5 Key Areas of Agile Working Teams
There is no actual formula in developing successful agile teams but there are ways to implement key areas to form agile working teams. Steve Green, VP of Product at Funding Circle, shares his strategies and experience in building and growing agile teams in order to improve the team alignment.
“Agile working is about people and culture”, as stressed by Steve during a regular talk session at ScaleUp Academy. He strongly believes that teamwork and culture plays a big role in scaling all aspects of the business. There are stages of building an agile team and it takes years of continuous development and organization to form them.
Here are key areas to consider when forming agile working teams:
1. Outcome First Approach
An agile business should have at least a sense of what direction they want to go and know the outcome. This should start at the beginning when culture in the workplace is being established. Having clear objectives, OKR’s, team’s direction and a structured organization are important as agile doesn’t work with inexperienced teams. Agile teams are built on good practices such as knowledge sharing, ownership of work and responsibilities as well as discipline to name a few.
2. Disciplined Delivery
Bring discipline to a certain standard because when the company starts scaling, teams can lose track of delivery dates and project priorities. Articulate on assigned roles — who is responsible for “what”, who is responsible for “how”, who is keeping track of the “when”, and who is reporting. Introducing key roles and responsibilities to the teams and getting them to commit to their roles are crucial to having disciplined delivery.
3. Spend Time On Pulling Together
As more people are recruited in your organization, these new employees can bring their experience and some cultural practices from where they came from, at the same time, introducing them to the established culture in the workplace. Build a solid foundation where teams trust, support and understand each other.
Teams perform better when they are happy, content and have a sense of teamwork. When disruptions in the team structure happen such as joining of a new employee, the team must learn how to work together seamlessly while processing the change. Keeping agile working in place takes solid commitment, planning in all levels and extracting what can be learned from the process helps to achieve team goals.
4. Pay Your Debts
Most companies in the process of scaling forget to pay attention to the timeframe of paying debts. At the start, when your organization is growing, plan and build roadmaps that can reduce the time it takes to pay these debts. There are many technology changes as well as process changes that can derail the schedule of new product launches and project completion. Delays like these are costly. Flexibility to the time framework allows better solutions to emerge while absorbing changes or shifts in the industry.
5. Resource Innovation
Innovation does not come in a standard box. Agile working teams are able to create new technologies, products and designs by trialling and learning from things that leads to innovation. Hiring the right people at the right time helps in achieving this resource. Providing a space for creative thinking between the engineering roadmap and the product design roadmap allows for innovation to emerge. However, innovation is not always good for the organization so learn to distinguish between what should be built and what should not be built.
In ending to this article, we all know that problems abound as companies start to scale. We can only look up to them, learn from these established and seasoned companies such as Funding Circle’s mistakes and how they overcame challenges so that we may learn from their progress. Although needs and situations differ from one company to another, the ability to manage expectations based from other companies’ experience in the process of scaling, may all together bring forth success in your company as you scale. For more tips and trade secrets from successful players in the industry, subscribe our newsletter and stay tuned for more content from ScaleUp Academy guest experts.