Spring Break 2021/International collaboration experiences from other networks

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TODO: Tidy me!

CoTech Spring Break 2021 8th–9th April


Meet.coop - BigBlueButton - Quick Start: https://kb.hubkengroup.com/web-conferencing/bigbluebutton-quick-start-guide

Wiki: https://wiki.coops.tech/wiki/Spring_Break_2021


16:00–17:00 BST

Facilitators: Nicolas Dimarco (FACTTIC / Fiqus), Naska Yankova (Camplight) & Neto Licursi (FACTTIC / Camba)

How we can evolve cooperative collaboration while building trust, growing our expertise, and getting organised in order to be sustainable, competitive, assemble interdisciplinary remote teams, and transform together to meet the challenges we face today. Please use the Moodlight link 1to capture your answer to the question: “How do you feel working with other cooperatives?" Would be great to have your input prior to the session. https://app.moodlight.team/plot/R2EKJ4

How we feel: https://app.moodlight.team/plot/R2EKJ4/results

Naska: The presenters have never met in person, but through collaboration have become very close. A selfie attests to this!

Nicolas: Fiqus, for a few years networking with other co-ops.

Neto: Access troubles.

Naska: Happiness Specialist! Focuses on building new relationships and oboarding partners. Have been exploring collaboration with other co-operatives for a few years.

Murmurations, natural ways of collaborations, like starlings. Grouping together to keep each other safe and warm. Parallels, eloving and transforming together in order to build a good relationship. Speaking with co-op fellows and feeling like one big time. Differences in workflow, but this can make it more exciting and we can change and improve together. Collaboration is our murmuration.

Nicolas: Over 40 collaborative connections around the world. Different kinds of relationships, development, building common tools, relationships, strategies, etc.

  1. Agaric
  2. CoTech
  3. DEV
  4. Camplight
  5. Happy Dev
  6. Factic
  7. Missed one...

Broader intercooperation experiences:

  1. Camplight; shared business strategies and efforts to scale our developmet teams and to get opportunties to work together. Immediately joining meetings and finding ways to connect.
  2. Happy Dev; shared knowledge, workflows and organisational cultures among collaborative networks. Seeing the tool and understood it's power, considering how it can be adapted to their needs. Non-competative and solidarity aspect woven in.
  3. Agaric; good ractices for community building S&T for sharing time and knowledge. Learning lots about building open networks and listening to everyone's ideas. Started Show and Tell sessions after this experience. Example of learning new ways of working, bringing them into the culture.
  4. CoTech; shared culture, time, experiences. Motivation to think of new ideas and continue building the global network. Shared lots of good things, and beers! Hadn't realised similar networks to their in Argentina existed elsewhere, really happy to discover this, and connect with more.

Naska: Presenting some case studies.

Neto: He arrives! Camba & The Developers Society case study. Relationship built through small steps: 1. Visited office, shared a lunch, talked, shared stories 2. A client recommendation from them, who needs the opportunity the most right now? Camba, continued to build the relationship. Went well, happy said they'd call again. 3. Intercooperative project. Called again, two developers had left their co-op and they needed people to work on multiple projects. They were really happy with how that went, adding new people to their group. 4. Long term collaboration. Onwards!

Naska: Doesn't always work out, can't predict everything. Camplight and a co-op from the community. Contacted by a start-up for students needing a push before launch. Short term engagement which all team members were not happy about. Some red flags early on, but gave it another go. Tension in the work environment due to timelines. Miscommuniations. Didn't take enough time to join in more meetings, and communicate. Not enough time to get the workflows going smoothly. Learned how not to go forward in the future, great experience.

Naska: Camplight and Nayra. A design concept of a 2D fragmental face of Ken Wilber used as a landing page for a website. Wanted to validate an idea...a dream come true! A few initial calls, could give it a try. Knew that Camplight didn't have the capacity to build 2D/3D, so reached out into the network to see if the idea could be supported. Highlight to alwaysa be opent to understand the needs of the client even without the expertise at hand.

Nicolas: Cooperatives and freelancers. In Factic they tend to work with coops, but saw that other coops are more used to working with freelancers.Benefits for the coop. Possibility of bringing new members into the coop. Rapidly expand development capaciuty, intercooperation has it too. Issues for coop and freelancers; enjoy benefits of a well-paid job with fewer responsibilities than coop members. This dynamic can create problems where they don't have incentive to join, how to move forward from that relationship? They may not have the stability that the cooperative can provide. Creates a dynamic where they think they are enjoying the benefits, but not fully. We have to think about what we want to build by following this strategy. Need to think through what the outcome is? Strong co-operative network, good to first try to work with co-op, then freelancers. Didn't like the dynamic of being in competition, not the way we want to build relationships, more difficult.

