#pairing

  1. The company has the highest standards of working software anywhere in the known world. Their mission is ‘To end human suffering as it relates to technology’. And that manifests itself in faultless production of code. There is no customer support team at Menlo to fix faults because they aren’t any. In over 15 years of operating, there’s been no ‘software emergency’ on the release of their applications. Which is why they’re entrusted with software that works in healthcare, transportation and mission-critical applications in industry.
  2. They operate to this high standard by using a well-known developer technique called Extreme Programming (or XP). This is where coders work in pairs. And in Menlo’s case, pairing 2 people who share one machine keyboard and mouse. ‘But how is that efficient’ is the question everyone asks. Well, Rich will tell you — they’ve narrowed the gap from error creation to identification, to minutes instead of days or weeks. The two developers check each other’s work as it’s being coded. And also can learn from each other so the curve of competency is less steep at Menlo because of pair working. Pairs rotate regularly — probably every 5 days.
  3. As a result of working in pairs, there is no real hierarchy or people manager roles at Menlo. Sure people project manage, but people management is done through pairing. Menlo Innovations is a multi-year Worldblu Freedom Centered Workplace for its workplace democracy, inclusion and working in freedom over fear.
  4. They recruit not just based on coding prowess but their ability to work in pairs and they build tests that create that result — can you improve your partner's test score in exercises. A novel and quite challenging concept for many but that really sorts out if you can work the Menlo way.
  5. Menlo also has pairs in High-Tech Anthropology (or to some User Requirements). People who in pairs, study ‘users’ in their natural environment. And in Quality Assurance to make sure it fits their user’s needs and works as flawlessly as the Menlo way has now become.
  6. Show and Tells on software at Menlo are conducted by the client using the beta or prototype solution BACK to the developers rather than the other way around (as normal). This is novel and effective in the client owning and showing an understanding of what their product is and the requirement and UX/UI they desire.
  7. They use folders, cards, sticky dots, string plumblines on walls showing progress. Handwritten cards become the work specifications. This human, craft-like touch gives people breaks from screens, adds an artful and owned way of being (people can trace who assigned the work to the card through their handwriting).
  8. The office is baby-friendly, dog-friendly, desk space is moveable and goes where people need it to go. It’s an alive office with chatter and concentration; all-hands stand-ups and smaller more intimate working and designing; camaraderie and totally devoid of people beyond 5.30 pm. It’s called the Joy Factory because of their belief in joyful working experiences. It’s not a cliche, it’s an alive space of people doing their best work.
  9. So impressive is their working, that huge multi-national corporates come to Menlo Tours. How to work, do projects and be effective in production. A third of Menlo’s income pre-pandemic came from these tours. I was part of that in 2016 and is a memory so strongly etched in my mind, much of the Menlo philosophies have made it into PTHR’s psyche and ways of working. I suspect that’s also the case for aircraft & automobile manufacturers, banks, and other corporates who have been influenced by this mighty atom of an organisation of 50+ people.

--

--

--

CEO PTHR |2x TEDx speaker | Author: Transformational HR + The Energized Workplace | HR Most Influential Thinker 2017–2021 | Soulboy + Northampton Town fan

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Liberating Potential

Why I Took a Pay Cut

An Elevator Pitch is not just a short, concise statement you share at Business pitch meetings; it’s…

How to Hire a Sales Team:

Back To Study — The Halfway Point

The Top 6 Reasons Most People Are Afraid To Convert To Commission Only

How to Succeed with Digital Transformation in Your Organization?

Loyalty: Choosing My Boss Over Chevron

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Perry Timms

Perry Timms

CEO PTHR |2x TEDx speaker | Author: Transformational HR + The Energized Workplace | HR Most Influential Thinker 2017–2021 | Soulboy + Northampton Town fan

More from Medium

The Picasso Century: Melbourne Winter Masterpieces at the NGV

“Afterwords” And All It Holds

The Three Greatest Lessons I Learned in COM 2206

Political tribalism: culture is the key