Change is the only constant and responding to it is a must-have organisational tool every company needs in its arsenal. In IT, we want to respond better to our colleagues’ needs, increase the quality of our output, and enjoy our work. For these reasons, we’re embracing agile values as part of our transformation. We aim to increase the transparency of our work and become a reliable partner to other departments.
As ERP Manager at Internetstores, my job is to help the company achieve agility and flatten hierarchies by continuously evaluating and improving processes. Of course, the concept of working agile is not new at all. But I guess every big, international group with not only a huge number of employees (almost 800 in our case) but also several offices in different countries agrees: Becoming truly agile and internalizing agility to one’s processes takes time. Having said that, I have the pleasure to share some insights we’ve learned so far:
Backed by a strong commitment from our leadership, we’ve organised ourselves into domain-specific teams. Each of our teams aims to gather and keep knowledge collectively, but most importantly, we aim to spread it – innovation depends on that. We’ve also switched from a project management mindset to a product ownership one; cross-functional teams now appear based on concrete projects and the interdepartemental communication is more fluent.
At Internetstores we want to get people on bikes, snowboards, and surfboards, so, in IT, we hopped on ‘agileboards’. This helps us visualise our work and see its flow. We created a magnetic wall with agile cards and, in front of it, we have our daily meetings where we talk about our progress and what we commit to doing next.
As Agile puts more value on people than rigid processes, we wanted to have more face-to-face conversations to inspire creativity and let ideas flow. We’re making that happen with our Creative Space, a dedicated door-less area filled with beanbags and whiteboards. It’s safe to say that the effort has paid off: the Creative Space has already had a lot of use in its brief existence.
We want to incorporate more science into our work. We’re establishing a workflow that enables us to collect meaningful metrics so that we have a solid base for future improvement. Agile, after all, is all about improving processes for the future.
We also act as Agile Ambassadors inside our company and we’re happy to see how it spreads. Nothing is more obvious than the drive to bring transparency through visualisation. We’re running out of walls to display what we do!