The seeds of The Collab Folks were sown in Michael’s heart during a workshop on Positive Design Impact by Daniel Szuc and Jo Wong in mid-2013. Soon after, he resolved to place a greater emphasis in his day-to-day coaching of the product managers, designers and engineers that he worked with. If he could better understand their habits and processes, a greater empathy for the teams would follow.
Michael met Lena in 2013 and Ruth in 2014. Having subsequently worked with them on UX topics, he recognised that they too had an appreciation for the processes needed to help teams. In mid-2015, he sought them out to discuss the idea for a partnership focused on coaching startup teams in the areas of Product Management, User Experience (UX) and Agility.
Blessedly, the timing was ideal for all three to come together. This is how The Collab Folks came to be.
We began with the hypothesis that a blend of the three topics, delivered through paired coaching, brings a greater degree of benefits to clients vis-à-vis the more traditional siloed approach of coaching.
In the months that followed (five to be exact!), we have since conducted two Agile workshops, two UX workshops, a three-week program on Customer Journey Mapping and Design Sprints, as well as coached four startup founders on the principles of Product Management for their businesses.
During these collaborations, we enjoyed strong support from the founder and executive teams. They saw that training their teams in the areas of Product Management, UX Design and Agility offers longer term benefits in user understanding and the products being built. It is worth noting that as teams mature, the interdependency between these areas grow; we frequently find ourselves moving between the three topics in discussions.
A number of challenges exist for our client collaborations:
- Hiring of senior lead positions for Product Management, UX Design and Engineering
- Determining the best team processes and workflows in these areas
- Agility across the organisation
Our unique value proposition involves a blend of workshops to identify talent and appreciation of the topics presented. Together with development managers, we help groom existing talents towards lead positions to achieve organisation growth, instead of relying on the limited talent pool in each market.
In 2016, we foresee that the talent pool will further shrink because of large-scale hiring by firms in the region. This will in turn cause smaller companies to face continued challenges in filling key positions, as well as retaining existing talent in the areas of Product Management, UX Design and Engineering.
By focusing on training and providing additional skills to existing team members, our belief is that companies will demonstrate a better ability to retain key members and grow their product teams quickly by attracting the right talent. Truly, it is our privilege to work with you towards achieving this success.
Thank you for taking this journey with us. We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Michael, Ruth & Lena
The Collab Folks – Explore | Collab | Evaluate