"Grouplets" are self-organizing teams of volunteers that address concerns affecting a broad segment of the organization. 18F currently has two types of Grouplets:

  • Working Groups: leaders are emergent from the group, and often have no authority and little if any direct resources; it is incumbent upon them to recruit volunteers and make the best use of their time
  • Guilds: leaders are established by the 18F Leadership team, often have a specific authorities and objectives, and have dedicated staff

This guide aims to provide aspiring Grouplet organizers with a "bag of tricks" for:

  • getting a Grouplet organized and productive very quickly,
  • for maintaining team cohesion over time,
  • for understanding the various forces at play in an organization, and
  • for making the entire undertaking both high-impact and fun!

This guide is contains content also found in the 18F Automated Testing Playbook, which is based on Mike Bland's Unit Testing Perspectives presentation, which is licensed under CC BY 4.0.

Mike's (very) long-form article Goto Fail, Heartbleed, and Unit Testing Culture contains many more details and examples regarding the Google Testing Grouplet's effort to drive adoption of automated testing. His hour-long talk Large Scale Development Culture Change: Google and the US Government is an attempt to relate many of these experiences to the effort to improve digital service practices in government.