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Advice for Agile teams in organisations struggling in a post-pandemic recovery?

Or as we like to call it – THE SEVEN BE’s

Many of you are now working in companies that are struggling.

We want to give advice for Agile teams in organisations struggling in a post-pandemic recovery. Acknowledging that for many, we are still mid-pandemic.

You may be part of teams that are working through re-alignment after staff loss or re-organisation. 

You may be part of agile teams that now have the mission of re-stabilising and rebuilding a fractured work culture.

This article will give you advice on dealing with this scenario. 

We don’t have all the answers, it’s impossible.  Every organisation is different, and every person is dealing with change in their own way.

However, our experience in using Agile with teams during change will assist you during this phase.  

We’d defined this article around what we are calling “THE SEVEN BE’S”

BE HUMAN during recovery

People are hurting. Now is the time to show forgiveness to others and to yourself. Understand that most of the time people are trying to do the right thing and in some cases just get by.

With all that pressure, there are going to be moments where our interactions go wrong. When this happens, acknowledging and moving on, rather than dwelling on our less proud moments will help create a less stressful environment.

Jian Lee, a consultant in Melbourne says “Empathise with people who may be struggling with other parts of their life, thus affecting their work.”

Steve Walton, a Principal in Melbourne reminds us “This is not a free pass for inappropriate behaviour like bullying, which is never OK, this is about caring more for each other when we need it most.”

BE BRAVE WITH CREATIVITY during recovery

As companies struggle to redefine who they are, and how they get work done, it is time to open ourselves up to see where some crazy ideas lead our thinking.

“If you have some good ideas, throw them out there and see if they resonate.” Says Steve.

Benny Ko suggests “running design sprints to create rapid validated customer solutions for the problems your organisation are encountering.”

BE REALISITC with Agile teams

Be prepared to be told that has already been done, or is not suitable for consideration now, however, be brave enough to share.

Steve says “Times are tough. Being realistic will help you make better decisions in times of change.”

BE CONNECTED with your organisation

Try and stay connected with your team even when working remotely. “Have frequent check-ins outside of the routine ceremonies. Keep an open mind, ask questions when unsure.” Says Jian Lee, a consultant in Melbourne ADAPTOVATE team.  

Continue your commitment to succeed together as a team. Be supportive of others, offer encouragement, nurture relationships, and have fun while doing the work.

BE FOCUSED ON NEW GOALS with your organisation

“Using the Agile approach continuously monitor and adjust your work to suit the customer needs during the pandemic.” says Benny.

The dynamic development of Covid has proven the need for businesses to react faster than ever before. This has been a challenge even for the fast and flexible Agile teams.

The previously set goals become unachievable in the new environment, they do not drive performance and can be frustrating for the teams.

Re-setting of goals and re-focusing of work is necessary.

BE OPEN and HAVE ALIGNMENT across your organisation

Once you have reset goals and re-focused work, it’s important that there is alignment across the department or organisation. Be open and share your goals.

Benny Ko – an agile consultant in Melbourne says “Make sure you have alignment across your teams from top to bottom.”

It’s also extremely important to maintain alignment of teams working remotely.

ADAPTOVATE runs OKR sprints to help organizations identify, design and test new OKRs within a week.  We worked with a non-profit around OKR’s earlier in the year.   Listen to our podcast conversation featuring Jo McDonnell the CEO of GOMO Foundation, talking about OKR’s.

Slawek Koziol, a project lead for ADAPTOVATE in our European office explains “Our coaches help organizations review their current model, decide what still applies in the Covid-19 “new normal”, create new objectives and review them with senior stakeholders. Then they work with each team lead (or Product Owner) to set the key results and finalize the sprint with a Showcase delivering the new OKRs.”

BE NIMBLE WITH PLANNING with your Agile teams

To effectively deal with the post pandemic recovery Agile teams should adjust their planning cycle.

To improve their response some Agile organizations, shorten their planning cycles from quarterly to having Periodic Business Reviews every two months (or even shorter than that).

The adjusted planning cycles and re-set OKR should be transparent within the organization. In current times virtual Mission Control Rooms are a perfect tool for that.  (read about Mission Controls rooms here) (You can download our infographic below).

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Thank you to ADAPTOVATE team members who co-authored this article.

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