Bring It All Together: How to Implement Processes in a Nutshell
17 March, 2022
The Hard Side of Change Management
What happens when a company is small? The processes are a little crazy (or there are no processes at all). That’s when the importance of establishing specific frameworks and strategies becomes crucial (add method to the madness).
You have an inflection point, where you build a product and put it out in the market. Some customers start to use and pay for it, making the flywheel go into motion. However, the agility starts to work against you at a certain point because it lacks transparency, predictability, and visibility for long-term growth. How do you establish these working routines and frameworks that still allow some flexibility that people are used to doing? At the same time, you’ve to be responsible for providing the transparency and scalability to scale two different teams within your organization.
Workflow Optimization: Bringing Processes to Life
To begin with, we built different squads within the organization who were working on another client request. The product managers were not hired yet, so the CPO hired a product manager for each squad to ensure that they were fully equipped at the core level. It helped to guarantee a PM, an eng manager, a data analyst, and a designer that comprised the core squad.
After establishing the squad structure, we built the charter for each squad. We defined clear expectations for each of the newly hired PMs and the mission, vision, and goals for them. Furthermore, we also outlined what the roadmap looked like along with the end goal of the squads. Everyone collaborated to develop the charter as we defined their targets — it wasn’t a top-down approach.
We started by defining “who we are, what we do, and why we are doing it.” Afterward, it was about establishing the cadence from a product design and engineering standpoint. While previously there was not a specific cadence around sprint planning, grooming, or demo sessions, now we created a set of ceremonies that we had to align on for all the squads simultaneously.
There was a sync-up in terms of when each squad started their sprint instead of when they stopped it. It wasn’t like one squad was following a three-week methodology while the others were following one week. It was more like a two-week sprint with a better predictability output that we got from the end of each sprint on a regular cadence.
As the five ceremonies of grooming ceremony, sprint planning, retros, demo, and the daily standup were in place, we set up a regular feedback session on them. Every month we had an R&D all hands, whereby we did a routine follow-up on things we were working on, what worked well and what did not.
Establishing such routines becomes necessary. We gave a general guideline on the timeline because our goal was not to prescribe how they worked but what they accomplished. In essence, we made sure that our sales team understood what our roadmap looked like and when we would be coming up with the next release.
We had different kinds of tools that we were using for knowledge management. We created a product roadmap that provided a clear picture of what feature is going out when we could extract and share it with our clients.
The Outcome: It has all gone pretty positive as teams are working very well together now. They now understand the value of interdependency, which has brought more transparency and visibility. Needless to mention that the change in processes has fostered more cross-team collaboration.
Everyone’s Involvement Is the Key to Change Management
- As you change the processes in your organization, make sure that you have a collaborative approach when doing so. Don’t just include product and engineering in the discussions; ensure that everyone is involved in it — starting from sales, design, CSM, operations, and so on. Make it to the point that everyone’s opinions are heard, and then roll out the rest of the processes accordingly.
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