The Learner

Pivotal/Tanzu Labs


A strong team is a great opportunity to let a new anchor level up.

On highly functioning teams with a deep bench of experience, or a low-risk project, the anchor role can be an opportunity to gain experience the engineer might not otherwise obtain and to do so with the full support of mentors who have been there before. Creating an environment where anchors rotate more frequently can make it feel safer to assign the role to a rising engineer.

The a new anchor learning from the experts


  • Learn in a low risk, low stress environment
  • Grow into anchoring with a current anchor as mentor
  • Rely upon team for help and knowledge
  • Present as co-anchors while being mentored


  • Rotating anchors intentionally breaks the fear of losing a person and reinforces context-sharing
  • Often, the anchor isn’t and doesn’t have to be the most technically experienced


  • It can be risky to pair new anchors with high-touch/sensitive project stakeholders
  • The necessity of optimizing for project problems makes continuous learning more difficult
  • Anchors are expected to learn team management skills, but are likely to feel concurrent pressure to deliver
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