How we combined virtual coaching and local coaching to kickstart a multi-continent, round the clock team of teams

Multi-continent teams caught in a spiral of ever-growing support effort

Multi-continent teams caught in a spiral of ever-growing support effort

  • 4 teams across South East Asia and South America answering IT backend demand from various business lines 24/7
  • A no barrier policy for answering demands led to excellent support ratings but increasingly harder to sustain as demand grows
  • IT teams needs to step up as a force of innovation as a technological disruption is foreseen to hit the business within 5 years
  • Agile practices are to be experimented
  • To make space for a product strategy balancing between support and value-adding development
  • To increase team development efficiency
  • The teammates have never worked in Agile nor been trained
  • 12H time zone difference renders every synchronisation a challenge

Our approach – coach the teams as a SAFe Agile Release Train led by a virtual Program team

  • Worked with a pair coach based in South America

1. Onboard teams in Agile at each location with intense 2 weeks coaching

  • Agile training & Agile Roles coaching
  • Team coaching (values, vision, roles)
  • Fast paced Agile iterations for accelerated learning
  • Alternate trainings as needed through coachings for maximum learning

2. Adapt Program rituals and artefacts to realities of across-the-globe communications: time zones, culture, alignment

  • define synchronisation points in a minimalistic manner
  • define protocols and artefacts templates to help team align on wordings
  • Experiment about effective coaches synchronisation

3. Virtually coach a distributed SAFe Program team across 3 continents

  • Online team training and coaching
  • Remote meeting facilitation experiments
  • Relayed with face to face coaching at each location
  • In coordination with US Agile supervision entity

After early struggles on team synchronisation, the teams rose to a force of innovation for the organisation within 3 months

  • Teams fully autonomous in Agile, building their own custom practices after 3 month
  • Program Team found its footing and took the lead of its own SAFe experiment within 3 weeks
  • New profiles have emerged as Product Owner with a fresh sense of leadership
  • Team has started challenging and proposing business users to help them better
  • Learnings have help reshaped coaching approach for upcoming Agile Program transformation on other business branches
  • Product Owners and Program Team have become valued mentors for other programs

Tags: Agile Transformation, Coaching, distributed, pair coaching, Release Train, remote coaching, SAFe, virtual coaching