Case study: From I to WE

Case client

SVT Play

Background

The 7 platform teams within SVT Play had grown apart, building different experiences. Hence, stronger collaboration and alignment was needed.

Assignment

I was assigned to help out with aligning the team around a common roadmap and build a strong culture of collaboration. I quickly saw that there was disarray within the platform teams apart from the obvious and natural disarray between teams. The focus on solo-work and even trench wars in some cases required a shift of mindset. This made the approach two-fold. Firstly, I coached the platform teams into becoming more collaborative within and being good at expressing that collaboration outwards, i.e. making their work more transparent and focused. I had help in the shape of a central collaborative team who acted as advocates. Secondly, I introduced a temporary but specific way of working structure that would force collaboration between platform teams and support the overarching SVT Play roadmap. This way of working was a necessary step to take on a maturity staircase, because the teams saw themselves as and needed to be two steps up from were they actually were.

Activities

  • Attained comprehension through stakeholder interviews, one-on-ones and observation
  • Promoted awareness through simulations of a maturity staircase mental model
  • Boosted ownership through coaching individuals and separate teams in Agile collaboration, so that they could naturally scale Agile in the whole SVT Play group
  • Developed competencies through individual mentoring and group lectures around roles and skills in Agile teams
  • Facilitated barrier removal through working with managers, managers’ managers as well as adjacent teams 
  • Catalysed improvement through challenging the assumptions of what was an Agile way of working and what steps needed to be taken to get there, by constantly repeating the maturity model’s mantra to get a mindset shift in each and every person. 

Delivery and Client benefit

I laid the groundwork for a strong collaboration culture within the whole SVT Play group (perhaps soon calling themselves one team), by transforming them from individual teams with a strong sense of ”I” to a shared sense of ”WE”. The strong way of working structure introduced to catalyse the transformation was later changed to a more sustainable version by a colleague of mine. Today, the teams have a clear and effortless way to do SVT Play-wide work. There is harmonisation between teams, platforms and also user and software interfaces through alignment around a roadmap.

A mid-transformation (6 months in) evaluation of the SVT Play group,
showing a little bit more
stress, mainly due to the tough way-of-working structure, but greater focus, happiness,
sense of meaning and engagement