Naska: What were the main advantages and challenges in cooperation with other coops?

Polly: For Outlandish, when don't have enough staff and need help with something specific it's great. Also when pairing with a coop with another specialisim, and able to take on a project they wouldn't normally be able to.

Szczepan: Mainly collaborating with coops when we need their specialisim, eg. Webarchitects, an ongoing relationship and we can figure it out together much better than a faceless service. We work Code-Operative a lot, they are a freelancer within their co-op, working directly with them.

Lucy: Have done some collaboration with Cat, Dot Project and Polly, Outlandish. Feel relieved, don't need to second guess myself. Can maintain a work-life balance, cared about as a human, not just a worker. Money is a challenge, two agencies charging an agency fee, feels unsustainable. All collaborations have gone well so far. Knew a lot of the people already through network events and hanging out together. Knowing we're coops and have shared values, and knowing the people makes it easier to have uncomfortable conversations. Groundwork laid so can do this work. Worked with Cat and Dot Project who'd done a lot of the groundwork, then handed to develop.

Cat: Were looking for someone who'd worked in a women-led space, knowing eachother made it easy to think of the right person! Coming together with the CoTech members feels like family. Collaborating with people outside is much more challenging. Doing the work AND becoming a stronger coop. Embedding practises that allow people to feel part of the team, even if not part of the coop. Working with Outlandish to understand some ideas. Needed a parental policy, know Harry Outlandish had worked on one, could take and start much further along. Tricky conversation, and very caring. Helpful to know other coops and how to approach this.

Neto: Did you have challenges to solve with other coops? No clear agreements, or not good results?

Polly: Processes clashing. Managing time, logging time, making decisions. Bringing another coop you need to use someone's or make a new one. Bringing coops up to speed is challenging.

Lucy: Three coop challenge; as an outsider it was harder to flag we're going over budget, doesn't feel like it my money to burn, didn't feel like I had a voice, confusing. Maria hadn't been onboarded onto all the systems, so didn't have visibility of the time and budget, made managing tricky.

Szczepan: How did you consolidate this time and pay management? What's the shared denominator? Hourly? Daily?

Naska: We use Trello a lot. We need a way to track time by the second. Built Assista, time-tracking bot for Trello. Working in fixed time engagements sometimes too, 400hrs, two weeks, etc. Value the agile time tracking, transparent with partners that no-one productive 8hrs a day.

Nicolas: Working on an opportunity, did an estimatation, opened to others as we needed help. Needed to review the estimate so the other coop are on the same page. If something happened there could be questions about who estimated. Before starting opportunities together they follow a check-list about things that need to be agreed on. The rate for example. Created a template for opportunities, questions that must be asked to the client, e.g. if English is mandatory. Template is shared internally. If you want to share opportunity, the coops raises the hand, and these issues are discussed at the start. No common projects, every project is a new world to explore.

Naska: We don't have the right answers always, but buildling the relationship to explore together is important.

Nicolas: The steps: 1. Validate what is the focus of the collaboration, what is the goal? 2. Explore what you need to improve internally. 3. Create a workflow that works internally and externally. 4. Start building relationships.

Polly: Can you explain how the collaboration with Happy Dev worked?

Nicolas: Need to decide who will create the invoice. Due to internal taxes we need to be tidy. Each coop does an invoice, otherwise there's a tax problem. Is the rate enough in order to absorb the tax. Regarding rates we realised that we had very different rates due to the cost of living. Worked together at a common rate to be fair for both sides. We don't want to compete by being cheaper or take clients by seeming cheaper. Need to create a common strategy.

Naska: Currently in period of transformation to becoming a platform coops, charging 10% above the rate of the developer, used to grow internal projects. Everyone who contributes benefits. Closed circle. That difference could be used to not to compete amongst coops but it could make us more competitives in the market.

Roadmap for international community: 1. Survey; inviting all coop members to build together the fundamentals of the community evolution and future 2. Planning; analysing the survey results and shaping up the introduction of our first coop communtiy gathering 3. Meeting; creating a recurrance of community meetings where we will get to know each other better, collaborate and thrive 4. Workshops; forming some focus groups where we can start exchanging ideas and create a sustainable intercooperation 5. Hackathon; crafting our future together such as landing page of our communtiy, open-source instruments, and products 6. Evolving; we own the process of evolving the decision...missed

Onwards to the murmurations!

International Cooperative Community Chat, or via email neto@camba.coop nicholasdimarco@fiqus.coop naska@camplight.net