Lean & Agile Project Managers like to have everyone working simultaneously on one project a time, in one room or obeya. Often, that’s simply impossible. Waypoint is designed to help you out.
The Lean & Agile ideal is great. Team members will feel really focused and dedicated when working on one project only. When engaging in one and the same endeavour continuously, with all their time and effort. It is the ultimate goal, because we know that it’s the most efficient way to get results. Yet there may be many reasons for this to be impossible:
- Specialists may be required to work for many different projects at a time. For instance, because there’s only one or a few of them, who all have to operate as ‘shared resources’, being available for different project teams;
- Specialists are needed in the line organization. After all, projects often are seen as one off additional events, with a dedicated project organization for the duration of the project. Specialists may be added to the team only part time and continue to have their main work and responsibility in the line;
- Specialists may actually live far apart and work from different towns or even countries, making it hard for the team to be together all the time, or even for some fixed periods of time.
- Team members may actually need to do their work outside the building and on location (at the clients’ offices, on a construction site or plant floor, or even in a conference room in some hotel), making the thought of an obeya sound ridiculous at least;
- Other Team Members are contractors who for some reason can’t be brought in the same building;
- Some project organizations allow team members to work during the evening or night, for instance in order to allow them to combine their role as a team member with a parenting or caring role in their families;
- Some organizations work with a fixed lay-out, with specialists from one competency working together in one section of the building, and others in another;
- Other organizations have chosen to make their workspace completely flexible, even forbidding team workers to claim rooms or office space for more than a day.
Of course this is all far from ideal. And actually all these problems could and should eventually be solved-. But that only happens when enough people in the organization really want it and make it happen. That, unfortunately is not always the case. Therefor, it may be a good idea -for the time being- to accept the conditions and to allow for a workaround: Teamwork at a distance.
Waypoint is great to help teams at a distance to get the sense of an obeya, virtually. Waypoint is in fact your on-line version of a kanban board:
- The overall landing page shows all actual information on active projects at a glance;
- The Todo Today tab of a given project provide an instant overview of all open team tasks -not only your own-;
- The Todo Yesterday tab shows what has been completed by yourself and your fellow Team Members;
- The entire scope of the project and the way it has been scheduled so far, can be seen at the Plan Board tab;
- If desired, one can at all times zoom in on Themes and Stories, or verify personal data of Team Members and Stakeholders;
- All sorts of Reports are continuously available for all Team Members, so your meetings can be based on shared data.
That way, Waypoint allows to emulate the obeya for the delivery of teamwork at a distance. Maybe not ideal, but very close to.