A few days ago, the SoftwareDevTools.com team wrote a post on Medium about 3 agile ways to kickstart the year. I shared the post on several Slack groups to get some feedback and some people were interested in the dynamic our team uses to enhance its internal processes.
Our core focus from the early days is to make tasks easily digestible for each member of the team, so they understand how their work will impact the product being built. Having consensus of what needs to be done to achieve the goals of the area/group/team is a way to empower every individual in the organization.
Having priorities is the first step in the enhancement of internal processes as is assigning the team that will be in charge of proper follow up as well as executing action items.
Priority is the name of the game.
So much of this communication happens in several mediums, but eventually, one member will take ownership of the opportunity and assemble a group to seize it. Giving the task due priority is not a small job because there are many elements in place that need to be considered.
One method which we took from this post by Sathish Chander in his brilliant essay titled 9 Machiavelli’s Advice for Better Decisions and his follow up post: Effective Prioritization, where he grabs the ROI Formula to accommodate to a product development cycle. Our team uses it to gauge the importance of implementing new procedures or change existing ones.
So we look at each scenario with 4 needs in mind:
There is also a Google Spreadsheet that can be a handy resource if your team is distributed and everyone can weigh in on each specific need. When our development team gets together and reviews each feature or task request they can estimate the effort needed in the technical aspect. We normally use our PlanningWith.Cards HipChat add-on.
For those that are part of bigger teams, we also suggest the Scrum Poker Add-on for Confluence which takes the sting of having remote individuals participating in the estimates.
Listing at least the top ten priorities for enhancements will make it much easier to put the rest of the items on the board on hold and talk with stakeholders about the dynamic the team went through, but more importantly, the reasons they made those choices based on all four needs of the process being changed or updated.
Executing & follow up on action items — Leadership teams
There are some key components that your team can replicate to make this transition and create better internal processes. One of them is to form what’s known as a Leadership Team.
A Leadership Team (LT) means that anyone in the organization can get together to work in executing a plan to address an issue. This can be done in a very simple manner — just send an email to the organization.
For organizations that are more hierarchical, this might pose a challenge, but LT’s are formed around the idea of enhancing any aspect of the organization which can be a benefit to all. So it might not be so difficult to implement.
This group of individuals comes up with the solution to enhance any type of aspect of an organization or team. Individuals suggest several solutions and then the team then decides which approach will make a meaningful impact; which might focus on the clients/users, the business of the company or an internal improvement for the organization. They get together to find the best approach and looking for meaningful impact for users, business or the organization.
The main element of this approach to problem-solving is to simply trust the team in the best interest of the organization.
If you would like a deeper explanation, we invite you to look at this post from Juan Melo — Understanding Culture and leadership teams.
Let us know if there is anything else you would like to know about LT’s and priorities. We’ll be happy to elaborate in another follow-up post.