Let’s say you’re a part of a positively challenging Agile-structured work environment, where your everyday tasks unpredictably vary because you never know when a sudden emergency patch or fix will knock on your door, requiring immediate attention. Your job is to cooperate with two or more functional teams effectively, business specialists and project managers, with a single goal in mind – to keep your client happy.
Imagine the scenario where one team is responsible for the backend part of the implementation process. The second team is in charge of the frontend part and UI/UX design, depending on your speed of deployment. A third team is accountable for the client’s incident handling, and possibly even a fourth team with a specific responsibility.
As if the complexity of this nature isn’t enough, let’s say you are all working remotely, and there is no easy way to meet each other in person. Yet, you must closely and successfully cooperate to satisfy your consumer’s needs and deadlines.
Obstacles of one product – multiple teams dynamic
The hard part is the miscommunication or lack of information that may occur between teams. Other challenges may include alignments in Sprint plannings, release items coordination, or requirements definitions.
Organizing work for the customer’s sake
Finally, having said all of the above, let us discuss the different ways to maintain a successful delivery inside cross-functional teams that have been proven to be working.
Cross-team communication: Daily/weekly update calls – apart from your team’s internal Daily Scrum, which is a crucial way to prioritize work inside the team on a regular basis, scheduling recurrent update calls with the spokesperson of every included team can ease keeping track of burning topics, unread emails, and client’s wishes.
Effective communication – if the client has reached out to you via email, requesting your assistance on a specific problem, the last thing you want is multiple people from different teams responding and trying to help, resulting in annoying or confusing the client even more so. All discussion and incident investigations should unfold separately and be communicated to the client in an easy-to-understand way, with no complex technical details.
Sprint Review – a demo or a review of the progress you have made during a Sprint period is, of course, the best time to ensure your stakeholder you’re delivering what you’ve promised. When multiple components are being worked on, it is best to have all the teams working together merged into one Sprint Review to ensure your client is less confused and more involved in your demonstration. Below are some good practices you should lean towards during your Sprint Review.
- Your presentation should be easy to digest, especially if you are working on more than one Epic
- The review should be a chance for the client to provide his feedback, do not just report on the progress you have made
- The story you are telling should have a logical flow (what is the purpose of your implementation and what comes next)
- Use this opportunity to present the obstacles you’ve faced during the Sprint and how you overcame them
A satisfied client: the goal and the aftermath
The client is someone you have to build trust with, just as with anyone or anything else in life. You want their needs to be heard and resolved in a fast and simple manner. Some clients prefer a more personal and friendly approach rather than a professional one, and vice versa, which is up to you to distinguish. In the end, you want to prove to your customers that their money and time are spent on a valuable product delivered by a valuable team, in this case, cross-functional teams.
Having built a solid reliance ground for your clients to walk on, the customers will follow no matter what type of service you want to provide next. The feeling of appreciation and certainty makes them want to continue working with you.
Always remember to make sure nothing threatens the longevity of your cooperation. By offering transparency and flexibility, acknowledging your mistakes, and fixing them, the bond with your stakeholder strengthens, and the collaboration period increases.