Transformation is a big word. What does it mean in practice, and what can we learn from Jeff’s and Amer’s stories to help us in our own roles as Scrum Masters, Agile Coaches and Change Agents? We deep dive into a real story that started small, and slow, but achieved great changes that both teams and their organization benefited from.
The Foundation Team – Small Changes for Big Impact
When Amer and Jeff started to work with the Operations Team (as it was called before Jeff and Amer joined), they realized some of the problems the team was facing had to do with their approach to their work.
At that time they didn’t try to change the team, although there was a clear goal of where to do, they started with a much more down-to-earth approach that helped the team members feel part of the process.
We discuss many of those small changes and the process of how those changes were decided together with the team.
The Great Wall Anti-pattern: building software and sending it over the wall to Operations
No matter how much they were to focus on improving and changing the Operations approach to work, there was another anti-pattern they would have to address. Before Amer and Jeff started, the process was to develop software and then send it over the metaphorical wall to the Operations team, which had to struggle with making it ready for production. Never an easy task and the difficulties created friction. We discuss how Amer and Jeff helped both the former Operations team and the client teams to learn to collaborate.
The steps to a great collaboration: The Foundation Team gains the organization’s admiration
Over time, Amer and Jeff were able to help the Operations team, which was then renamed to Foundation Team, collaborate effectively and start to have an impact in the overall organization. We walk through the several steps the team went through to get to that outcome. We review
- How the team started to track everything to be able to manage their work effectively
- How the knowledge was shared among team members so that the team would not depend on single individuals
- How Amer and Jeff helped the Foundation Team to learn how to look at their own work as a “product team”, developing the platform that client teams used. Effectively enabling the Foundation Team to learn to listen and act on customer feedback (the other teams were the customers).
This is a great story of how a “shared services” team can become a product team inside your organization.
About Amer Hamzeh and Jeff Campbell
Amer is the Product Lead for Platform at Native Instruments, a leading manufacturer of software and hardware for computer-based audio production DJ-ing. Having honed his skills as a Software Engineer, Scrum Master, and Product Manager at the time when Agile, Lean Startup, DevOps, and Cloud Computing were breaking into the mainstream he has spent the past few years as a Product Manager building internal Software Platforms that reduce the cognitive overhead and enables delivering high-quality software in a sustainable manner.
Jeff is an Agile Coach who considers the discovery of Agile and Lean to be one of the most defining moments of his life and considers helping others to improve their working life not to simply be a job, but a social responsibility.
He is the author of actionable agile tools, which you can get on Amazon and directly from the author at bit.ly/aatbook
As an Agile Coach, he has worked with driving Agile transformations in organisations both small and large.
You can also learn more about Jeff Campbell’s work at his company’s website.