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Social Planning a roadmap, being Agile

  1. Ensuring all members of the engineering team understand current projects and the team members who will work on them.

Oliver Bonnet, VP of Engineering “Presenting a roadmap with slides typically doesn’t scale to large and diverse teams. It is easy to unintentionally skip projects, send the wrong message or priority, leaving the audience feeling smothered by detail and with an inbox full of slides.”

Communication: Is the transmission of a message from sender to receiver in a way which the receiver understands. Effective communication leads to understanding. How people perceive and talk to each other in a work environment is a major determinant of success. Poor communication reduces quality of work, productivity and can eventually lead to frustration and mistrust within an organisation. Therefore, I focused on improving communication specifically the delivery process of our roadmap message.

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Rhetorical triangle

The Social Planning event

Before:
Engineers in each team proposed:

  • The definition of done
  • Any perceived dependencies
  • A Risk Board poster
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Team Board Poster and Risk Board Poster, which were distributed to each team

Our journey, the story in pictures:

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Teams prepare their Risk and Team Boards on a team by team basis
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Completed Team and Risk boards are displayed in the open space
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Team members move around to review and discuss the work of others
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Some team members stay to discuss their work and answer questions
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While their team mates walk around to review the work of other teams
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Some team members dialed in to participate and answer questions

Oliver Bonnet, VP of Engineering “The social perspective of this roadmap method, where teams could walk around and discuss various projects, with the level of detail relevant to them, was a huge success enabling discovery, investigation and many super productive discussions!”

  • Face to Face communication allows clarification on topics ensuring/helping all team members to have the same understanding of what needs to be delivered and the steps involved to achieve it.
  • Having a global view of what your Engineering team is working towards adds value to daily communication and interactions resulting in completed work.
  • Taking time to speak with your colleagues and learn about their work is interesting, fun and supports team dynamics.
  • Asking questions, clarifying work, giving and receiving feedback face to face, is quick, easy and effective.
  • Project Owners reviewed and discussed all the risk boards improving stakeholder communication and understanding.

Nicolas Tricot, Engineering Manager: “ Taking time to tour around teams proposed projects was much more efficient than any meeting. To take a step back on our roadmap and ensure all teams were aligned, while having the opportunity to clarify any topic in a casual way added a lot of value, for individual understanding of the global strategy.“

Feedback and Areas for improvement:
Through direct feedback and a feedback board, posted in the open space:

  • Set session times at intervals as some team members had a feeling of continually beginning to discuss their work as new people joined a group.
  • Agree in advance and communicate the level of detail needed on boards.
  • Be more inclusive, consider the colours, material used and size of writing on posters ensuring accessibility for all team members.
  • Within each team agreement is needed on who stays to answer questions and who walks around to review the work of others.
  • It is a good idea to move teams located on the edge of the open space to a central location
  • Agree on project names in advance.

BlaBlaCar

The stories behind BlaBlaCar, the world’s leading multimodal mobility platform.

Thanks to Olivier Bonnet

Nicola-Marie O'Donovan

Written by

BlaBlaCar

BlaBlaCar

BlaBlaCar is the go-to marketplace for shared mobility, combining carpooling, buses and e-scooters. In building the future of mobility, we set ourselves high and ambitious targets, and bring tech and data to the heart of our product experience and company strategy.

Nicola-Marie O'Donovan

Written by

BlaBlaCar

BlaBlaCar

BlaBlaCar is the go-to marketplace for shared mobility, combining carpooling, buses and e-scooters. In building the future of mobility, we set ourselves high and ambitious targets, and bring tech and data to the heart of our product experience and company strategy.

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