Introducing Flomatika’s Governance Obeya
Governance Obeya is one of the flagship feature sets of Flomatika. The vision is to address the ‘visibility’ problem faced by many enterprises around their Initiatives. What do we mean by ‘Initiatives’? They come in several forms and have different names in different organisations, but ultimately they are a timebox with a scope of work to be delivered. They can be:
- Projects focused on a set of deliverables
- Program Increments, or Quarterly Plans to achieve a set of outcomes
- Initiatives with Mission Teams formed to achieve a specific objective or outcome
- It can be a team working within a Sprint to achieve a goal
- Or anything in between
Obeya means ‘large room’ and its origin lies with Toyota during the 90s when they were building the Prius. The concept is to have a single place with all the different concerns around delivery of an Initiative up on physical walls so that decisions can be made rapidly. These concerns could be:
- The key objectives or milestones
- Who is working on what
With knowledge work, much of the information we have is stored digitally. So we created a virtual Obeya, where all your Initiative’s concerns are represented as their own widget, on a single page, updated in near real-time as your teams make updates in their work management system.
With the popularisation of agile ways of working resulting in teams having more autonomy, paired with the acceleration of remote working, leaders are feeling a sense of distance from their delivery teams and are losing visibility of what is happening ‘on the ground’. By making the Obeya virtual, we are allowing leaders to feel like they are ‘back in the room’.
Bringing Leaders Back Into The Room
Leveraging the analytics dashboard configuration wizard, where we have already done most of the leg work to connect to your work management system, we can now rapidly deploy Obeya Rooms with just one click. They are easy to set up, with just needing to define the boundary of your Obeya. It could be as easy as everything within this Jira project, or everything with a particular Fix Version, or anything with the specific label.
As they are easy to create, you can rapidly generate them at multiple levels. For example, you can have one at the entire tribe level for the business goal for the year. Then separate ones for each group’s quarterly OKRs. Then a focused one on a specific release. You can have them at multiple time horizons and multiple levels of your organisation’s hierarchy. It’s also very easy to switch across Obeyas from a single drop- down menu.
The Obeya is easy to digest since all the different perspectives are located on a single page. Flomatika can connect to multiple data sources simultaneously, so you don’t need to jump across different systems. All the metrics and analytics across all your various work management systems are collated and displayed in a single dashboard.
Flomatika being a near real-time platform, this extends across to the Governance Obeya. Any changes you make in your source system (Jira, ADO, etc) will be reflected in around 5 mins. No need to wait for regular status reports to be compiled and issues.
It enables stakeholders to be able to self-service in seeing how progress is being made on the Initiative. We commonly hear some stakeholders may only be concerned about a specific Key Result or Objective within an Initiative. So we allow them to filter on just those items.
Best of all. it removes the hassle of reporting. No longer do your delivery leads and project managers have to dedicate part of their capacity on preparing reports. No more exporting, formatting, and copy-pasting on a regular basis. You can share the Obeya to your stakeholders so they can self-serve at a time of their convenience with near real-time data. This frees up valuable capacity of your delivery leads towards other endeavors.
Highlights of Governance Obeya Perspectives
We’re planning on publishing more details blogs on each of the perspectives in the Obeya, but here are a few highlights:
The concern we’re looking to address here is to maintain the link between business goals to delivery. We hear that after big room planning or program increment planning, delivery teams sometimes lose sight of the business goal. We base the structure loosely on OKRs (although you don’t need to be using OKRs to take advantage) that allow you to link the ‘key result’ directly to the work item. An Epic for example, that may represent the KR. We collate all the children work items underneath and present it as a progress bar. We also allow you to add a rating against the KR. ‘On Track’, ‘At Risk’, ‘Behind’ for example.
We have multiple ways of showing progress across the Obeya. We show the timebox of the Obeya and how far through the timebox we are. The Objectives widget shows the progress of each Key Result and Objective. We also visualise the progress of the teams on the work that has been allocated to them. Are they running ahead or behind? Do any teams need additional help or risk mitigation?
We have a view to be able to see all the work items within the boundaries of the Obeya, and which step of the workflow they currently reside in. We allow you various ways to filter the scope: by team, work item type/level, and also by OKR. We commonly hear some stakeholders may only be concerned about a specific key result or objective within an Initiative, so we enable them the ability to self-service and filter on just the portions of the Initiative they are interested in.
"A game-changer we’ve introduced is our Predictive Analysis."
A game-changer we’ve introduced is our Predictive Analysis. We leverage your teams’ historical performance to provide a probabilistic forecast on the likelihood of achieving the desired delivery date. We also have an alternative mode to see ‘how many’ you are likely to be able to achieve by the desired date. The great thing about having this capability on a SAAS platform is that you can run the simulations every time you view the widget. We’re conducting 100-250k simulations each time with the latest data from your work management system to always have the most up-to-date simulation.
Risk & Dependencies Management
We are introducing a series of widgets to help facilitate the concerns at the team of teams/scrum of scrum level. We’re starting with Risks and Dependencies. These may be recorded in your work management systems, in which case we will allow you to pick and choose a subset of these to be made visible here. Not all risks and dependencies necessarily need to be shown at the cross-team/program level, you only want to see the relevant ones. Alternatively, if you don’t record these in your work management system, then you can create them directly within the Obeya. We’re also looking to introduce ways to visualise risks and dependencies.
Burnup / Burndown
We often hear about delivery leads and scrum masters exporting to excel and building their own burn up charts. We already have that information, so we generate those for you so you can spend less time on manual reports and more time on gaining the insights and acting upon them.
This is just the start…
We have many ideas and features in our backlogs that we’re aiming to bring into the Governance Obeya, but for now, this is a high-level preview of what is available now. We’ll be releasing follow-up blogs that talk in more detail about each of the widgets within the Governance Obeya. Stay tuned for these in the coming weeks.