The Victorian Government planned to move 1000 Victorian Government employees from Melbourne to the Ballarat GovHub in April 2021. This move would require the Vocational Education and Training team to establish an agile and flexible operating model to ensure uninterrupted and enhanced support.
Ahead of this relocation from Melbourne to regional Victoria, we designed and implemented a framework and model for new ways of organising, communicating and working that uplifted team capability and increased collaboration for the Vocational Education and Training team within the Victorian Department of Education.
We sparked change from within and increased delivery, uplifted alignment and cohesion and made visibility a major pillar within the teams.
Through a series of workshops, we co-designed new ways of working for the team, with a view to creating a flatter structure while up-skilling those with big ideas and the desire to learn.
We supported teams through the changes with 1:1 coaching and set up forums that would facilitate discussion and experimentation around the new ways of working.
More specifically, within the DevOps team, we designed a customised maturity assessment to focus on growth areas, transitioned the teams to smaller and more frequent releases, established showcasing practices and mapped their entire process to increase visibility. We also designed and launched a new Enablement Team to experiment with, create and drive practices of automated testing and DevOps.
We similarly increased visibility of how things happen by mapping out the key stakeholders. Leveraging dozens of stakeholder interviews across 13 different areas of the government unit, we reimagined and redesigned the touch points of collaboration.
Throughout our engagement, we regularly measured agile maturity and practice uplift through a customised health assessment, and used the data to guide our coaching backlog as well as areas of improvement within the team.
Finally, we wrapped up our engagement by creating a tailored playbook of information for each team, to ensure the newly established ways of working would continue once our engagement was over.
Beaker & Flint was able to fundamentally change the ways of working within government by enabling, supporting and uplifting the capability of both leadership and the team members.
We saw a self-reported 69% uplift in agile team maturity, and a 79% uplift in agile practice maturity. One of the biggest increases was in team safety and engagement, which saw a 97% uplift between our first and last assessment. This was an even more remarkable achievement given that this all took place throughout Melbourne’s Covid-19 lockdowns.
* Averaged scores from multiple teams across a 10 month period
We also saw a 60% increase in the number of releases to production from 2019 to 2020; despite a mandated two-month period of no code deployments during Coronavirus lockdowns. As of April 2021, when we wrapped our engagement within VSGM, the team has already released 90% of the volume of releases to production comparative to all of 2019.
Working to create change, during a time of great change reminded us of some very valuable lessons. Here is what we reflected on at the end of our time together:
Start with your people. When you know change is coming, figure out who’s being affected, who needs to change and where they’re already at (both in terms of capability and mindset).
Lead with culture. Behaviour is hard to change, but it always helps to demonstrate the culture that you want to see. Behaviour can also change through transparency and visibility of values and shared goals.
Embed new practices through repetition. Change sticks when it’s consistent and repeatable but also open to improvement.
Share knowledge widely, freely, and often. It doesn’t deplete your own store. If everyone has more than you, it’s a good place to be.
Always ask and say why. Try to figure out the motivators, reasons and purpose behind everything and provide the same for others. Trust is built when people have the full story.