Cultivating Learning in team

We have always heard that due to the hectic work schedule team members always find it difficult to spend some quality time towards learning new things. Self-Motivation is one of the important factor which gets affected and team members find it difficult to maintain in this busy and tiring schedule. Hence it’s always a challenge for Managers to keep it going. For the past 1 year I have been handling the responsibility of QA Team as a Manager and thought of sharing a few things which we could achieve in a team.

Below are some of the things that were implemented by Tech-Lead’s Milton & Lavina with the help of QA Team members in SJ Innovation which were quite effective to help the team members remain focused towards learning and acquiring knowledge

1) Goals implementation in Agile way:
— Like many other companies we at SJ Innovation follow goals. Our Company have few sets of goals to achieve in span of 6 months. All different departments of our company have their team goals which are aligned towards Company goals. All members of respective team has a set of individual goals contributing towards their team goals.
— Initially when Goals are setup we always see great enthusiasm to achieve them, but as the time goes this enthusiasm tends to fade and as you reach the end of time span it’s too late.
— Our Tech Leads took the responsibility and came up with this fantastic idea to apply Agile Scrum method for goals learning so as to keep the momentum.
— With the Help of Bi-weekly sprint planning and a proper sprint doc, working towards goals is taken as a project where each member defines a task for himself for a span of 2 weeks and what they want to achieve in that i.e. they write the specification for the task, they also do estimate which in turn helps to make them accountable by themselves. Bi-weekly technical meetings help them to get sorted out any technical difficulties which they are facing.
— I know its little extra efforts what Tech Leads are taking but as a result we see a consistent momentum towards Goals.

2) Technical Guidance from the senior:
No matter how smart or talented you are, when you know there is someone who will guide you on the right track improves your self-confidence.


Bi Weekly Technical meetings: Conducted by Tech Leads help team members to overcome any obstacle they face also they get guidance they need to proceed.

Monthly Training sessions: Conducted once in a month by each Tech Leads to share their experience & knowledge on technology.


3) Cultivating Reading Habits:
You cannot enforce someone to read, even if you do then it may not be of much help as they may just do it for the sake and later forget. One option QA team chose was to get things done through reading by making it little exciting and less hassle free.
Use of Google group : To make circulation of reading Article hassle free, Tech-leads just put them in Google Group for the team, to which all the members has access. Whenever someone is free and feel like reading can access, read, add in their views/comments etc.

QA-Quiz event: To encourage members to read and not just read WP_20150826_009but to understand core & application part of it a Monthly event was organized. Team were divided into smaller groups and Quiz contest based on Topics shared through reading Articles was organized. Multiple rounds with Quiz, activities etc. and ofcourse prizes for winning team was certainly making it exciting for team members not just to read but to relate and apply.

Reading Sessions & Discussions: This is another effective way which provides team members a platform to convey their thoughts. Articles are shared with team which they need to read and during session all discuss on key points and provide their views & and also other concepts which they didn’t understand are cleared. It requires less efforts but very effective and helps to encourage open communication.

I must say all these efforts brought in a lot of success towards improving & promoting good learning habits and team bonding for which I as a Manager of QA team shall always be thankful to my team members. Also I’m trying to promote these things in other departments of our Company.

Madhav Ranganekar
Madhav Ranganekar
SJ Innovation LLC
Where employee happiness generates client success.
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