Agile teams

An agile team is made out from a cross functional group of individuals, who have everything, and everyone needed to create a functional and a tested version of a product. The team is working according to a set of rules and they are not moving in between different teams. They work together to achieve one common goal at the end of the day. 

 

The average size of an agile team will be 6 plus or minus three. In other words, the minimum number of individuals who can be on an agile team is 3 whereas the maximum number of individuals who can be on an agile team is 9.  

 

An agile team is a diverse team composed usually of business analysts, the software developers and software testers.

 

Typically, requirements on what to develop comes from the business analyst or the product owner. The developers will then develop based on the requirement and the testers will test to ensure that functionality is working as desired.  

 

It is important to plan effectively to go ahead with the agile team. Otherwise, there is a risk of getting work done within the agile lean environment.  

 

According to organizational structures, the employees from the group can be picked into the agile team based on their specialization. The specialists who come into the team will then be able to perform as one single group and get work done.  

 

— Slimane Zouggari

Agile Physical board vs Online board

When it comes to agile software development, most of the software development teams will be using a Scrum board (or a variant) in order to track the work in progress.

As the name suggests, an agile physical board is a traditional board displayed in the office (meeting room, project room, etc.). It can deliver the best results for smaller and local teams. Items in the agile physical board will be updated manually. Typically, using magnets or post-its.

An online tool will be used to create an agile online board. This will be a web-based board. It is possible to define rules accordingly, so that items in the scrum board gets updated automatically. This is ideal for the larger scrum teams.

 

If the team is small and local, it is possible to use an agile physical board. That’s because the agile physical board can provide a better chance for the people to visualize things. However, this might always not be the best approach available to move forward. In such a situation, it is important to go ahead with an online board. That’s because the online board will be updated automatically. The time and effort that has to be spent on managing the online board will be minimum as well.

Local teams are staying at one place. In such a situation, it will be possible for the team members to update the agile physical board in a convenient manner as well. They will be able to get the most out of the physical board and visualize content in an effective manner. This is not possible with managing large, remote teams.

— Slimane Zouggari

6S

Everything you need to know about 6S

6S can be considered as 5S + Safety. 5S is a common methodology that people in today’s world follow in order to get their project processes done in an efficient manner. That’s because a new factor called safety comes into play.

What makes 6S different from 5S?

6S is different from 5S due to the additional parameter, which is safety. When Safety is added into 5S, you will be encouraging the employees at the workplace who follow agile organizational structures to keep safety in mind. In fact, they will be able to adhere to safety throughout all the other 5 steps as well.

Applications of 6S

For example, you can go ahead and introduce red colored tags into the items that you are going to remove. In addition to that, you can add yellow colored tags to the EHS hazards. All the items with a red colored tag must go to the central hiding spot. Likewise, the yellow colored items should be evaluated separately and they should be treated in a different way.

While you are straightening, you are provided with the chance to organize all the items, so that you will be able to boost the overall efficiency. While you are doing that, you can keep an eye on safety as well. You are not just placing things in place to boost the productivity, but you also pay attention towards safety problems, such as ergonomic strain that would take place. The additional safety factor will not create any hindrances, but it can deliver a range of benefits to the people who follow 6Sigma at the end of the day. Therefore, you can go for it without keeping any doubts in mind.

— Slimane Zouggari

5S

Everything you need to know about 5S

5S is a popular workplace organization method, which originated in Japan. Along with the effectiveness of it, it has evolved into many other areas as well. In fact, the principles of 5S can be used for ensuring quality in the management process as well. That’s where 5S, which differs slightly from 6Sigma comes into play.

Here’s a quick overview of the five different steps. When you go through these different steps, you will be able to get a better understanding on how it works for agile organizational structures and why you should be thinking about using it.

  • Seiri (Sort)

Seiri is all about figuring out what items are necessary and what are not necessary. Then you can keep the necessary items and make sure that you are working efficiently with them.

  • Seiton (Straighten)

Seiton is the process where you organize and arrange the necessary items, so that you can easily use them.

  • Seiso (Scrubbing)

Seiso is the scrubbing step. In here, you get rid of hindrances and debris to make sure that there are no road blocks.

  • Seiketsu (Standardize)

You develop a standardized system to get the job done.

  • Shitsuke (Sustain)

You are sustaining the new process that you implement to get positive results in the long run.

Why should we be interested about 5S?

