Technology radar: mapping technologies as a team to guide future project choices
As a team, map your company’s technologies and home in on the best technology solutions.
Marie-Christine Vuong and Nathalie Mengin are experts in organizational transformation and ways of working. Firm believers in the power of collective intelligence and the need to embrace a new management model, they conduct major transformation programs for their clients and help them adopt more agile and collaborative hybrid project management methods.
"New Ways of Working" is the name of Sopra Steria’s expert unit, where Marie-Christine Vuong and Nathalie Mengin work. The former has been a manager and consultant for 12 years at this European leader in consulting, digital services and software development, the latter is an agile manager. Marie-Christine supports companies and organizations in their digital transformation and the adoption of more agile and participatory management. Nathalie helps sales teams come up with more dynamic and agile strategies.
The New Ways of Working unit specializes in digital transformation and management 3.0, putting humans at the heart of transformation. Marie-Christine and Nathalie believe in the power of collective intelligence, the benefits of cultural diversity and the need for traditional management to shift towards a more collaborative model. Their goal is to achieve lasting benefits for their clients, and this includes agile methods.
Sopra Steria sets up large-scale projects with experts in 25 countries. One of these major transformation programs involves around 150 people with a scope of 240 applications to be managed. For this project, the Sopra Steria team and their client had to adopt a hybrid work model involving France, Germany and India.
"One project, one team" is Marie-Christine and Nathalie’s mantra for this project, which requires them to align processes and tools and engender a real team spirit and a shared desire for excellence. Nathalie sums it up as follows:
We must be able to involve all project stakeholders, regardless of their location, to create effective and lasting change together. We were looking for a tool to digitize our approach, and that’s how we found Klaxoon.
To move the project forward, Marie-Christine and Nathalie initiated several remote workshops, using Board, Klaxoon’s virtual whiteboard.
The RACI matrix is used to assign everyone's roles and responsibilities. As it is often used by a project manager before its launch, Marie-Christine and Nathalie have created a more collaborative and participatory version of it, so that every member of the project team adheres to it.
To create this matrix together, the Sopra Steria team used Klaxoon's ready-to-use RACI template. They customized it to break the workshop down into three simple stages. The first two took place asynchronously. First of all, the participants identified the different stakeholders and the main tasks or deliverables before recording them on the Board. This time to think things over before the workshop helped to avoid monopolizing precious time and focus more clearly, during the meeting and in the brainstorming and ideation session. A RACI chart was then created, with its four clear roles for each task (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed).
The final stage of this workshop is a vote of confidence. With Klaxoon’s Question tool, all it takes is one click to get everyone's commitment and approval. This in itself makes the preparatory work well worth it.
"Remember the future" is the goal setting workshop. This very visual workshop structures the thought process by inviting the participants to imagine project success so they can go over the different stages they took to get there.
Marie-Christine and Nathalie designed a Board that reads from right to left:
This agile workshop enables participants to agree on the why and freely discuss the how. The team is aligned around a shared vision and free to choose the course of action to achieve its objectives. All by simply posting their ideas on a whiteboard using this ad hoc methodology.
To set up an effective interactive weekly ritual, Marie-Christine and Nathalie took inspiration from the Weekly template, customized in a few clicks to suit the team and its way of working. To create it together, the team manager expressed what they needed to know and their team members expressed what they wanted to share and be shared by others.
The first part of the Board is a table. The photos and names of the various members of the project team are in a column. Their mood, highlights of their week, important upcoming events and stumbling blocks are in a row. Ideas are sent asynchronously, before the meeting, using a specific color code:
During the meeting, each team member presents their ideas. Even if someone is missing, visual management works its magic: just read the ideas in red to capture the main insight.
To the right of the table, there's a blank space for decisions taken during discussions – to keep track; another for actions to be implemented, in the form of a Kanban board; and a final space for the risks identified, in the form of a matrix.
For Marie-Christine, the benefits are clear:
Speaking time is fairly distributed, people speak up and there are no more long drawn-out, time consuming and unnecessary meetings.
"Klaxoon has increased our ability to work remotely and in hybrid mode", says Nathalie. Sopra Steria has been working with India for a long time, for example, but also more recently with Canada. With the Workshop Platform, time zones are no longer barriers: "Clients who were supported for the first time during lockdown told us they were impressed" says Nathalie.
With the Workshop Platform, all the project team members are invited to participate however they want and in their own time. Asynchronously, wherever they are, by having their say or sending an idea, a drawing or a document. "The teams are aligned and synchronized", concludes Marie-Christine. They are involved and work together to achieve the common goals they have set themselves.