Guilds and Community inside a company. Can it work?

How Guild works:

1. Conduct Guild days on a weekly basis across whole product development organisation. Agenda and format is random and should be always adapted to the context: conferences, trainings, watching conference, workshops, contribution into shared services… Guild leader is completely responsible for running it.

2. Guild leader is fully dedicated for that job and he is an expert in the field

3. Guild core members naturally migrate from existing teams or hired externally. Core team members are working full-time on horizontal activities and shared services. Rest of community participate part-time or during guild days and are part of the feedback loop

4. Guild leader has all financial and organizational tools to achieve required engagement in activities of the community: prizes, bounty program, direct contact with business and technical leaders and more

5. Guild leader and core team actively involve others into guild work and tasks through constantly sharing information with community, solving problems, being transparent

6. Teams are guaranteed to get support from Guild if they use services and output of the community, but if quality of services is low teams are not obliged to use crap they can always take the risk and responsibility to do things on their own

Challenges of horizontal community:

  • Strong guild leader with enough practical knowledge and experience
  • Build motivated core team who has the same passion for the topic
  • Defined end state and path of achievable mid-targets (desire to skip some steps in evolution might lead to some losses in long-term)
  • Dedicated days for all development to participate in guild days
  • Setup out of the box services and tools that can be used by the teams

Main Principles of Work

  • Sell, not control
  • Pull, not push
  • Be valuable
  • Be transparent