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From dysfunction to cross-function
in 8,593 easy steps:
Jade Stephen & Sam Lightowler
WHAT DO WE PLAN TO COVER?
● Who are we and what do we do?
● Our metrics and what they tell us
● Autonomy vs Interdependenc...
WHAT IS DIGITAL OPERATIONS
AND WHAT DO WE DO?
● 100 staff members with varying skill sets
● Autonomous, agile teams
● Stak...
WHAT DO WE DO WELL?
● We make use of agile frameworks like
Scrum and Kanban
● We have reasonable team sizes
● We focus on ...
HAVING AN OPEN DIALOGUE WITH STAFF
● Staff survey based on Gallup’s Employee Engagement Survey issued
quarterly
● Share re...
ENGAGEMENT HAS IMPROVED
3.6
3.7
3.6
3.9
4.0
3.8
3.9
4.4
Sept Jan/15
3.4
3.4
3.4
Apr/14
3.8
4.0
3.9
3.9
4.3
May
3.8
3.7
3.7...
WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM?
● Lack of shared goals within leadership team
● Lack of strategic alignment across teams
● Autonomy ...
WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE
GOOD CROSS-TEAM COLLABORATION?
● We find room to collaborate
● We gain stakeholder trust
● We s...
OUR CORE VALUES
All team members are expected to exemplify our values -
collaboration, learning and improvement. We design...
HOW DID WE GET THERE?
● Managers formed a real team
● Core Values were developed
● Modified our recurring alignment meetin...
OUR SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
WE TRIED TO SOLVE
THE PROBLEM WITH MEETINGS
● Product Platform Update Meeting
○ Product managers taking turns updating a g...
THE INTEGRATED DEMO
● Meeting for all staff and stakeholders
● Teams discuss work from the last 3 weeks
● Cross-team tasks...
THE INTEGRATED SCRUM
● 15 minute daily meeting
● One developer attends from each team
● Developers address today’s possibl...
INTEGRATED STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS
● Bi-weekly
● All stakeholders and Product Owners working on a single product attend
● Eve...
TOOLS FOR TRANSPARENCY
● All teams use Git, Jira and
Confluence
● Product Owners meet quarterly
● Teams use visual task bo...
TEAM OUTINGS & SOCIAL GATHERINGS
ONE-TEAM-ONE-PRODUCT MINDSET
DIGITAL
OPERATIONS
● Management team formed a real team
● Employee engagement survey issued quarterly
● Developed “Core Values” statement
● O...
WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE?
● Are we perfect? no. We know that
● We are committed to upholding our values
● Continuous...
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From dysfunction to cross function in 8,593 easy steps- team building at the cbc

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When it comes to scaling Agile, there is no one size fits all solution. Frameworks like Scrum and XP prescribe roles, events, artifacts, and rules that make it very clear how interaction should take place within a team. When we begin to add more teams to the mix, communication between teams becomes more complex. This complexity threatens to reduce our transparency and damage our culture. How can we share information, build our culture and work together, all while keeping with Agile values?

During this session Sam Lightowler and Jade Stephen will take an in depth look at the successes and failures of CBC Digital Operations when it comes to cross-team collaboration and information sharing. We will discuss what meetings and techniques have helped us build a one-team-one-product mindset, a sense of community, and a culture of Collaboration, Learning and Improvement. We will also discuss what we have tried in the past and how learning from those experiments helped us evolve into the agile-friendly and unified team that we are today.

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From dysfunction to cross function in 8,593 easy steps- team building at the cbc

