The Concierge: SquadOps

In my recent posts about how I see our ‘squadmodel developing I’ve mentioned this idea about a ‘concierge’ role – or sometimes a dispatcher.

Chatting about it with Sophie on Twitter helped clarify some thoughts on my ideas (and introduced the ‘SquadOps’ idea – always good to be on trend eh!)

So what would this role look like?

Basically what I have in mind is somebody who removes as much friction from the process of landing a ‘squad’ in a location as possible (though I suspect initially this is about ‘core’ staff rather than independent contractors) and then continues to support those ‘squads’ throughout an engagement.

Some things I think this might include:

  • Proactively sorting accommodation for ‘squad’ members. I have this vision that the Concierge (lets just call it that for now) essentially has a ‘file’ on all of our people. They know their preferences for hotels/apartments, whether they need parking or need to be close to public transport, do they need a gym (if so do they have memberships to consider) or like to be close to a cinema. This just gets sorted.
  • They help pull together an ‘intelligence briefing’ with/for the Squad Manager – who is the client, what is their background, do we know other people there, has anything notable happened recently, any big milestones coming up.
  • Coordination the s-minus 1 meet-up – making sure an appropriate venue is sorted, that everybody knows the location, that all the appropriate materials are available to make it a success.
  • The have some kind of oversight role about the location / set-up for all the squads – not sure how this will look given the nature of the engagement on client sites but someone who makes sure the physical space is as close to fit for purpose as possible seems important.
  • They design, iterate, maintain and dispatch ‘squad’ starter-kits (I like the idea of a kind of ‘agile in a box’ type kit being delivered to the team on location on day one.)
  • They track ‘deployments’ – they know who is where, for how long and what they are likely to be doing next.
  • If a ‘squad’ needs new or replacement hardware – the Concierge sorts it.
  • Organise an annual(?) Squad of Squads meeting.

What I don’t see this as –

  • It isn’t an admin officer for a ‘squad’ – they don’t do time sheets, sort expenses or arrange your dry-cleaning.
  • It isn’t HR – they don’t hire or form the teams (hiring is the responsible of the Head of People and the Directors, forming the ‘squads’ is the responsibility of the Squad Managers)
  • It isn’t embedded – they would oversee multiple ‘squads’ from mission control (i.e. their home!)

So what so people think? Is this something worth pursuing?


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