Agile Product Team Development
MOVE CREATIVE & CONTENT DEPARTMENTS OF UMUZI INTO AGILE / UX METHODOLOGY
READY, SET, AGILE!
Umuzi as an organization decided to adopt an Agile Product Management ethos to ensure it is working effecicently and enabling the youth it trains to understand and best adopt the process.
However, the “means” of adopting this process was not defined and teams were required to self-train, self-experiment and explore how that adaption could work across different spaces.
I took on the role of leading the Social Media and two Content Creation teams into this new methodology.
- Change-Management : We were briefed to adopt a system that no-one had experience in. There was also resistance to the methodology due to many projects in place thus creating anxious disruption.
- Teams: There were mulitple teams creating content of very different formats and styles ( Creative Non-Fiction, Documentaries, Social Commentary ) as well as a Social Media Team, each with various managers and juniors.
- Education: Identifying how to best learn and develop whilst still delivering on deadline.
A HUMAN CENTERED APPROACH TO LEARNING
Human Centered Design has become a very versatile methodology to approach complex issues with groups of people involved and challenging factors. Including adopting new systems.
- EMPATHIZE : We collaboratively identified the key objectives behind the migration to Agile and Product Teams and identified the challenges, goals and nuances required for the team.
- RESEARCH: During the time whilst the teams were still creating content and managing social media, the leaders and myself researched key aspects behind these methodologies and its facets.
- DEFINE: We identified the key attributes we needed to achieve to maintain our necessary outputs as well as create spaces for prototyping Agile practices within those spaces.
- PROTOTYPE: We ran with various prototypes during this time
- Product Team Leader Standups : We had a daily standup to define what aspects we will be prototyping either that day or that week as well as feedback to challenges and successes.
- Content Creation Prototyping: Due to the fact that all content during this time was being posted online, we started iterating more rapid, low fidelity tests of content types and ideas.
- Process Development: During this time, I started further practicing Agile and Product Team development, and thus broke departments into various Product Teams, all learning and developing.
- Feedback Session: With various teams, leaders and departments all prototyping new ideas and systems, we created a Feedback session to share learnings which enabled teams to collaboratively learn from each other and speed up the process.
- TEST: We ran the system for 2 months with sharp and rapid learns and turn arounds and clearly defined objectives.
We were able to convert our Creative Content and Social Media teams fluidly into an Agile Workflow via Human Centered Design, with minimal disruption to exisiting work demands, with empathy for the change managemment required, while delivering quality results on the final output.
We faciliated both leaders and juniors to learn a new methodology within a framework that ensured balancing education and exisiting deadlines.
Through the usage of HCD to faciliate the prototyping of Agile, we were able to create more engaging media in shorter timelines.
We were able to bring Agile management and Product Teams to very unique teams with very unique needs and demands in a way that allowed the teams to seamlessly interact with each other.
We were able to ensure that while there were teething pains and frustrations, that we were able to facilitate those in the right way to ensure we come to a result which was favourable by all.