New Ways of Working

 

New Ways of Working allow organi
zations to work with more agility, speed and creativity. Employees are more committed to the company and better collaborate, process evolves more rapidly and technology supports organization’s activity.

In this article, we will see how an organization can embrace new ways of working through people, process and technology.

#People

People work in small agile teams. An agile team is constituted by a maximum of 6 employees having different skills and different jobs.

  • The product owner is the team manager. He leads the development of project’s value proposition and its implications (i.e. conception, quality and execution)
  • The growth hacker is in charge of customer acquisition and client lifecycle (i.e. acquisition, activation, retention)
  • The content owner builds and delivers a content strategy based on the marketing and the communication strategy
  • The tech leads manages tech-related activities with a good comprehension of organization’s IT architecture
  • The swiss-knife is in charge of project integration into company’s operations (i.e. compliance, IT system, back-office, etc.)
  • The UX/UI designer is in charge of user experience and user interface conception. He creates and improves customer journeys and front-end designs

The agile team is a multidisciplinary team allowing to work fast on a broad range of tasks. It is led by the product owner which coordinates each activity. The product owner can allocate resources depending on project’s needs.

To avoid failures, each decision is data-driven and is made at a team level. It allows to minimize the risk of the project.

Additionally, the team can integrate bigger projects with other agile teams. It produces cooperation and risk reduction because each team works on a limited part of the project.

 

#Process

In the process part, we will see how agile teams can cooperate and improve the way they work together.

Generally, agile teams are grouped into tribes and can form cross-teams to mutualize ideas and interests.

  • Each agile team (AT) is assigned to a specific mission and objectives (e.g. improve customer journey on Android, develop mobile payment, etc.). An agile team is independent and free to choose his method of work
  • The product owner (PO) is responsible for the prioritization of actions within each Agile Team
  • A tribe is formed by agile teams working on similar topics. The tribe leader is responsible for providing the best working environment for agile teams. The activity of a tribe can be to work on a part of the value proposition of the company (e.g. a part of website, an app feature, etc.)
  • A chapter can form and is the consolidation of FTE competencies around an expertise and around the challenges to be addressed (e.g. A chapter on UX experience or a chapter on Objective-C language)
  • A guild can form and is a group of common interests which intends to share best practices, tools, and experiences (e.g. a team of UX experts and Objective-C developers decide to form a guild to work on a new idea)

Each team sequentially delivers work. The delivery agenda is mutualized and anyone can understand the delivery steps.

Teams can also deliver partial work to test their solution during a trial period before releasing the final version of the solution which will be visible to customers (e.g. feature D). This technique also allows to anticipate future bugs in the delivery.

Finally, extra-activities such a workshops, hackathons or boot camps are periodically held tofoster process improvements and idea creation across teams, tribes and guilds. Individuals have the opportunity to meet differently, they can work together on topics to improve any process or any activity. New projects can arise from these events.

#Technology

Each agile team uses a physical Kanban to track the work in progress. The Kanban is a visual management tool helping teams to forecast tasks but also to track tasks in deployment.

Moreover, each team has a precise work scope to focus on in order to avoid work overlaps. The delivery process is managed on an open-access tool such as Jira, Jenkins or GitHub.

Outcomes

New ways of working are management practices and tools aiming to better address organization’s needs in agility, speed and creativity.

Adopting new ways of working means greater team collaboration, process improvements and technological change.

Leaders have the responsibility to development of new ways of working. They have to align individual initiatives with organization’s objectives. They have to find the right balance between work alignment and autonomy to ensure positive outcomes.

By doing so, new ways of working can improve employee satisfaction, team commitment and new innovations.