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Team Systemic Collaboration
The Challenges

​Digital is a "Team Sport". Every leader will know that collaboration is at the centre of team performance. Yet, the work tasks tend to be divided across the teams, and high work-in-progress levels destroy effective collaboration. 

People have often grown accustomed to executing what they were asked to do. Offering autonomy does not mean that the teams will be automatically embraced it. Systemic coaching is needed to help the teams progressively make decisions of their own.

The principles of Agile have been established from a team level perspective. However, enterprises need to coordinate multiple-teams towards delivering outcomes of a scale, and it has challenged most Agile adoption efforts. It is the challenge of multi-team-systems (MTS).

 

The classic pitfall of establishing the operating model in an MTS is to focus on the individual bounded responsibilities of teams, roles and functions. This is typically captured in a RACI matrix (Responsible / Accountable / Consulted / Informed). Instead we should focus on the relationships between the entities and the outcomes of those relationships to design the system in collaboration. 

With a high rate of change, organisations have to stimulate the continuous learning journey of their people. It often takes the form of Communities of Practice or Guilds. Passionate and energetic volunteers operate those on best endeavour basis. It isn't sufficient to sustain a continued effort. 

Team Systemic Collaboration Programme

We help teams develop an understanding of organisation system relationships and develop ways of working with it in practice.

 

Our programmes run as a systemic coaching of the operational teams with a focus on:

  • The relationships within the teams

  • The relationships across the teams in a Multi-Team-System 

  • The relationships between roles / partnerships (eg. Product Owner and Scrum Master)

  • The relationship between key entities (eg. Value Stream / Governance Functions)

General systemic collaboration considerations:

  • Navigating the dysfunctions of teams

  • Being intentional about psychological safety

  • Team toxins and positivity

  • Healthy and skilful conflict handling

  • Identifying and establishing the relationship system (in team & outside)

  • Recognising people edges

  • Working with the emergent nature of human systems

  • Valuing diversity

  • Mastering the levels of reality

  • Creating positivity and intentionality

  • Organising collaboration and resilience

In a MTS, we focus on identifying and mapping the relationships and outcomes of those relationships. It establishes the operating model for collaboration from the start. 

Considerations for Multi-Team Systems: 

  • Mapping the landscape of relationships in the System

  • Identifying the outcomes of the relationships between teams

  • Determining possible alignment improvements of the System

  • Coaching and clarifying the key relationships in the System

  • Baselining the organisation and operating model

  • Periodically revisiting and adjusting the organisation for Flow

With a view to expand the knowledge horizon of the workforce, we also propose to support in-house meetups and connect those with our Digital Leadership meetup community:

  • Sponsoring the public meet-up

  • Offering regular in-house meetups replaying popular topics

Coaching & training modules

​Systemic Digital Leadership programmes would deploy a mix of the following Coaching and Training modules: 

  • Team level debrief of individual portraits (Lumina)

  • Systemic team / alignment assessments (Mirror Mirror, Agendashift),

  • Mass system scans (SenseMaker)

  • Leadership-team systemic coaching

  • Training journey: Systemic Leadership

  • Training journey: Leadership in Ambiguity

  • Workshop co-creation, facilitation, observations / feedback cycles (virtual or on-site)

  • Better remote working techniques

Outcomes
  • Organisational effectiveness

  • Decision autonomy

  • Better flow & innovation

  • Skillful handling of conflict

  • Safe and positive space

  • Engaged people

  • Talent retention / diversity

  • Stronger resilience, even in COVID times

  • Connection with in-house and outside communities

  • On-going learning

Client stories

Large Insurance Company: Alignment of the DevOps operational team

 

An insurance company needed to reinforce the alignment and collaboration across the team offering shared DevOps services to the rest of the organisation. 

 

A series of workshops brought the team together and helped them review their needs for collaboration. The team also redefined its engagement with other teams especially the significant programmes of the organisation, with a view to upscale the operational excellence. 

Tier 1 Investment Bank: Reorganisation to Value Streams

 

A large bank was going through merging two Business Units and chose to redesign their work system. Henko helped them pivot their organisation to Value Streams and Functions.  

We facilitated the design of the organisation and the operating model, influencing a new perspective. 

 

The focus was to enable the operational teams to make the right decisions and organise the system. 

 

It called on prioritising Relationships towards outcomes, which shaped the collaboration. We then engaged with the teams to coach the standing of the Value Stream leadership teams and the relationships between the system's different entities.