Peer Group Resources

 This page is a collection of resources for running a peer group within a company. It's particularly focused on groups for senior individual track in technology (staff plus), but may be useful to others. It is a companion to my Staff Plus New York talk on peer groups and is based on conversations with a number of people who run peer groups at different companies. I will periodically add more resources. Briefly, a peer group is a collection of your peers. In this case the groups are focused on staff plus engineers, helping members get better at their jobs. If you use these resources, please consider sharing your experiences in the form discussed below. 

Guidelines for Forming a Staff Plus Peer Group

  1. Get the scope right: Not too big, not too small
  2. Self-organize: The group should be run by members of the group
  3. Provide Value: The group should be serving the purposes of the members. 

Get The Scope Right

If the group is too big, there's no cohesion to the group. If it's too small, there's less energy, and less opportunity for perspective and help. For reference, my group started by inviting 60 people, have 50 people in a private slack channel, and about 10 people for any given zoom call. 

Self-Organize

Your peer group should be organized my the members of the peer group. This has been the case for all the successful peer groups I've heard about. At the same time, there were a number of examples of unsuccessful peer groups -- the most common symptom of those groups were that they were run by people outside the group. 

Provide Value

The peer group should be serving the purposes of the members of the peer group. This will follow (in part) from the group being self-organizing. The most common value was having a safe place to share problems. This was a nearly universal value reported by successful peer groups, and was usually described as a sense of group therapy. 

Other provided value includes: actually solving problems, identifying common problems, providing perspective into confusing behavior, as well as formal and informal professional development (mentoring, tech talks, ...)

Share Your Experiences

If you run or are involved in a peer group, please fill out this form and tell me about it. All responses will help improve this page. Additionally, there's an option to keep responses private. 

Links on Peer Group and Learning Circles

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