The Team and the Organisation

The Team and the Organisation

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Where is the organisational impact … ?

The team seems to have succeeded …. but where is the organisational impact you may wonder. The teams are supposedly using all sorts of lean/agile techniques. Employees seem happier. You see post-its on the walls and there is talk about “Jira” around the office. But … where is the organisational impact? When will the results hit the bottom line? Are we really using properly what we say we are using?

It is true that a single team can make amazing things happen. We’ve seen single teams do what four or five teams did before. It is also true that many teams struggle, use all the right words, but seem to go nowhere.

Step 1 – Foundation – Make the Team Fly

If you want organisational impact, you need to ensure the basics are covered, and this means seeing, believing and measuring things are drastically different. In a healthy lean/agile style team you should see at least:

  • Employee satisfaction with ways of working should’ve gone from 3-4 to 9 on a scale of 10.
  • You should see, believe and measure productivity increases of at least 50% (we’ve seen up to several 100s).
  • Customer satisfaction, using the Reichheld question should be well above 8 on the 10 scale (or over 10% if you use the NPS percentage score).

If you are not measuring or seeing these things, you have not yet completed the foundation and need to complete this, before you can begin to see serious organisational impact.

Step 2 – Advanced – Serious Organisational Impact

When your team is finally flying, they are locally delivering output like never before and are enormously happy working inside their team.

This is not enough for you and the organisation at large, however. The team does not live in isolation. It is part of an ecosystem and for the entire system to perform better the team must become better at working with the organisation external to the team. If not, all you get may be local optimisation. The team may deliver 200% more than before, but on an organisational level this may not be as noticeable as you would like.

If you would like to get more organisational impact out of team that flies, these are some of the capabilities that need to be built:

  • Organisational wisdom. Team Leadership on both the Scrum Master and Product Owner side need to mature and become organisationally interested and politically street wise. Managing people around you without a formal mandate is not easy, but that is still the job.
  • Money. The team need in-depth understanding of the entire organisation’s end customer value, and what ultimately drives profitability and stakeholder satisfaction with the entire organisation.

The above items may seem wide and generic, but in order to succeed with them they need to boil down the very hands-on and concrete team practices on a rhythm and cadence. One example is stakeholder mapping and bringing this mapping down to actionable, rhythmic and specific communication and actions in the calendar.

More and more teams are succeeding with the foundation, it is now time for lean-agile teams to show the world what can be done on an organisational level.