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Fostering innovation on project teams (MVP)

Innovation is a key component to CivicActions work. We are committed to bringing innovation forward to our clients and - most especially - for end users. Innovation, therefore, is encouraged from all team members. The Project Manager is positioned to support the project team via the following (MVP version) process:

Challenge Overview

  • We aspire to confirm that all innovative ideas are heard, acknowledged, and that the contributor is made aware of next steps (and that we have the capacity to follow-up on the needed action items)
  • We work to ensure we are equipped to move forward on innovative ideas, in order to demonstrate we are hearing (and acting on) team suggestions and to avoid creating a "graveyard of good ideas" paradigm

Objectives

  • We encourage ideas to be "bigger" than a given sprint or retro, and welcome all input, motivating/coaching team members to think "big picture"
  • We allow innovative ideas to be shared (and captured) across the entire project (all teams)
  • We create a simplified means of assessing Level of Effort (LOE), Return On Investment (ROI), etc., so we may adequately prioritize potential work
  • We ensure there is an easy way to view the status of ideas and to parse themes
  • And we formally incorporate this process into Team Working Agreements (TWAs)

Phase one - MVP process (aka starting simple)

  • Begin by leveraging existing team retros, working with ScrumMasters
  • Create tickets in Jira (or another medium) for innovative ideas
  • Tickets should be tagged in a certain, yet consistent, manner (e.g., specific labels, components, issue type, etc.)
  • Establish a custom, program-level board for tracking (or incorporate the innovation tickets into the existing backlog)
  • Handoff ticket(s) to the Technical Lead (or another fitting role) for review during project leadership calls
  • Request that the Technical Lead determine feasibility, LOE, ROI, etc., around the concept (and also noting feedback in the ticket, for transparency)
  • Plan next steps and potentially schedule work where appropriate

One more thought

Innovation occurs at the project level and also across CivicActions. Great ideas can be shared on AHCs, in practice area calls, on Slack for focus-area groups (e.g., DevOps, Front End, etc.) Innovation is also an intrinsic part of project team AHC demos and in monthly and bi-weekly reporting to the client. If our team is innovating to improve processes, technical viability, etc., please share it!


This page was last updated on October 4, 2023.