Thursday, January 14, 2010

Expertise Persona Exercise

I’m in a codemash session with Mary Poppendieck on Competency and Leadership and we are doing an exercise on creating a persona on how your company hires and thinks of expertise. The exercise is this. Create a persona for a new hire coming into your group / company. Here are the facts:

  • Person is 1 year out of college
  • Person has a technical degree and is hired into a technical role (tester, developer, etc)

Describe how the following is accomplished for this person:

  • How does this person get their work assignments and from who?
  • How does this person improve their competency in the position they were hired for?
  • Who gives this person feedback on their performance and competency and how often?
  • How does this person learn about the “customer” they ultimately serve?

The point of the exercise is to think about how you and your group think about competency. Do you value the fact that people should be skilled in technical positions and how concerned are you about continual improvement for that skill? How does feedback help? How often should feedback occur? How do you value mentorship and are the “right” people giving feedback? Meaning, do you get feedback from someone who doesn’t have the technical background to perform the job? If so, how does that individual know what is wrong / right and ultimately grow in that skill?

It was a very interesting exercise given the wide range of experience in the audience. I’m still in the session and still processing it but one thing I know for sure, netflix sure sounds like a cool place to work. :)


  1. Very cool. I hope that'll be me in the new hire position in a few years.