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Labs Vocab (Part 1) A - L

November 02, 2018

Labs Vocab (Part 1) A - L

Labs often uses terminology specific to product development and its own office culture. To outside ears it can sound like a lot of burblage, hogummery and garugament. If you’re new to Labs or just want to talk the talk, this alphabetised glossary will help you better understand what the heck people are saying.

10% Club:  Labs encourages its people to devote 10% or their work time to personal projects and self development. The 10% Club is a showcase event for presenting these personal projects to the rest of the group (see: Show and Tell).

15Five:  15Five is employee management software that provides quarterly reviews, objectives (see: OKR), weekly check-ins, and recognition (see: High Five). Its objective is to keep employees focused, engaged and aligned. Labs’ performance reviews are based 50% on what an employee does and 50% on how it is done.

Agile:  Agile is a set of values and principles based upon the four values of The Agile Manifesto. These values advocate individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation and responding to change over following a plan.

Ask Me Anything (AMA):  Q & A sessions with HR or anyone in a key management role.

(Octopus) Cash:  Octopus Cash is a smart savings service built by Labs. By partnering with a number of challenger banks, it’s able to help savers get the best savings rate, year in, year out.

(Octopus) Choice:  Labs’ take on peer-to-peer lending, Octopus Choice is the first fintech product developed by the team. It has now had over £200 million invested through the platform, and its own mobile app letting people invest on the go. It was recently named as Peer-to-peer Loan Provider of the Year at the Moneyage Awards.

Confluence:  Confluence is a wiki for team collaboration. Team members can create, share and collaborate information. Labs use Confluence for a wide variety of purposes, such as Udemy, IT support, employee benefits, hiring hub, etc.

Cross-functional:  Describes to a team of people with different expertise working toward a common goal. A cross-functional team may include people from finance, marketing, operations, and human resources departments. Typically, it includes employees from all levels of an organization.

The Current (formerly X-Func):  The Current is a group-wide team that organises events and activities, such as Fun Days and Clubs, that help support and maintain the on-going culture we all value at Octopus.

Daily Standups (The Daily Scrum):  The Scrum Team meets daily to discuss what was done yesterday, what will be done today and any potential blockers. The meeting normally takes place standing up in order to encourage brevity and focus. Each team member is encouraged to share answers to these three questions: What did I do yesterday that helped the team meet the Sprint Goal? What will I do today to help the team meet the Sprint Goal? Is there anything stopping me from meeting the Sprint Goal?

Design Sprint:  A multi-phase exercise which uses design thinking to reduce the inherent risks in successfully bringing products to market. Participating in a Design Sprint orients the entire team and aims their efforts at hitting clearly defined goals. Each sprint ends in a Showcase. (see: Showcase)

Development Sprint:  A two-week effort to hit a clearly defined goal through writing code, such as a particular product feature.

Epics:  Multiple User Stories (see: User Story)

Functional Teams:  All employees who share a function (e.g. Designer) sit in the same team. They have regular team meetings, have a team channel in Slack, share best practices and report to to a single, functional, line-manager.

Fun Day:  Labs workers are allocated Fun Days to get out of the office, play, explore, get inspired, or recharge their batteries. Labs considers this an important part of a good wellness programme.

Headspace:  Headspace is an app that provides guided meditation session to its users. It is also a Slack channel (#wellness-headspace) where ideas and advice on meditation and mindfulness are shared.

High Five:  High Five is a peer recognition recognition tool within Slack that allows employees to @mention a colleague and share praise for what that person has done over the past week.

Key Business Stakeholder:  Any person at Octopus, working in one of the other business groups, that is a key decision maker in a project being developed by Labs.

Labs Breakfast:  Every quarter, Richard Wazacz, Head of Labs, runs a breakfast session for teams to share work updates, ideas and initiatives.

Labs Coffee:  A weekly, Friday morning get-together to enjoy fine coffee in neighborhood cafes and discuss just about anything except work.

Leading Through Change:  A leadership strategy that involves adapting and continually auditing existing processes and organisational structures, while continuing to maintain worker morale, productivity and assurance to workers that their best interests are being taken to heart.

Live Labs:  A day-long outing in which people from across the Octopus Group gather to explore and play with different business ideas. The event encourages entrepreneurial thinking, allowing participants to develop ideas, explore solutions and create a final presentation to share with the entire group at the end of the day.

Go to Part 2