Last year our Minneapolis office pioneered a community of practice called Define and Drive. The group is tailored towards the business consultant and project manager colleagues, with an aim of knowledge sharing on market-relevant skills, and fostering a sense of community.
The founders of the group, Karla Kraft and Jennifer Edwards, came to the idea from two different perspectives. As a director and a career counselor, Karla was eager to learn how she can better support her counselees with project related issues. Jennifer Edwards, on the other hand, thought it would be valuable to hear other colleagues share their experience with the local clients, as well as present on a work-related topic they are passionate about.
“Openly expressing ideas in a group of mixed levels of experience provides a channel for all to learn from each other’s insights, skills, and perspectives,” describes Jennifer Edwards, project manager.
Meetings revolve around a short presentation, followed by a structured conversation based on speaker provided guiding questions. For example, some of the past topics included “Remote Team Building”, “Status Reports Best Practices”, “Scrum at Scale” and many more. Topics are chosen from a prioritized backlog of ideas, which is populated by the participants, and revisited at the end of each meeting.
“The community has helped me refresh upon the fundamentals of my job – projects get so busy and there is not a whole lot of time to reflect upon and improve the process,” describes Emily Thrash, a senior project manager.
In addition, the group also provides a line of sight for junior colleagues in terms of career development.
“The group enhances the Career Counseling program, as it provides an opportunity for omnidirectional mentoring, where colleagues can gain visibility on what is it like to be in that next level role,” says Karla Kraft, director in the Minneapolis office.
Lastly, an overarching goal of Define and Drive is to ensure consistency across Minneapolis practice in terms of client delivery.
“I feel like I am set for success, and better prepared to respond to situations I might not have encountered before,“ describes Tea Dejanovic, a senior business consultant.
To continue reading about our Minneapolis office and their workplace culture, click here.
Please also check out our featured article on the Minneapolis office’s Support of Local Tech Community.