Case Studies » Major National Credit Union

Agile coaching

Instilling an Agile mindset to increase effectiveness and team velocity

When Agile principles of continuous feedback and minimum viable product are in place, performance overrides perfectionism.

The training team at a national credit union was struggling to keep up with demand for its services. The business unit they support was going through a digital transformation to a new platform and the team was responsible for easing that transformation by educating, informing, and creating awareness among their 3,000 employees over an 18-month period. Considering their other responsibilities, it was too much to do in too little time.

Complicating matters, because their business unit had not yet trained on the new platform, employees were switching back and forth between the new platform and the legacy platform. This switching led to delays in servicing members, impacting member experience, reducing member satisfaction and threatening revenue.

Worse yet, due to the urgent need for training, some of the business unit teams that had traditionally relied on the training team for training materials now began to develop their own. They said they did that because the training team was too perfectionistic and took too long to create trainings.

It was a critical moment for the training team. If they could speed up their delivery, they could provide timely training on the new platform for all the teams in the unit they support. This would allow the business teams to fully migrate to the new platform, and help them serve members more efficiently and effectively.

Services

  • Agile coaching + training
  • People + change management
  • Process optimization
  • User experience design

Services

  • Agile coaching + training
  • People + change management
  • Process optimization
  • User experience design

When Agile principles of continuous feedback and minimum viable product are in place, performance overrides perfectionism.

The training team at a national credit union was struggling to keep up with demand for its services. The business unit they support was going through a digital transformation to a new platform and the team was responsible for easing that transformation by educating, informing, and creating awareness among their 3,000 employees over an 18-month period. Considering their other responsibilities, it was too much to do in too little time.

Complicating matters, because their business unit had not yet trained on the new platform, employees were switching back and forth between the new platform and the legacy platform. This switching led to delays in servicing members, impacting member experience, reducing member satisfaction and threatening revenue.

Worse yet, due to the urgent need for training, some of the business unit teams that had traditionally relied on the training team for training materials now began to develop their own. They said they did that because the training team was too perfectionistic and took too long to create trainings.

It was a critical moment for the training team. If they could speed up their delivery, they could provide timely training on the new platform for all the teams in the unit they support. This would allow the business teams to fully migrate to the new platform, and help them serve members more efficiently and effectively.

Using Agile coaching to transfer Agile principles to the team

The training team called Celerity to coach them in Agile principles and instill Agile mindsets to speed up delivery. Celerity addressed the issue using an Agile coaching workshop on modern Agile practices to reinforce the principles of continuous feedback and minimum viable product:

Modern Agile principles

Modern Agile is an Agile framework that has been adapted for business use. Its overriding principles include focusing on people, delivering continuous value, making safety a prerequisite, and experimenting and learning rapidly. Celerity’s Agile coaching team transferred these principles to the training team using quotes from well-respected individuals (including their own CEO) to add credibility and relevance. By the end of the workshop, the training team had a framework and vocabulary for Agile that they could use to speed their work up.

Continuous feedback

The Celerity team then reinforced the principle of continuous feedback using gamification. Leveraging a modified version of the Battleship board game, the training team members took turns giving and receiving feedback to their opponents. Celerity required one player to receive feedback only after 3 turns and let the other player receive it after every turn. The player that received feedback every turn won every time, demonstrating the importance of getting continuous feedback. This interactive, gamified, highly memorable approach drove home the fact that they could increase effectiveness by getting feedback early and often, as opposed to spending a long time on products their customers ultimately did not want.

Minimum viable product

Finally, the Celerity Agile coaching team introduced the training team to the concept of minimum viable product, or MVP. Celerity first required individuals to construct 2D paper houses on their own with a long list of required components in 5 minutes. Many individuals could not complete their houses. They repeated the exercise, except this time with teams as well as an individual designated to determine which house components were necessary. The teams were able to meet the output requirement by only building the necessary components. This reinforced the idea that when time is of the essence, a minimum viable product is a good solution. The Celerity team then applied this principle to the team’s own work to help them implement the concept in their day-to-day tasks.

Improving outcomes through Agile coaching

As a result of the workshop, the training team had a demonstrated understanding of modern Agile principles, as well as those of continuous feedback and minimum viable product. The team could now see the wisdom and impact of releasing their perfectionistic tendencies, replacing them with an Agile mindset and focusing on delivering what was necessary to their clients in a timely manner. By the end of the Agile coaching workshop, the training team was better equipped to service their business unit—and empower their business unit to better serve members—in an effective and efficient manner.

Before Celerity

agile coachingTwo distinct platforms used by business unit servicing members

increase effectivenessTeam unequipped to handle rapid pace of delivery

continuous feedbackA focus on perfectionism impacting the satisfaction and pace of their learning programs

agile principlesLittle understanding of Modern Agile principles, continuous feedback and minimum viable product

With Celerity

agile coachingRoadblocks cleared for business unit to service members using one platform

agile mindsetTeam equipped with Agile mindsets needed to handle a rapid delivery pace

minimum viable productA shift in focus to minimum viable product and continuous feedback to improve speed and relevance of deliverables

agile principlesA demonstrated understanding of Modern Agile principles as a direct result of Agile coaching

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