While Kiandra helped to set up a team of 20 PhD students for project management success, it also acted as professional development training for ResPlat’s new Product Manager, Sonia. David said the coaching process helped deepen Sonia’s skills to help keep her team on track.
“This work was primarily professional development for Sonia as a product manager to understand what agile was and how to utilise it to get the best outcomes for her team.
“Kiandra’s Agile Coach, Leila's contagiousness was what really brought this up to be. Initially our Product Manager, Sonia, was intimidated with working with 20 PhDs, as anyone would be. However, Leila was able to empower the process. Sonia had a shallow toolbox as a people manager at the beginning of this process and now she has a plethora of tools to empower her staff.”
Over three months, Kiandra helped ResPlat establish a physical Kanban board, regular stand-up meetings to monitor work-flow and the initial feedback loop, which helped with the delivery of knowledge transfer and training amongst the research community.
By nature, agile is collaborative making the process more transparent, which spreads accountability across the team. This was apparent as the research team engaged in daily meetings that enabled the team to recognize and mitigate risk early. This was a vital component to then set and reach longer term goals.
Other benefits include:
- Adoption of agile and lean practices
- Initial review and audit of current Kanban practices
- Ongoing review and iterative feedback to continue improving and optimising the agile process
- Collaboration with direct and indirect stakeholders to obtain feedback and demonstrate progress
- Risk mitigation through the establishment of cross-functional teams, stable and predictable delivery pace, continuous feedback, and engineering practices
- Expert advice on what tools to use whether physical like a wall or digital like a Trello board
- Enabling management to plan long-term and increase the amount of time they can schedule
- Transparency allowed more time to assess risks and identify feasible solutions.
At the end of the project, Kiandra’s Agile Coach conducted a retrospective to evaluate how the project had run. As a whole, feedback was positive and David said they are hoping to roll out an Agile based project further.
Update from @ResPlat: a record number of ‘bums on seats’ came through our researcher training service, with over 1400 people participating in community events during 2018!