Our virtual Meetup with MOIA - Insights about Radical Collaboration in practise

October 11, 2020

On 22 September we had our first remote meetup with MOIA. The nice thing about it: We were given a little virtual office tour on the side, because the speakers were all sitting in different offices at MOIA. A big interesting topic of the evening was the application of the Radical Collaboration concept at MOIA. Radical Collaboration is a practical approach to increase the effectiveness of team cooperation. Pioneer of the radical collaboration concept is James Tamm. All three talks shared with us insights about the application of the concept from different perspectives: Sophie and Laine, Agile Coaches, told us how they create “magical moments”, Jasmin and Julia, Product Owner, explained the most important points for successful collaboration, and finally Roza, Quality Specialist, told us why collaboration, even across teams, is the top priority in their field. At the end of the talks, all participants were able to ask questions.

Cooperation from the point of view of two Agile Coaches: Magic moments: It’s all about experiments

Great ideas come from people and often through conversation. To bundle, check and possibly implement them is among others the task of Sophie and Laine. By bringing together different perspectives, the two Agile Coaches involve as many teams and individual members as possible in the projects. Another big issue is also: finding the actual problem or potential for improvement. One knows it: Something is wrong - but what? At MOIA the employees find out together. Bringing together different points of view and problems and then finding a solution that is as satisfactory as possible for all is best done together. In the process from problem identification to solution, “magical moments” are created in which as many as possible are involved. This procedure was even applied in the context of a restructuring. Initially as part of an experiment that ended with a new organisational structure. As the number of employees grew, at some point it became clear that a different structure was needed within the company. So why not apply radical collaboration here? And use collective intelligence to jointly design the most successful corporate structure and culture possible? Even if it was a mess in between with all the ideas and opinions that collided, as Sophie and Laine reported: In the end, there was a new corporate and team structure with which everyone could identify.

Collaboration from the perspective of product owners: active vs. passive (product) ownership in team setups

The second talk by the two product owners Jasmin and Julia highlighted the conditions that must be met in order for implementation to work in radical collaboration. The participation of so many people is definitely of great value for the solution and helps to keep the big picture in mind and to achieve a better result for the whole company. But the more complicated the process becomes. That’s why, in MOIA, OKRs are the most helpful tools to make decisions. What exactly is to be achieved? And what steps are needed to achieve this? An important point, even more so now that almost everything is done remotely, is transparency. Regular communication in meetings keeps everyone informed about what the individual teams and people are currently working on. Here it is important to create an atmosphere in which everyone can openly present their points of view and can also jointly look at data or interim results. MOIA also lives this on a very personal level. The philosophy is based on openness and willingness to help: if someone is stuck and is looking for a new approach or method, it is quite normal to simply share their problems and ideas with another employee, as in mentoring, and thus seek cooperation. In the end, they all have one thing in common anyway: the will to create the best possible product for the customer.

Cooperation from the perspective of a software quality specialist: The witchcraft behind good quality

Roza, Quality Specialist, reported in her talk why it is extremely important to work closely with others, especially in the area of Quality Assurance. The different aspects of quality alone show that one person alone cannot keep an eye on it. Just to name a few examples: Product-based quality: Does the product even fulfil the purpose? Or customer-related quality: is it even what the customer wants? Or value-based quality that decides on costs and price: is the customer willing to pay for it? Roza is something like the safety manager to ensure these aspects already in the development process of a product. Not only when the product is already finished. Therefore it is important to work together with developers, product owners or other employees, so everyone can bring in their strengths. Quality is improved by bringing different perspectives together.

If you want to learn more about Radical Collaboration, we can still recommend James Tamm’s TED Talk if you want to know more which you can watch here .

We thank MOIA for the great evening!

Otherwise we hope to see you soon at one of our next Meetups.