In today’s world, it has become important to go ahead and develop mechanisms in project processes with the objective of enhancing the overall work efficiency.  That’s where 5S comes into play.

You can find numerous examples for 5S. For example, staff members in an organization can go ahead and organize materials that they work with while adhering to the above-mentioned steps and get the job done while ensuring effective results at the end of the day. They can improve efficiency of work done at workplace with the help of it.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – Wise Crowds

What is meant by it?

Wise crowds are an organizational structure that can help a group of people in engaging together to solve a problem and help each other. The participants will be either called ‘clients’ or ‘consultants.’ Clients are those people who will be sharing their challenges with the consultant and asking them for help. The consultant will be focusing on the story and give recommendations in return.

How is it done?

Wise crowds can be carried out by asking the participants to become clients and consultants. The clients will be sharing their challenges to their consultants and asking for help to learn how to solve those challenges. Consultants should be focusing on their client’s story and keep asking questions to help the client share their experience in a better way. Consultants will also have to give advice and recommendations to their clients.

What is its purpose?

Wise crowds are an agile way of generating good results that can help people in succeeding their challenges. They will be able to improve their skills when it comes to asking, giving and receiving help. They will also learn how to liberate their creativity and intelligence. Mutual trust will be built between the clients and consultants.

What are its Tips and Traps?

Make sure that you not only invite experts but also invite the general public. Participants should critique themselves and not jump to action before they have clarified their problems. Participants should stay focused on their client’s experience, and the clients should not be hesitant to answer any question.

Examples – Where can it be used?

Wise crowds are a liberating structure that can be used in the following circumstances:

  • For research groups to leach from each other.
  • For sharing progress in group projects.
  • It can be used instead of reviews and presentations.
  • For solving different problems.
  • For improving your relationship by getting advice from someone.
  • The salesperson can use it for keeping new customers.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – Panarchy

What is meant by it?

Panarchy is an organizational structure that can help a large group of participants in identifying the opportunities and obstacles that they can face while spreading different ideas and innovations at several levels. So, panarchy can help you in spreading those ideas at different levels easily and grow to succeed in your challenge.

How is it done?

Panarchy can be carried out by inviting participants for observing and identifying the elements which are contributing to the presence of a challenge at different levels. The instructor will also have to ask them to come up with different strategies and opportunities that can help them in solving problems at different levels. It should be conducted in a room with a flat wall and open space. A new panarchy handout, post-it notes, flip-chart pages, and a large wall poster should be available. The participants will be indulging in panarchy individually, in pairs and groups to present their lists of obstacles and opportunities and to prioritize the things which will help them in succeeding.

What is its purpose?

Panarchy is an agile way of creating a mixture of different strategies at several levels to move forward in a challenge. It will give people from different levels an opportunity to work together and move forward as a group. It will help you in seeing the whole picture together.

What are its Tips and Traps?

You will have to use the 1-2-4-all liberating structure for most of the steps included in panarchy. Try to add the perspective of people from different fields for researching dynamic at both small and large scale. You should not neglect the role of history in each level.

Examples – Where can it be used?

Panarchy can be used in the following circumstances:

  • For offering advanced educational opportunities to students.
  • For spreading innovations on a bigger scale.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – Integrated Autonomy

What is meant by it?

Integrated autonomy is organizational structures that can help people resolve their conflicts to form strategies and find the solutions to different kinds of challenges. You will be able to develop strategic thinking and mutual understanding which will help you in finding the solution to your problem easily. By addressing these questions, you will have a profound understanding of the situation.

How is it done?

Integrated autonomy is a liberating structure which requires papers, chairs and integrated autonomy worksheets to be carried out. The instructor will first discuss what integrated autonomy is all about with the help of examples. A list of activities will be created using the 1-2-4-all technique. Participants will work in group of four and select one task from the list. They will then be asked questions such as “What is the standardizing rational? Which actions can boost standardization and customization? Which creative ideas will you adapt to perform the action?”

What is its purpose?

Integrated autonomy is an agile way of developing innovative strategies so that you can move forward with your policies, structures or projects. You will also be able to launch strategies with its help. You will develop a mutual understanding with your group members and start thinking strategically. Both of these things are vital for solving a challenge.

What are its Tips and Traps?

Make sure to have a productive starting question and try to have fun. You will also need to have additional rounds to get the task done correctly. The groups will have to do many experiments.

