Are you looking for simple practices to improve the collaboration between projects or to shorten your product development time? Or are you just interested in ways to boost the motivation of your development teams? Instead of applying complicated, unsuitable procedures, collect information about your organization and start a step-wise improvement project based on actual needs and competencies.
Start with an improvements backlog
You need to prepare your organization for the change. The change receives a direction – with the vision, which entails the goals as well as their value for the customers and the organization. Prioritize the topics to address, and build a list of improvements called the improvement backlog. It will grant a sound basis for a successful continuous improvement. Use agile principles, to learn and adapt your improvement backlog as you move forward.
Build on strengths
At the beginning of every improvement project, carefully build a picture of the actual situation. What is already working fine? What can be kept and propagated between projects? Get a balanced view from your team about what they think is most important and the different objectives they want to achieve. If the team stands behind the aimed objectives, it will embrace the change emotionally.
When establishing new work practices, techniques and tools, bear in mind that development teams do not act in predefined patterns: deploy only rough workflows, general goals and guidelines. Allow space for the project teams to tailor the techniques according to their own needs. You must ensure an open communication. Share the improvement backlog with everyone who will be affected and listen to their comments.
Give it a try!
Ask the early adopters from the different units to pilot the initial solutions in their own projects. They are the most capable persons to gain practical experience, adapt the development practices and then optimize the way they work.
Make sure that the improvement is not tailored to a single person or project.
Visualize your team’s every-days tasks to make progresses and bottlenecks apparent. Use simple Task Boards or Kanban Boards as a quick way to get an objective view of what works and what not. You can then improve the work practices accordingly.
Changing is not only about adding new techniques and tools. It is also about departing from old habits that are not anymore useful.
Anchor the change in everyday life
Ask the participants of the first pilot to deploy the improved practices to other projects and to communicate their personal experience to their peers. They can also help their peers to tailor the practice to new projects.
Let the participants and the structure vary when the number of projects involved is growing. Communicate new successes and advantages of deploying the new practices to the complete organization.
A periodic retrospective is important to learn from your experiences. Use the experience gained during the piloting and introduction of new practices to adapt them. Compare the picture of where you are to the one of where you want to be; the difference between the two is the focus of your next improvement step!
Start your journey here
We can help you to take the next step. Some of the projects activities we typically deal with:
- Identifying development techniques adapted to your R&D, software- or product development and starting a continuous improvement project
- Defining improvements goals and starting an improvement backlog for your organization
- Designing an effective infrastructure and project for change
- Coaching Scrum teams for crossing the canyon of chaos towards established agile practices
- Introducing Kanban boards. Coaching lean/Kanban development teams to visualize progresses
- Leading and Implementing continuous improvement projects for development teams
- Designing and implementing agile R&D strategies
- Aligning agile teams with product development regulations and standards such as IEC 62304 Medical Device Software Process Life cycle
For more information or if you are interested in a startup-up workshop for your team, please