the logo. I could’ve written that.

I also wasted a lot of time trying to make the logo, using an application I wasn’t familiar with. I imagine this could’ve gone better if I had talked with my team before I started, instead of quietly writing a task for myself and doing it alone. Perhaps one of them would have suggested engaging a graphic designer in our networks.

Here’s my improvement suggestion:

We gather consent from our team before starting projects, as a way of gaining more perspective on how to use our valuable time to the best potential.

Card #580 was about setting up Davros as a replacement for Dropbox, which had gotten full. This went very smoothly. I installed Sandstorm on our new server, which took less than half an hour, and Davros came with it for no extra effort.

Everything went as expected, so not much to learn here. I haven’t actually introduced this tool to my team yet, which was only due to constantly having higher-priority things to do.

Card #368 was about writing an About page, which I did.

This took several weeks, lots of thinking, lots of talking with my team, and, in the end, a couple inspired hours. All according to what I expected.

Card #240 was about creating a place where one of my teammates, Shirley Norwood, can write down some of the millions of methods she knows for caring for mind, body and heart.

I evaluate this task as a comical failure, so it’s especially valuable to celebrate it. What happened?

Well: we opened the card on 2017-10-23. Then we fussed about with the text editor and pull requests on GitHub for a while. Then we reassigned the whole task from one teammate to another, without any communication about when or how we expected it to be done.

My part in it was, I think, primarily the fact that I created a rather low-quality repository for our knowledge. It’s a plain text file, called our patterns file, currently tucked away in an obscure place in the git repository of ultroneous.org. You can see it here.

That file holds a critical position in the whole knowledge management system of Veda, and it’s been there from the beginning, so it’s embarrassing, to say the least, that it’s still as shoddy as it is, three months later.

I know exactly what I want to replace it with: method booklets, exactly like the 1-page booklet on the Three Minute Game you can download from Betty Martin’s website. I just don’t know when I’ll implement that.

Of course, writing this makes me realize I hadn’t opened a card for that, until now. (#623: “Set up infrastructure for method booklets”)

That’s all for this experiment.

I ask for comments, below, from my team and from any other readers who have a voice to share. I appreciate anything that goes in the direction of improving our way of working together.

I confess my expectations are low, because, like I just said, our knowledge management is still in its infancy. I ask anyway, to establish the pattern, knowing that the easiest way of learning is by doing.

Experimenting with Celebrating - December 5, 2017 - Veda Cooperative