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04/30/2021
By
MJV Team

Discover 4 steps to set up squads in your business

Do you know what a squad is, or have you heard of that term? Get to know the team building method that became popular among companies

The market has demanded agility, innovation, and productivity. Efficient teams, diversity of competencies, and aligned skills have enabled companies’ expressive gains from different areas. In this way, setting up squads has become an effective format for business by structuring highly productive team systems.

Several companies have changed the workflow and abandoned traditional team building methodologies to adapt to the squad format. 

If you still don’t know how to set up squads, check out 4 steps now to ensure a productive, efficient, and agile team!

What is the Squad Methodology?

To understand how to assemble squads, it is necessary to know the concepts that involve the Squad Methodology. The origin of squads comes from the evolution of agile methodologies, more specifically, the Scrum method.

Squads are the combination of professionals from different areas gathered to develop solutions, innovations and efficiently deliver business results. Unlike teams divided by sectors, in which all team professionals have similar training and knowledge, the squad methodology organizes the company into self-managed teams with specific objectives.

The big news is that in the squads, multidisciplinary teams work horizontally. That is, there is no rigid hierarchy, and the team works to solve problems.

For example, network, website, and application development professionals can compose the same squad. UX, designers, and full-stack developers, back end and front end, among others, are allocated in groups according to the need for projects.

The methodology became popular after the music streaming company Spotify raised the agile team level and designed the squad format. The company organizes its teams around the concepts of tribes, chapters, and guilds, which we will explain later.

Advantages of implementing squads

  • Facilitates horizontal communication and collaboration
  • Greater autonomy
  • Multidisciplinary teams
  • Greater precision in deliveries
  • Decentralization of knowledge

How to set up successful squads?

Many companies believe that just dividing the team and assembling squads will be possible, and you will already be able to obtain the benefits of creating teams. Unfortunately, the reality is more complex than that. To execute the squad methodology, managers need to understand that, like any cultural change, it will impact the whole business routine. 

Advancing towards this methodology requires a different mindset from the company and its employees. It is essential to think about the new ways of organizing teams, promoting communication between squads, demanding tasks, and measuring squads and employees’ performance, among others.

  1. Align the structure

There are some team structuring steps that need to be taken into account for the methodology to work in your company. Each squad is an autonomous unit within the organization. However, communication between squads must be fluid.

So, the recommendation is that you organize your “squads” into three structure levels: Chapters, Tribes, and Guilds. These three factors are responsible for keeping all communication and the management objectives of the squads aligned. Understand each one of them!

Chapters

It is formed by professionals from the same area who have the same function in their respective squads. The purpose of this subdivision is to keep professionals with similar backgrounds in contact for the exchange of specific knowledge about their areas. 

Tribes

It is the set of squads that have similar goals and need to be more connected. The tribes can be physically close to each other to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and experience, not to waste time on the same task.

Guilds

It is a group formed by people from any squad interested in some common topic and, therefore, come together to exchange learning.

2. Know the skills of the team

An army squad comprises diverse professionals who add up the skills needed to win a specific battle. The corporate squad is also made up of people with different backgrounds and experiences who complement each other to face particular business challenges.

The squad organization provides for the articulation of teams focused on specific projects. Thus, the first step in setting up a squad is the definition of what skills will be needed to compose the team and which professionals have complementary skills. 

The team must have all the necessary skills to idealize and develop projects in all its stages. Understand the technical, behavioral, and cultural values ​​that are essential to the project when assembling the squad.

3. Have clear goals

Every company can start innovating today. However, more than having a squad to call your own, the most important thing is to be clear about the desired strategic objectives.

The project leader must define the level of autonomy that the squads will have in developing the projects and the deadline for delivery. Another fundamental issue is making all employees comfortable working on this method and feeling that their opinion is essential in developing the system.

The squad must have in mind what needs to be delivered in a well-defined manner. This will generate less rework and increase clarity in execution. Keep in mind that the goal is more important than how to achieve it. Let the team freely create the solutions to solve the problem.

4. Integrate the squad with Agile methodology

Agile management is essential to measure performance and identify bottlenecks in the team. Therefore, it is crucial that the squad follows the agile routines and maintains complete transparency of the activities carried out.

A squad is similar to a Scrum team, but it is designed to look like a mini-startup within an organization. The team is self-organizing and deliberates on its own way of working, whether with sprints from Scrum, Kanban, or a mix of approaches.

In summary, Scrum aims at agility in the development of tasks within the teams. It is a structure used to implement the Agile methodology – this, in turn, is based on collaboration, self-organization, and interdisciplinary teams.

Kanban is an organizational method that systematizes demands visually. The goal is to increase productivity and optimize task tracking. It resembles a board and can be reproduced physically, with pictures on any smooth surface or virtual tools—the best-known virtual tool is Trello.

Do you want to understand how to implement an agile routine remotely in your company and have more efficient results? Watch our “Agile practices for remote teams: improve your productivity” webinar now.

Assemble your squad

Organizing your team in squads is essential for the agile development of your projects, products, or services. With this type of organization, cohesive teams are created, with people from different areas and who are self-managing, increasing the effectiveness in production.

Assembling squads with professionals from various areas focused on the solution of a single issue enables results in a faster and more innovative way!

Do you need help implementing agile methodologies in your organization? We are here to help! Talk to our specialists and get an agile team workshop now!

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