Organize around agile teams
The basic building blocks of agile organizations are small, multidisciplinary, fit-for-purpose teams. We help you assemble these teams and create new governance structures to ensure they continually deliver value.
Traditionally, the work of a firm has been divided by specialization.
Sales. Marketing. Operations. Information technology. Often, each of these functions is subdivided further.
This model is a legacy of management innovations dating back to the late 1800s. For the next hundred years, the focus was on radically sharpening the capability of each independent element of the organization.
But this siloed approach no longer works. To keep up with the pace of innovation today, you need something more fluid and dynamic. Teams must include people from across an organization’s functions. And these teams must be in regular contact with the people they are delivering value to.
We bring extensive experience and a personal approach to helping our clients:
Build agility into your organizational structure
Agile organizations maintain a stable top-level structure—but replace much of the remaining hierarchy with a flexible network of teams. Teams are given a great deal of decision authority. They operate with high standards of alignment, accountability, expertise, transparency, and collaboration.
Agile teams typically range from 5 to 9 members, and cluster into networks of up to 150 people. Planning and coordination happen frequently within and across teams.
To ensure the network of teams functions like a healthy organism, a number of agile roles exist. These include business owner, product manager, product owner, and scrum master.
We work closely with you to ensure that your organization has the structure and roles for high-performance teaming.
Foster innovation with lean-agile governance
Lean governance is a lightweight approach designed to motivate and enable professionals to do what is best for the organization. It creates visibility and control, while decreasing waste and decision cycles.
Agile organizations leave behind traditional annual planning, budgeting, and review cycles. Instead, they move to quarterly cycles, dynamic management systems, and rolling 12-month budgets. Roadmaps are revisited and projects are reprioritized frequently.
An agile organization may take a VC-style approach to development. Initial funding is provided for product teams to produce a minimum viable product (MVP). The MVP is released quickly, refined according to customer feedback, and relaunched. Additional funding is based on how the MVP performs.
By making these changes, the cost of failure is reduced, and the odds of developing a winning product are greatly improved. We help you make the switch, and implement robust governance and investment models for agility.
Networks of empowered teams form the backbone of the agile organization.
Create the right mix of teams
Networks of empowered teams form the backbone of the agile organization. The prototypical team is “small enough to feed with two pizzas.” It consists of colocated individuals with varied expertise. And it remains relatively stable over time, so that team members can improve how they work together.
But, within an agile organization, teams may take a variety of forms. It all depends on the purpose the team is meant to serve.
Teams are typically cross-functional and have a product or project focus. But some teams may be domain-specific, which is suitable when the focus is within a particular field or function.
While face-to-face interaction is ideal, circumstances may require that team members be geographically dispersed. For example, a team may need capabilities that aren’t readily available locally.
While agile teams are relatively stable, rotating membership provides fresh perspectives. When new projects are launched, teams may get reshuffled—and team members need to be able to quickly gel and perform at a high level.
We work closely with you to devise the right mix of teams to deliver on organizational goals, and get them moving in the right direction.
Ensure leaders are ready for the change
To enable their teams to create value, senior executives and managers must make significant changes to their own roles and behaviors.
Executives should consistently convey business priorities, direct teams to the best opportunities, and make sure teams have a clear, unobstructed view of customers. They also need to empower teams with the resources and authority they need to execute, and remove dependencies.
The manager’s role also undergoes a revamp. Managers need to be comfortable leaving behind the command-and-control mentality and workflow. Rather than dictate the steps a team should take toward its goals, they must allow the team to chart its own path.
We help senior executives create an environment in which teams can thrive, and work with managers to delegate instead of decision make.