I led the process of designing the system, training product owners and scrum masters, and onboarding all the new teams.
Strategic & Business Management
Key strategies across the organization were suffering because of missed deadlines or dropped work. Previously work requests had come in from all across the organization without a process to prioritize them. Stakeholders not knowing the status of their project was a significant pain point identified in the design audit. They described it as “a black box they couldn’t see into.”
I sought to resolve these through a focus on prioritization, communication and transparency. This would result in more efficient delivery of work and foster better collaboration across teams and departments. The changes that would be required would also have a significant positive impact on the organizational culture through an increase in communication, transparency and shared ownership of outcomes.
Technical Project Management
If you’re going to build out an agile system, do it with agility. I took the scrum basics with only a slight adaptation for our context and created an MVP (minimum viable product) by drafting an initial map of the teams and schedule and an outline for our creative scrum process. It was transparent to the whole leadership team allowing them to inspect and adapt it. We went through many iterations, improving the design and educating everyone on the principles and process of Agile and Scrum.
I applied change management and stakeholder management principles to provide clarity and allow feedback from the leadership above and the creatives on these new teams. This involved several meetings and presentations to allow multiple tiers of leadership to understand and speak into the process. I also did a few informal focus groups with creatives to get an idea of how different aspects of Scrum would land to allow me to make needed adjustments before rolling it out.
This change process required me to lead in all directions. I began to lead my new production team to develop and roll out Creative Scrum. I led with my peers on the leadership team, and I led up by educating and gathering feedback and alignment of key leaders. I also reached out to people in other departments who had a similar role to me to see where we could collaborate and build more of a network together.
This whole process occurred in 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Which meant all these teams were distributed, and these meetings were virtual. This meant things often went slower than expected and communication needed to be reinforced because of how much “noise” there was from everything going on.
I sought to lead by example, practicing what I was preaching. I pushed for everything to be a visible and transparent as possible, allowing others to inspect what we were building, then making adaptations as needed. This resulted in people feeling like we were building something together rather than it being rolled out on them.
We still needed to do a broader and more formal onboarding process to explain and train everyone on practicing Scrum. Again we tried to start with “minimum viable onboarding” and then iteratively build on it over time. We had to have the patience to let some people discover how Scrum worked, leading to a deeper understanding than us only explaining how it worked.