How a major european airline uses TeamMood to get a better understanding about their overall performance

Field
Digital Finance Services

Location
Netherlands

Team members
40

Find out how Geordy uses TeamMood to improve the operations of a multi-site department that forms a crucial link between Business and IT.

geordy

Geordy is an Agile Coach and Director of Continuity in the IMO Finance department of a major european airline. There he serves multiple cross-functional product teams. The IMO Finance department is a critical linking pin between Business and IT. Geordy’s role is to ensure that a healthy people oriented culture of empowerment is in place helping to constantly improve the department’s overall performance.

The situation

Teams use agile methodologies (Kanban, Scrum) and associated ceremonies (standups, team retrospectives, demo days) to structure their internal development and support processes, but above all, to deliver value to their customers.

The department uses the Atlassian tool suite, with services such as Jira for Kanban boards and associated performance indicators that measure team productivity. Geordy refers to these indicators as ‘the hard facts’. He points out that: “While we are good at measuring the performance of our processes and IT assets, the human side is as important”. This is where TeamMood is coming in.

How does Geordy use TeamMood?

1 To gather people facts that provide context to better understand ‘hard’ performance indicators

2 To use TeamMood as a neutral fact base about ‘what actually happened’ during Team Retrospectives

3 To foster a culture of transparency and empowerment by publicly communicating about teams’ mood and performance

Acknowledge human experiences, make sense of hard facts

TeamMood tracks moods, feelings and contextual facts about situations that your people are in. Geordy was once asked by a colleague: “How am I supposed to fill in these daily mood polls?”. He replied: “We are humans, so you fill it in as a human”. The anonymized information remains in TeamMood, even many months after it has been tracked.

Geordy’s motivation is to track, acknowledge (not judge) and share the events that happen to team members: for example an unfortunate occasion or a very happy moment. This team history completes the hard reality of performance indicators and provides a fuller picture of what actually happened. It provides context and helps better understand temporal out of trend performance drops or increases.

Foster constructive criticism in team retrospectives

One vital feature of agile methodologies is the feedback loop in the form of retrospectives that helps improving and realigning team habits to changing conditions.

At the IMO Finance department, team members got quickly accustomed to the playbook of Team Retrospectives. After a few iterations it turned out that results were shallow and not as transformative as initially envisioned.

Since then, Geordy tries to vary the playbook of his team retrospectives from one session to another. He usually starts out with a game or an exercise. Then he talks about the things he noticed during the last iteration, tries to give the necessary focus to the exercise and steers his colleagues into a factual constructive atmosphere. When this stage is reached, TeamMood provides a factual source of information on what actually happened during the last iteration. Based on that information, improvements are brainstormed, planned and implemented.

Give your people a public stage

Geordy tries to foster a culture of transparency and empowerment where it is safe to speak up. Every opinion, if voiced in a constructive manner, is valued and listened to.

As part of this initiative, he and his colleague Malte set up a data stream that captures TeamMood’s analytics. Aggregated data are broadcasted on a big 55” TV screen. TeamMood is now part of the airline’s internal communication channel, next to Instagram feeds or news updates. More screens on other sites are soon to be coming.

According to Geordy, it’s a tremendous information radiator that gives passing by colleagues and managers an immediate glimpse on the team’s current affairs. Interestingly, team members are taking mood polls a lot more seriously because they know that their contribution is immediately seen in public space.

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