The Collab Folks was founded on the hypothesis that a blended focus on Product Management, User Experience and Agility benefits the collaborative paired coaching manner in which we engage with clients. Two years later, this concept has been validated and our vision enlarged to include a few new areas with the expansion towards a Learning Circle with 13 other individuals.
We journeyed into unexpected industries and made promising inroads in sectors such as Media, Energy, Banking, and Global Resources. Through our work with startups and enterprise clients alike in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia, we also explored various partnerships with other like-minded coaches.
These are some of our highlights, challenges, and takeaways from 2016/17.
WHAT WENT WELL
- In partnership with UX Consulting, combining Product and UX coaching for a Media client that allowed us to explore the topics over a structured learning program. Extending clinic-style office hours further helped with the client’s team development over the five-month engagement;
- Combining Product, UX and Agile coaching for an Energy client with PM Partnersthat allowed us to expand on the Explore – Collab – Evaluate approach over a period of 12 weeks;
- In partnership with Software Education, conducting Agile training for Asset Management, Banking and Government clients that lent us valuable exposure to large-scale Agile adoption and the challenges in coordinating such a program;
- In partnership with Ekipa, conducting Discovery and Product Ownership training in Indonesia extends our impact towards the Media and Banking industries.
- Growing our consulting and coaching expertise with a Global Resources client that saw us introduce user-centered design into waterfall business process flows and sharpened our proficiency in coaching distributed teams;
- Teaching and speaking opportunities at General Assembly and National University of Singapore that allowed us to understand more of the challenges that Product Managers, User Experience practitioners and Software Engineers face and would like to improve on;
- Mentoring startups at the IBM Watson Asia Pacific New Venture Challenge, AIRMaker and StartupBootCamp + Byte Academy Fintech Hackathon that gave us new perspectives in how we might engage new clients and better our processes;
- Coaching a young startup in Jakarta who believe that developing people is a core part of their growth and who have invested time and effort into learning more about how user-centered design helps their product;
- Ongoing involvement in the professional community that translated into memorable experiences at UX Philippines 2017, UXSG Conference 2016 and speaking at Agile Singapore Conference 2016. We continue to actively participate in the Product, User Experience and Agile communities every month, which gives us unique perspectives into individual and team learning needs, as well as the pulse of the landscape in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and recently in Philippines.
WHAT DIDN’T GO SO WELL
- Hiring continues to be a challenge for many of our collaborations involving lead positions in Product Management and User Experience design;
- Senior Management continue to be somewhat disengaged during training, believing that only their teams need to be trained and coached. In our experience, having Senior Management actively participate in our programs is vital towards a team’s success towards high performance.
- The launch of a new training program for Product teams in the topics of Product Management, User Experience Design and Agility in Jakarta in Q1/2017. Overall reception was poor and lead to use rethinking how we engage in public training.
WHAT WE’RE IMPROVING AND LOOKING FORWARD TO IN 2017
- Forming a Learning Circle with 13 individuals spanning expertise in “Making Meaningful Work, Mindfulness, Agile Programming, Branding, Facilitation, DevOps”. Helping others find opportunities to learn, make meaningful work, joy and have a real impact is a common thread for the group
- More clients large and small focusing more on people development for products over resource allocation for projects.
- More clients believing in the use of leadership storytelling and open space invitation as a means to enable learning organisations.
- Upcoming speaking engagements in Agile Indonesia 2017 and Geekcamp Indonesiaon the topics of Agile & User Experience for Engineers and Agile Product Management.
- Upcoming workshop on “Making Meaningful Work” in Singapore together with Dan & Jo
Thank you for taking this journey with us.
Michael, Ruth & Lena
The Collab Folks – Explore | Collab | Evaluate
What we do
We provide team coaching in Product Management, User Experience Design and Agility to holistically and continually deliver value.
Why we do this
We believe that creating successful products requires awesome people and that product teams trained on a common understanding increases individual interactions and customer collaboration.
Who we work with
We work with individuals and Product teams across various industries.
How we do it
We work with teams to provide a safe environment to experiment and learn rapidly.