Way of Working Fundamentals

3 days

Everyone in a modern organisation

You're all agreed that you need to change your way of working. But all the conversations seem to go in circles and you just can't seem to get started.

The biggest challenge is that everyone has different ideas for what constitutes the "right way of working". Until you get everyone aligned on some core principles moving forward is going to be a constant challenge.

What you'll learn

  • Why companies are structured in functional hierarchies
  • The tradeoffs between structures and when each is most appropriate
  • The principles behind modern software development
  • The constraints required to enable empowered teams

Modules

1

Way of Working

4 hours of videos

Looking at how teams tend to work today we will highlight the underlying assumptions, review how they stack up to the modern world and finish with some key principles that teams can use to define how they will work.
The goal of this session is to make people aware of how their current processes evolved and why. With this knowledge, we can agree on which elements need to be changed to improve how we build products.

Lessons

Current Way of Working

20 minutes

We'll do a quick history lesson to uncover how and why companies are structured the way they are including the underlying assumptions that led to this structure. Then we'll explore how this structure influences the way of working.

Breaking Assumptions

15 minutes

We will run through the key assumptions that govern company structures and highlight how they no longer are true for today's world.

A New Way of Working

20 minutes

Using our assumptions and the current context of modern software development we will create a vision for a new way of working and the corresponding organisational structure.

2

UXDX Model Overview

4 hours of videos

Having learned the core principles we are going to dive into how empowered teams can work starting from problem definition, prioritisation, experimentation and right through to delivery and validation.

The goal of this course is to give a quick introduction to how teams can put the principles into practice.

Lessons

Team Structure Introduction

10 minutes

A quick look at an "ideal" end state for how teams are structured and how they work to achieve the way of working vision. I expect you to say this isn't possible right now - but hopefully at the end of the course you will have changed your opinion.

Align with the Business Goals

10 minutes

How the use of OKRs can ensure that stream teams are tackling the right problems.

Value for Customers - Identify Needs

10 minutes

The continuous discovery habits of stream teams to uncover the unmet needs of customers.

Value for Customers - Validate

15 minutes

How teams can break down complex problems to identify the most important assumptions to validate in order to reduce the risk of development.

Rapid

10 minutes

Quick testing methods that teams can use to validate assumptions including both non-code and code solutions.

Sustainable

15 minutes

Automation is key for sustainability both in the discovery practices that teams undertake as well as the coding and release practices.

Continuous Improvement

10 minutes

The team is responsible for their way of working. This means that they control how they work and any changes that they want to take on. There is no need for centralised sign-off.

3

Governance

3 hours of videos

Governance comes down to two simple questions: where are we spending our money? and is it working?
The goal of this course is to outline the ways that companies can answer these questions without having to dictate what each team will work on.
This empowers teams to solve the problems that customers are sharing with them. And it actually helps management have a clearer understanding of whether their investments are working.

Lessons

The Value and Purpose of Governance

10 minutes

Governance is critical to ensure that a company is investing their limited resources in the most appropriate areas and that they are getting a return on their investment.

The Process Becomes the Goal

10 minutes

How and why governance focuses more on process execution today than on value delivery. We'll uncover why enforcing time, cost and scope constraints limits innovation and hurts the sustainability of products.

Enabling Constraints

25 minutes

Overly restrictive constraints damage products. But lack of constraints risks a lack of coordinated focus. The challenge is implementing the right constraints at the right level. We will touch on the 6 key areas where constraints are required.

Approving Teams

15 minutes

While companies no longer approve business cases for every initiative there is still a need to run a business-case-like process for the initial setup, or growth, of a team. We'll review how teams should go about pitching a new team and the key elements to review.

FinOps

20 minutes

While most costs are fixed there are still variable costs associated with teams, in particular cloud computing costs. FinOps is a technique for gaining insight into cloud costs and avoiding costs spiralling.

Future Evolution

15 minutes

Creating and validating metrics still requires centralised oversight. Ultimately you want the best performing products for your customers. We will look at a case study of Haier, where every team is set up as an independent company, including traditional back-office functions like Marketing and People. They even encourage competition and let the market decide which teams thrive and survive.
This module is not intended to be something that you can, or should, adopt straight away but it points more to where continuous improvement may lead your company after you start on the road to empowered product teams.