Teams are quickly adapting to evolving business needs. Agile development processes is the name of the game. Companies which are agile can innovate faster, experiment quickly, collect feedback and ship quality products that customers want to use. While agility is great in many ways, it also brings high entropy when it comes to processes and procedure. If you are leading a team and find yourself making procedural changes to keep up with the evolving business needs, how do you know if your team has fully bought in?
Team Buy-In is Important
It is very important that you garner team buy in on the process or procedural change that you are proposing. Whether you are trying to adopt a tried and true procedural change or you want to experiment with a new idea, having buy in from your team is the first step towards success. When the team is all in, the change transforms from being a directive to the team’s idea. Everyone is committed to its success and therefore try just a little harder to make it work.
Procedural changes should be approached similarly to product changes. Ideally the changes would be incremental and feedback driven. To start off, identify one particular process that is adding latency or is adversely affecting your productivity. Next, try to brainstorm ideas with the team to land on the most effective ways to address the bottleneck. Having the team involved upstream in the process will also help with team buy in on the idea, thereby increasing the chance of success. It is important to stay open to ideas and feedback when making changes like this. If you are willing to listen to feedback from others on the team, you may end up with the most optimal process given the current business requirements.
How do you tell if the process or procedural change that you made is working well or if its only adding unnecessary to overhead and reducing the team’s productivity? As was mentioned earlier, the key lies in treating all the process and procedural changes as product changes. As a part of identifying the procedural bottleneck, you should think about how to get data on the impact. The ability to measure the impact will provide a very useful tool to measure the success of the change and make the required course corrections quickly if needed. The ability to measure the impact will give you the confidence in the change. It will make it easier for others on the team to visualize the impact and therefore buy into the change as well.
Procedural changes can be hard, especially if you are trying to modernize an age old development practice. We are all creators of habit and therefore change can often cause friction. Some small but crucial ideas discussed in this article can make the difference between a unsuccessful and a successful procedural change. It really is all about the buy in.
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