One of our clients, a leading warehousing development and management organization, was highly enthusiastic about agile ways of working. Cross-functional teams (CFTs) became the buzzword, with everything being initiated and implemented using these teams. However, they soon realized that their CFTs were not delivering outcomes. Running CFT meetings became a full-time job for the person driving them, and the MD recognized that something was amiss.
Upon their approach, our initial assessment revealed that the CFTs were not tied to any common goal and were functioning more like diverse initiative teams. Their goals were far removed from organizational KPIs and were seen as ‘just another initiative.’ Blindly forming CFTs led to 127 teams with no effective way to monitor outcomes.
We stepped in to help leaders understand the ‘why’ of CFTs and how important it is for CFTs to have a shared purpose. The A-ha moment came when the leaders understood why they were doing what they were doing! Workshops for leaders on the basics of Agile and its rituals followed by a Value Stream Mapping (VSM) exercise enabled them to create CFTs aligned to value delivered to customers. We recommended meaningful and outcome driven meeting cadences at different levels and guided teams on proper CFT representation. Through regular retrospectives, the rhythm improved, leading to better effectiveness in every review meeting with the MD. Overall the learning culture improved in the organization as teams learnt to reflect and share. With changed ways of working, the client recorded last year as one of fastest growth and a highly engaged workforce.

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