In the previous post I described our squad principles and roles. In this post I’ll talk about the broader framework in which the squads operated — some of the ceremonies and practices we introduced to provide visibility and coordination between squads.
A friend once told me that he respects all religions, as long as people “really commit to whatever that religion is by attending some house of worship weekly.” He could not see that he was validating religion against the Judeo-Christian framework. Many religions don’t have a house of worship, and many don’t have a requirement of weekly attendance.
I spend most of my days with large digital focused organisations. They usually have diverse platforms and scores of people trying to continuously deliver. But, like all huge organisations, implementing change, whether a product, process, business practice etc is a mammoth task. They talk agile, but to many, it is an elusive as a handful of sand. At the same time, agile has long since passed the tipping point. There are too many experts screaming it from the rooftops.
There is a huge battle for talent in the workplace today. Skilled employees are in short supply but at the same time organisations are focused on too narrow a definition of digital talent and not spending enough on upskilling existing workers.
In the previous post I talked about the process of moving from a functional to cross-functional structure. In this post I’ll describe how we used Spotify’s model of squads and tribes as a guide. What we ended up with was quite different from Spotify, but it relied on the same principles. I’ll also outline the values and roles within our squad model.
Beyond the obvious reasons why alignment is sensible, for me alignment was critical in order to promote speed. I believed this would help achieve one of our key outcomes - to get faster.
In order to organise my own ideas, I realised it would be helpful to have a clear vision for what I wanted to achieve, together with measurable outcomes. I began with a mission statement:
“I want to design a tailored system of work that optimises the entire organisation, allowing Moonpig to innovate and move fast at scale, whilst still ensuring it is a place that people love to work.”
Introducing change is hard. Very hard. One way to make it slightly easier, is to take the time to communicate clearly why you need to change. At the time we began introducing business agility at Moonpig, most people outside of product engineering had little or no knowledge of lean or agile — and most would have believed them to be “tech things”.
For the last few weeks, I’ve been vigorously wrestling with the changing nature of IT and the role of the CIO. I seriously believe IT is in some sort of mid-life crisis. Or possibly, it’s just about to grow up and get some long trousers.
Recently, The Business Transformation Network hosted an event on “HR TechOps - Bridging the Gap between HR Tech and Operational Excellence”, which is a topic of growing importance in business today. The main questions the conversation revolved around were:
1. What HR Technology platforms are being implemented and how is the implementation process going?
2. How can HR technology be used to improve efficiency and employee experience?