Invest in your team and improve your performance. We can provide half-day, full-day or multi-day workshops to facilitate collaboration between design, technology and business experts or cover more specialised design and software engineering topics.

Map Your Business

Software development and design work is too often managed in distinct silos, separate from other areas of the business. This enables people to work effectively within their specialised areas but to achieve truly great results and get the most value out of your activities, you need a shared vision and alignment of work across the whole organisation.

This is a sense-making workshop for entrepreneurs, executives, business experts, product managers and technical leaders, aimed at building trust and confidence through shared understanding. Using a selection of strategic design activities that are best suited to your situation and context, we’ll do a deep dive into your core product and service offering, identifying who your customers are, what they want, and how your current processes and systems impact on their experience.

If building software is not core to your business but you have to manage some development work just to keep the lights on; if your organisation has a technology backlog that’s growing and growing without turning into successful results; or if you’re finding that your business and technology people are speaking completely different languages—this is the workshop for you.

Through an intensely collaborative visual process, we’ll map the significant assumptions, impacts, opportunities, value streams and workflows in your business so that you can identify and prioritise your most valuable potential projects, starting with the metrics and measurements that define success. With this level of planning, you can have greater confidence that you’re investing in the right things and your teams will know why the project they’re working on matters.

Product Design Sprints

Bootstrapping, developing and launching a new product from scratch takes considerable effort, investment and up-front risk. What if there was a way to see into the future to learn what customers see value in and how they respond to a proposed solution?

This is the rationale behind design sprints, which bundle an entire product development lifecycle into an intense multi-stage process over less than a week, allowing you to quickly learn whether your idea maps to a genuine customer need. Design sprints lead you to test assumptions and explore opportunities and pitfalls in a problem space without investing in a major ongoing project.

Based on your current business context, the structure of your team and your ambition, we can help you decide whether a design sprint is a good fit for the problems you face and support you in research, planning and execution. Bringing in an external facilitator allows you to offload the detailed preparation and wrangling of roles and responsibilities needed to make a design sprint work, freeing up everyone on your team to focus more deeply on exploring customer needs.

Design sprint workshops can also be adapted to focus on internal delivery pipelines, adding new capabilities to existing products or pivoting your organisation away from an entrenched legacy codebase or service model.

Beyond Agile

This workshop provides a foundation for your team to design your own cross-functional self-correcting workflow that incorporates awareness of your unique strengths, weaknesses and organisational context.

Become familiar with critiques of Agile and Scrum by some of the industry’s best thinkers. Build on insights from collaborative UX design methods, lean manufacturing, product development flow, sociology and psychological safety. Explore the ways that organisational structures and diversity influence software outcomes and how to work with these forces rather than against them. Learn how to run meetings with respect and empathy that enage the different cognitive styles of your peers. Hone your situational awareness and critical thinking skills.

Attendees will come away with a vision and plan for how their team can work together and support each other at their best. Supporting materials include a comprehensive set of concepts and tools for facilitating highly creative and collaborative working environments and influencing positive cultural change.

Mob Programming Launchpad

Mob programming is an emerging practice where a whole team works on the same thing at the same time. This seems counter-intuitive to some, but it’s an extraordinarily effective and proven approach that incorporates some of the best ideas from the many different disciplines involved in software delivery.

Mobbing helps your teams quickly get to a place where everyone can speak up and contribute. It’s one of the simplest and most direct ways to integrate diverse perspectives and multiple points of view into your work. It can be extremely beneficial for teams with junior/senior skill imbalances and helps alleviate situations where individual contributors struggle with getting stuck or blocked waiting for feedback and input from others.

Having everyone working on the same problem in the same room helps build shared understanding between designers, developers and business experts. It also reduces churn from context switching between tasks, reduces reporting overhead and helps limit work in progress—all key attributes of a healthy product development flow.

We can help you launch a culture of mobbing to improve software quality and move design out into the open. Through workshops or mentoring sessions that involve learning by doing, we can work together to establish pragmatic guidelines and practices for group problem solving that can help your product and engineering teams achieve amazing results and make your organisation a sought-after place to work.

Interested in what we can do? Drop us a line at hello@tangram.co.nz.