Case Study: Aligning the Sense of Urgency Among Diverse Tech Teams

Sid Mustafa
March 1, 2024

In a fast-growing technology company, the engineering, product and platform teams exhibit significantly different senses of urgency regarding project delivery and innovation. This misalignment leads to:

  • Delays
  • Frustration
  • Communication breakdown
  • Inefficient workflows
  • Concerns over losing a competitive edge due to missed innovation opportunities

“On innovation – I find teams struggle to innovate if they don’t feel ownership”.

Keith P.

Previous Attempts to Solve the Situation

  • Cross-functional meetings to improve communication. 
  • Unified project management tool for increased visibility. 
  • Company-wide OKRs to align team goals.

New Objective

Explore strategies to align the sense of urgency among teams, enhancing collaboration, efficiency and innovation.

The goal is a cohesive approach that balances quality, speed and stability.

Discussion Points

  1. Strategies for addressing root causes of misalignment among tech teams.
  2. Effective communication practices for a shared sense of urgency.
  3. Balancing diverse priorities without compromising on quality, speed, or stability.
  4. Successful case examples or experiences.

Let’s Discuss!

Share your insights, strategies and experiences to help navigate this challenge and achieve team alignment for success in a competitive landscape.

Peer Advice (from our CTO Community)

Keith P, Head of Product Engineering

I would question the current shape of the teams. With separate engineering, product and platform, there is (in my opinion) going to be an additional overhead in maintaining/aligning vision and purpose.

If possible, I’d look to transform the teams into cross-functional pods, consisting of product, engineering and platform, and ensure they have a true sense of ownership – a one-team approach. 

If this is not possible, I’d look to have advocates – bring a product person into engineering ceremonies (refinement, stand-ups, retros etc.) and vice versa.

Also, as a team or team of teams, agree on what getting done requires and achieves. 

On innovation – I find teams struggle to innovate if they don’t feel ownership.

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