Nothing in life elicits dualities quite like change- the excitement of embracing the new versus the anxiety in the same, the possibility of fresh beginnings against the fear of losing the familiar, changing your outlook as opposed to the notion of draining your identity in the process, and so on and so forth.
Software teams are perhaps poised to be more sensitive, or maybe even more attuned to the idea of change than any other professional categories. After all, some of the biggest changes in our social structures are wrought with languages that speak to machines.
But that is not to say that software teams don’t need to willfully adopt to changes. Far from it. It is very easy for those working in the software realm to get caught up in the ‘virtuality’ of their domain.
A written code is a world of sorts, one with its own set of rules, much like the world we inhabit has rules like gravity. An expert coder is at the same time a world-builder and a product-developer. It’s easy to get mentally sucked into this alternative world, to the point you begin measuring the passage of time in lines of code than in seconds.
Needless to say, it’s easy to miss a significant change happening in the outside world that could affect the way you professionally function.
It is in this context that a leader should step up and do what’s needed to usher the team into this new era of change. Successfully adapting to change includes two steps:
Re-orient to a new, single goal
Think of change as a course-correction during a voyage in the ocean.
You have set sight for a particular port at the outset. But now, acting upon information that the port in question is damaged by a storm, you now redirect towards another. This naturally calls for informing your team members- be it the steward or men at the ship’s helm or the deckhands- about the change in course.
The entire team needs to work in tandem to arrive at the new destination, your new goal.
The beating heart that powers a team is its unified vision
Temenos Vision Lab or TVL is a program that could help you figure out the ideal new goal, or vision in the context of a change. Designed on the basis of Jungian psychology and weaving together business principles in its fabric, the program is meant for any individual or team that needs to discover their vision, especially in times of massive change when it is natural to feel directionless.
A proprietary tool call Influence Maps is used in the endeavor. The program is holistic, in that it touches upon your professional, emotional and spiritual selves. In fact, it more than just touches upon these aspects- rather it seeks to integrate them, so that the culminating singularity is pointed to a new vision, the single goal towards which your team now progresses.
Leverage on the team’s Agility
Agility as an approach to conducting business stresses on adaptability. In fact, one could argue remaining robust in the face of massive changes is one of its key objectives.
Breaking down large processes into distinct units is the starting point for Agility. That is not to say it fosters siloes. On the contrary, the system encourages communication, amongst team members and also teams. Smaller process units lend to easier re-arrangement in the times of sudden changes. Also, effective communication Agile businesses typically possess makes it even easier for teams to adapt to a new set of conditions.
To go back to our analogy of changing course in the ocean, the steward and the deckhands and the men at the helm should all be perfectly in sync with each other for the endeavor to succeed. Miscommunication would not support turning the ship’s direction in a timely manner. At worst, it could result in the loss of the ship and the people on it.
At best, it would cause unwanted economic losses by delaying the ship from arriving at its port of call on time.
Agility helps teams adapt to new scenarios, like fish to water
A software team wouldn’t have to contend with the idea of capsizing in the face of a literal storm. But, if they are late in adapting to changes, the results could be equally dramatic. A team which already follows the Agile methodology of work is better poised to thrive in times of changes than others.
To wait for Agility to become the core modus operandi of your team until a change of significant size happens would be folly.
For one thing, Agility is a system that produces leaner teams and better results regardless of external circumstances. By adopting it, you can benefit from it any time.
Another fact is that by being Agile, the unwanted dualities we mentioned at the start needn’t be entertained- you can be excited to embrace the new without fearing about whether you would be able to adapt to whatever comes next.
Temenos Vision Lab can smoothen the way towards adopting Agile for your organization. By helping orientate team members towards the new mode of working, by clearing inhibitions in their mind and fostering better teamwork. Temenos conducts both Agility-based and TVL courses which you can partake from the comforts of your home. Please feel free to reach out to know more about these courses.