Nicolò Volpato


Founder of Tangible.
As partner of Tangible I design the environment our team works in, so that people can do their best work and grow. That includes taking care of the recruiting and onboarding process, working with people on their growth and career, monitoring our company culture and values over time and keeping them aligned with the company vision, iteration after iteration.
As a designer I work with teams on projects, leading the strategic phase of design, facilitating workshops and managing the dialogue with the stakeholders

Past conferences:
– Agile Day 2016, Pavia
– Better Software 2012, Firenze
– UX Camp 2011, Firenze



(exposed in italian)


Shaping roles. Shaping culture.



From 2013 to 2018 our team has grown from 5 people to 18.
This growth has obviously brought many changes inside our company, and we managed them in iterations, tweaking things, making experiments, measuring outcomes and improving over time.
Having a strong team culture and aligning individual values and intent to the company vision was our mantra from the start, and we put a lot of effort into that, with courses, team activities and workshops, coaching, etc.
We also rebranded the company as a way to have a stronger, shared collective identity.
Then we worked on our recruiting and onboarding process, to make it more effective and structured in order for us to hire new people and embed them into our team more easily.
What took us by surprise was crafting and enabling career paths: the need for a clear career ladder, with specific roles and skills started emerging after hitting a certain number of people and after they had been in our team for a good period of time.
The issue, in its first manifestation, emerged in a team retrospective in late 2016 (we were 10) , when many people asked for a more structured process and a refresher course on Agile principles, but the underlying, personal question seemed to be “How am I contributing to Tangible? What is expected from my role?”.
We spent the whole 2017 working together with Marco Calzolari in a coaching and consulting process, starting from people and their talents and ambitions to the definition of roles and skills.
In the meanwhile, in late 2017, we were 15 and the question “How do I grow in terms of skills and paycheck in Tangible?” had started to be clear and frequent. We took the roles and skills that emerged from the team and added the point of view of the business.
We worked for one month and came out with a matrix of the roles that the market recognizes, the roles that Tangible needs, the skills and responsibilities for each role, bonus activities, career paths, one-of-a-kind roles and emerging roles. This matrix has enabled a new kind of conversations and every person in the team has found its place and its desired path for growth.
We started talking about how to invest people’s personal budget for training and conferences and we started working to enable people’s careers.
What are the next steps? First we need to align our wages and incentives to the roles and career progression that are in the matrix, for better transparency and consistency. At the same time we need to grow gracefully and sustainably, avoiding unnecessary hierarchy and competition. Eventually, we need to keep steering the company towards its vision and keep our eyes open about the opportunities that are arising from this new roles-skills model.