  1. 1. From dysfunction to cross-function in 8,593 easy steps: Jade Stephen & Sam Lightowler
  2. 2. WHAT DO WE PLAN TO COVER? ● Who are we and what do we do? ● Our metrics and what they tell us ● Autonomy vs Interdependence and which wins ● Our successes and failures as a department ● What’s Next?
  3. 3. WHAT IS DIGITAL OPERATIONS AND WHAT DO WE DO? ● 100 staff members with varying skill sets ● Autonomous, agile teams ● Stakeholders that represent content areas and business units ● Work together to build CBC’s digital products ● Serving 18 million unique visitors monthly CMS Web Presentation APPS A/V Ops A/V Events & Extensions Maintenance Content Distribution Analytics
  4. 4. WHAT DO WE DO WELL? ● We make use of agile frameworks like Scrum and Kanban ● We have reasonable team sizes ● We focus on products, not projects ● We have persistent teams ● Most teams are colocated ● Most teams collaborate well internally CMS Web Presentation APPS A/V Ops A/V Events & Extensions Maintenance Content Distribution Analytics
  5. 5. HAVING AN OPEN DIALOGUE WITH STAFF ● Staff survey based on Gallup’s Employee Engagement Survey issued quarterly ● Share results publicly ● Develop action plans together based on results ● Communicate updates frequently
  6. 6. ENGAGEMENT HAS IMPROVED 3.6 3.7 3.6 3.9 4.0 3.8 3.9 4.4 Sept Jan/15 3.4 3.4 3.4 Apr/14 3.8 4.0 3.9 3.9 4.3 May 3.8 3.7 3.7 4.1 Sept 4.1 4.0 3.9 4.3 4.1 4.0 4.0 4.3 Apr/16 Aug 3.8 3.8 3.9 Dec 4.1 6
  7. 7. WHAT WAS THE PROBLEM? ● Lack of shared goals within leadership team ● Lack of strategic alignment across teams ● Autonomy lead to lack of true collaboration and trust ● No capacity and support for learning and experimentation ● Disempowered, stressed staff
  8. 8. WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU HAVE GOOD CROSS-TEAM COLLABORATION? ● We find room to collaborate ● We gain stakeholder trust ● We save time by not constantly “putting out fires” ● Creates a more unified approach to problem solving
  9. 9. OUR CORE VALUES All team members are expected to exemplify our values - collaboration, learning and improvement. We design and build better solutions through collaboration. We focus on our audience's expectations to foster a learning mindset. We commit to helping each other, both inside and outside of our respective teams, to improve and grow in order to reach our full potential.
  10. 10. HOW DID WE GET THERE? ● Managers formed a real team ● Core Values were developed ● Modified our recurring alignment meetings ● Focused on transparency ● Developed a new mindset ● Emphasized the importance of relationships
  11. 11. OUR SUCCESSES AND FAILURES
  12. 12. WE TRIED TO SOLVE THE PROBLEM WITH MEETINGS ● Product Platform Update Meeting ○ Product managers taking turns updating a group of stakeholders and staff ● Content Backlog Update Meeting ○ Product managers sharing team roadmaps ● Individual Stakeholder Meetings ○ Product teams meeting with stakeholders on product-by-product basis ● All-Staff Update ○ Digital Operations management updating Digital Operations staff on key decisions or changes
  13. 13. THE INTEGRATED DEMO ● Meeting for all staff and stakeholders ● Teams discuss work from the last 3 weeks ● Cross-team tasks are given priority ● Each team has 5-7 minutes to present ● Preference is given to working software ● No questions, talk after the meeting
  14. 14. THE INTEGRATED SCRUM ● 15 minute daily meeting ● One developer attends from each team ● Developers address today’s possible dependency issues ● Takes place before all daily scrums
  15. 15. INTEGRATED STAKEHOLDER MEETINGS ● Bi-weekly ● All stakeholders and Product Owners working on a single product attend ● Everyone hears the same message ● Work together to make decisions and solve problems
  16. 16. TOOLS FOR TRANSPARENCY ● All teams use Git, Jira and Confluence ● Product Owners meet quarterly ● Teams use visual task boards ● A dependency board is always visible
  17. 17. TEAM OUTINGS & SOCIAL GATHERINGS
  18. 18. ONE-TEAM-ONE-PRODUCT MINDSET DIGITAL OPERATIONS
  19. 19. ● Management team formed a real team ● Employee engagement survey issued quarterly ● Developed “Core Values” statement ● Organizational priorities were communicated clearly ● Empowered teams ● Introduced new meetings with clear focus ● Transparency is mandated SO WHAT’S CHANGED?
  20. 20. WHAT DOES THE FUTURE LOOK LIKE? ● Are we perfect? no. We know that ● We are committed to upholding our values ● Continuous improvement ● Build, measure, learn ● Committed to each other and ourselves to constantly get better ● Adapt ● Be agile (experiment and learn)

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