Examples – Where can it be used?

Integrated autonomy can be used in the following circumstances:

  • For creating policies.
  • For developing contents of new contracts for small hospitals.
  • For deciding which things should be legislated at the federal level.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – Agreement & Certainty Matrix

What is meant by it?

Agreement and certainty matrix is a liberating structure that can help people to get rid of the mistakes they make in solving challenges with methods that are not even required for solving that particular challenge. Therefore, with the help of this organizational problem, people will be able to avoid these mistakes and solve the challenge quickly.

How is it done?

It is a liberating structure that can be carried out by inviting participants to distribute their current challenges into different categories including simple, complicated and complex. Chairs, post-it notes, markers and a page with a matrix will be provided to each participant. There should be an open wall with a matrix taped to it. The participants will individually have to place their challenges into the matrix and then discuss in pairs. They will then converse in a group and come up with a few points of differences and agreements and then post their challenges on the long wall. All the participants shall step back and observe the patterns and decide their next steps.

What is its purpose?

Agreement and certainty matrix is an agile way of reducing the amount of wasted effort you do in challenges and identifying where specific local experiments can help you in solving complex problems. It will also help in reducing your frustration when you are unable to complete a task.

What are its Tips and Traps?

Make sure to clear it to the group members what kind of activities and challenges will be included. Don’t make judgments about people and start working individually, then in pairs and finally have a table conversation.

Examples – Where can it be used?

Agreement and certainty matrix can be used in the following circumstances:

  • To help a group move towards the active phase.
  • To organize project management.
  • To select different methodologies at the beginning of a new project.

— Slimane Zouggari

What’s new in SAFe 5.0?

Today (1st of February, 2020), SAFe 5.0 has been released.

SAFe 5.0 is the latest version of the agile framework promoted by Scaled Agile Inc. Along with the introduction of SAFe 5.0, companies are now provided with the opportunity to introduce agility across enterprises in an effective manner.

What’s new?

You can find several new changes in SAFe 5.0. Out of those changes, the biggest change that you will notice is the presentation of the entire model. In addition to that, you will be able to see how the alignment of the components have changed to ensure business agility.

Overview

Essential SAFe is one of the new elements that you can find in SAFe 5.0. It focuses in training everyone and launching the train. Along with that, all the people will be able to get used to the agile environment and function effectively.

SAFe 5.0 has introduced a new framework roof as well. In here, it is believed that SAFe is not in a position to ensure business agility without adopting the portfolio level of SAFe. This is where they pay attention towards two different levels, which include Essential and Solution.

The newest version of SAFe is paying attention towards customer centricity as well. This can help the organizations to focus on organizing the ARTs around value of customers.

Difference with previous version of SAFe?

Learn portfolio management capabilities are improved with SAFe 5.0. In addition to that, you will be able to see a reorganization of the components. People and core components have been moved to the left side of the framework, while providing a stronger focus on their roles.

— Slimane Zouggari

LS – User Experience Fishbowl

What is meant by it?

User experience fishbowl is an organizational structure that can help a larger circle understand the challenges faced by the smaller circle and then ask them if they have any questions. This will help them in coming up with solutions for their challenges quickly.

How is it done?

User experience fishbowl can be carried out by inviting people to listen, observe and ask questions from the fishbowl which is also known as the inner circle. There should be chairs, microphones and bar stools. The instructor will have to explain the steps and then ask the inner circle to start their conversation. The outer circle will listen and observe them while they are talking to each other. Then, they shall come up with questions that will be submitted to the inner circle. Interaction will be held between both the circles where the questions will be answered.

What is its purpose?

User experience fishbowl is an agile way of answering questions by everyone so that they can understand your experience in a better way and generate ideas of their own to solve their challenges. It can improve your storytelling, listening, observing, pattern-finding and questioning skills.

What are its Tips and Traps?

Make sure to select people with direct personal experience for the inner circle. Encourage the participants to discuss both their failures and successes and instead of giving speeches; they should chat with each other. You should collect all the questions before the conversation is restarted. The ‘fish’ should be given a choice to select the questions to which he will answer.

Examples – Where can it be used?

User experience fishbowl can be used in the following circumstances:

  • When transferring information from one officer to another.
  • During different liberating structures workshop.
  • In meetings carried out by specialists to discuss a challenging situation.
  • By executive management teams to carry out projects.

— Slimane Zouggari