“Changes to one team’s service may be implemented by another team who needs the enhanced capability by what is called an Away Team. This team works on the Home Team’s code to add what it needs according to established engineering standards and then leaves that code in good order to be maintained by the Home Team who owns the service, with help when needed.”

Fully embedding your team in another team’s context to get something done, seems to me a very interesting compromise between autonomy and collaboration. Every team is an island, but it is ok to travel to another island and if that’s not possible, you can still build your own.

Also more than disorienting to see an in-depth piece about engineering organizations like this appear on The Register.

Putting an entire team in another team’s context is something I have considered for all the collaboration, delivery, culture etc. benefits that it will most likely yield in exchange for a minor hit in delivery.


This article about forecasting dovetails nicely with the book about measuring risk that I just read. It makes the case for foxlike thinking, something of which I don’t need to be persuaded.

Among those, they identified a small group of the foxiest forecasters—bright people with extremely wide-ranging interests and unusually expansive reading habits, but no particular relevant background—and weighted team forecasts toward their predictions. They destroyed the competition.

Tetlock and Mellers found that not only were the best forecasters foxy as individuals, but they tended to have qualities that made them particularly effective collaborators. They were “curious about, well, really everything,” as one of the top forecasters told me. They crossed disciplines, and viewed their teammates as sources for learning, rather than peers to be convinced. When those foxes were later grouped into much smaller teams—12 members each—they became even more accurate. They outperformed—by a lot—a group of experienced intelligence analysts with access to classified data.


It’s exciting to see the Emirates government put design front and center. Unfortunately though in a closed context such as that, it is more than likely that design will be instrumentalized and deployed only for material gain.