Creating a Collaborative Learning Culture

Allyssa Price
05.09.17
Creating a Collaborative Learning Culture
Allyssa Price
05.09.17

At Vector, our different teams work together to develop cohesive strategies for each of our clients. Combining our skillsets allows us to create custom solutions that fit our client and their users’ needs. In addition to working hand-in-hand on each project, we’ve created a number of internal initiatives aimed at building on how we learn from one another and creating new ways of collaborating with our teams and clients.

One way we encourage collaboration is through our bi-weekly sessions called Vector Labs. At Vector Labs, team members share and demo their ideas, explain related topics and walk the entire company through their process.  At one of the first Vector Lab sessions, members of the design, development and digital marketing teams discussed how the Yoga International iOS & Android App went from the discovery workshop to the app store. The process included defining the various features of the application, creating a custom API to pull content from the Yoga International Website, setting up a unique push notification system, and optimizing the app for both the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

At another Vector Lab, the digital marketing team provided an overview on PPC (pay-per click) campaigns, and at the most recent session, Project Manager Matt Brown talked about the importance of Documentation. Be sure to check out his two part blog post about Why Documentation is So Important!  The design team has also presented and discussed why typography matters. The presentation went over not only the history of letterforms and the different terminology designers use, but also the methodology behind how we choose typefaces. Some of these sessions have interactive competitions like The Kerning Game. See if you can beat Developer, Jess Kustra’s winning score of 95!

Tech 101 sessions are also great ways for the design, marketing and project management teams to better understand the technology behind what we create and manage. Our Director of Technology Ben Smith leads these sessions every few weeks. The topics have ranged from how the development team implements custom fonts on a site to marketing automation to eCommerce and payment gateways. My personal favorite session was when we learned about how the development team configures fields, sections and channels within Craft CMS. After a brief walk-through, the group was split into two teams and we faced off to see who could correctly set up a template’s fields. This process relates directly to a site’s information architecture so it was great for us to get hands-on experience. I don’t normally like to brag, but my team swept the competition.

As a company we also come together for regular Lunch & Learns. These cover more unique topics, like financial planning and sometimes include guest presenters. Every Vector Lab, Tech 101, and Lunch & Learn is broadcast live so remote employees across the country can participate and lead demonstrations as well. All are also recorded and posted internally for future viewing.

Within this continuous learning environment, having this type of transparency between each of the teams allows us to continuously push boundaries, and provide our client partners with more robust and deeply integrated solutions. How does your team learn together? Tell us on twitter @VectorNYC.

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