To survive market disruption, you need agility at scale with the right support for your remote teams to deliver with greater transparency.
Most enterprises struggle with faster time to market and ability to innovate. Their troubles are further compounded when managing remote teams. The key to successful business agility is in frameworks that support people and their interactions, not just implementing a digital tool.
Teams that have dedicated team members are 50% more successful. Cross-functional teams of 3-9 are successful because their overhead for communication is low. This supports rapid decision-making – an essential capability in this highly volatile COVID-19 world.
Rather than functional silos and teams based purely on a single capability, cross-functional, dedicated teams are designed to have all the capabilities they need to deliver with little dependencies on others. This reduces the overhead of waiting for others, waiting for approvals, and delays and slippage due to dependencies. Ultimately, small, cross-functional teams can pivot faster than large, complex project teams with inbuilt, functional silos.
The Agile Manifesto highlights that “the best architectures, requirements and designs emerge from self-organising teams”. Scrum also reinforces that the
There is no Spotify agile model. But lots of people from Spotify keep talking about how their system of people
When teams are remote, transparency suffers. The ability for managers to assign work and ensure that people are busy, happy and productive is significantly reduced.
Many managers and executives turn to turn-key digital products in an attempt to improve work visibility only to find the tools ineffective. Tools are ineffective, not because people don’t know how to use them, but because they don’t change people’s work behaviours. It’s work behaviours such as goal alignment and collaboration, along with connectedness and clear structures, that need to change when people start to work remotely to provide transparency.
The most effective way to understand whether a current team is at risk and needs support to move to remote working or work from home is through using Agile IQ®.
For remote teams to operate successfully, they need:
De-stressing when you’re working from home with a brisk walk around the block is essential for productivity. There is, unfortunately, all the unwanted breaks. Notifications on your phone. Email alerts that have popped up. A tick-tock video that needs watching. Unfortunately, switching tasks for just a few seconds is ruining your productivity.
The concern is that with remote working, we lose visibility and transparency and may not identify a problem till later down the track when a release or delivery is at risk. We analysed teams and provided executives with transparency of which teams we needed to target for coaching support and guidance to uplift the team’s ability to work remotely, remain cohesive as a team and deliver successfully.
Traditionally, project managers and delivery managers are engaged to manage delivery, scope and timeframes. In an agile world, successful delivery of value is the responsibility of Product Owners.
Often mistaken for the customer, a Product Owner is part of the agile team, not someone “borrowed” from business. They represent the needs of many customers and stakeholders, manage the budget, and set the vision and objectives for one or more products and/or services based on organisational strategy and goals.
How do you make Design Thinking, Lean UX, and Agile work together. Sprint 0? Design Sprints? Upfront design and planning tends to delay the delivery of value, so there must be a better way to use Scrum but also engage in discovery work at the same time without devolving into parallel design work. Integrating design, user research, and experimentation into Sprints is the key.
Sharing patterns and practices and driving consistency across the organisation is key to building an organsiationational capability however eventually when we as external consultanst leave, there is always the risk that the organisation will just spring back to their old ways of working. So we set up ZXM Agile Academy to build enduring internal capability.
Sprint Planning is one of Scrum’s five events. There’s more to it than just making a plan. Importantly, as an action of empiricism, the team should be inspecting the Product Backlog and adapting, and creating, a Sprint Backlog that makes their plan to achieve the Sprint Goal, and deliver a potentially releasable Increment, transparent.
Traditional decision-making processes slow when teams are remote – you no longer have the luxury of quickly calling people together to a meeting to discuss solutions and make an instant decision, or signing an approval on a piece of paper.
A leader’s role in agile with remote teams is to establish strong rules for decision-making amongst teams and to decentralise sets of decisions to where the information is. This requires teams to have a clear understanding of the rules set for them to make decisions, collective ownership of delivery, ownership of value, and a set of governing principles regarding impediments that are out of their control to remove.
In the face of disruptive change, the ability for executives to mobilise action is paramount. While self-organisation is a key enabler, how do you support and encourage teams to organise themselves without micromanaging them solving every impediment for them?
How quickly are you able to respond to disruptive change? Decentralisation is a key enabler to optimise the flow of value, react to changing markets, and ensure your policies are responsive to changing contexts. But not everything needs to be decentralised.
As with face-2-face meetings, online meetings also have an etiquette (“Netiquette”) to make them effective. One of the 12 principles of the agile manifesto suggests face-to-face is the best option but in today’s world of social distancing and WFH, it is no longer an option.
Here are the guidelines we have found useful for having for online meetings with distributed
Ask one of our agile experts to do a work from home (WFH) risk assessment now.