A major challenge most organizations can understand is the ability to effectively work and communicate across different teams and departments while focusing on a main collaborative goal. Lines of communication can be blurred, delegation gets bounced from person to person, and lack of ownership are all symptoms of this common challenge. The solution is defining a process that serves all team members across departments that continually progresses toward the common goal.
Take R&D and Product teams as an example, defining a process through a project management tool like monday.com that intertwines both agile development, iteration planning and product roadmaps is a recipe for success.
Most product teams use a product roadmap to plan ahead how they will implement and build new features and improve existing ones on a platform. A common pain point product teams face is how to delegate and push product enhancements to the R&D team to begin adding to their iteration planning.
Many R&D teams use Jira to manage their workflow. This can cause friction between product managers and other non-technical teams in an organization, who may well not have experience with such a complex tool. Having different teams work from multiple tools can be a barrier to understanding where different tasks stand. Moving both product and R&D into one tool like monday.com strengthens collaboration and reduces such misalignment.
The product and R&D teams can build a defined roadmap on a monday.com board, including all the crucial information including set milestones, impact, effort, and story points required of developers. Once this is built, a process can begin where the R&D team evaluate how to incorporate the steps required to reach each milestone via a backlog board, eventually feeding tasks into their agile development sprints.
Working in agile development sprints is a common project management strategy originally created and used only by software developers but now implemented by all types of teams. This methodology emphasizes working in periods of time, called sprints, that generally last two weeks with the overall goal for each team member to complete all of the tasks assigned to them during that time. The ability to link items directly from the product roadmap board [backlog board] along with other tasks, like bugs, R&D teams can effectively plan their sprints by understanding the priority, story points, and effort required of them to complete an item from the roadmap.
Whilst having one shared board helps to understand the ownership of different tasks in a sprint and improves fair distribution of tasks, many developers prefer to shift their priorities to easily manage their own personal work in every sprint, based on their own tasks’ statuses. To do this, developers can choose to take advantage of the Kanban view, whilst still having the ability to switch back to the main table view at any time.
To ensure deadlines are not missed, automations can be added to a sprint board in order to send reminders in the days or hours before a task’s due date to the owner of the task and the task manager. When someone’s tasks are marked as “stuck” during a sprint, adding another automation can ensure that the relevant people automatically receive a notification, whether that’s the product manager or the R&D team leader, to ensure issues are overcome in good time. Using the Chart view at the end of a sprint, allows both teams to review how much was marked “done”, how many story points each developer completed, items that have been backlogged or were not assigned, helping to improve efficiency for the next sprint.
Communicating product updates can be challenging across teams particularly for those client-facing teams who don’t necessarily have a direct line of communication with Product and R&D teams. Using monday.com, product updates and feature releases can be announced to the entire account, increasing transparency and understanding of every change made to the product across an organization.
Using Dashboards allows team leads, executives and any team member to get an at-a-glance understanding of progress in any sprint or drilled down to specific teams. Dashboards can also include widgets to show progress towards specific milestones in the product roadmap, including what is still in planning, what’s in production, and planned versus actual release dates. The Dashboards also make it simple to track team capacity for a given sprint and to allocate workload evenly across a team.
A well-defined process is the most effective solution for cross-team collaboration. monday.com will revolutionize the way product and R&D teams work together, increasing transparency, communication, and ensuring milestones are met consistently.