Agile strategy execution at scale with There Be Giants

Waging war on the annual appraisal.

There Be Giants is a management consultancy that delivers bespoke consultancy programmes to help unlock the potential of high-growth organisations through improved performance. TBG was created in 2010 in response to the growing dissatisfaction with performance management and the dreaded annual appraisal. Giants present an agile alternative, which not only encourages employee development, but enables the business to minimise resistance to growth plans. Taking the core principles of agile project management and working directly alongside our clients to apply them to the way they build and action their growth strategy.

TBG are about top-to-bottom transformation. The system behind all this success draws inspiration from the very different worlds of Silicon Valley and elite athlete training, and revolves around OKRs – Objectives and Key Results. Giants coach clients through the creation of an agile growth strategy and then help them to action said strategy using a blend of software, culture and management to minimise resistance to growth plans.

In this age of industrial revolution, work is becoming increasingly heuristic rather than algorithmic.

“The growth of the knowledge economy relies on creative talent reshaping their organisations to continuously evolving challenges and opportunities.”

There is also an appetite in the market for transforming performance management; which has been backed up by myriad neuroscience studies. As a result of its flexibility and fitness for purpose the OKR methodology has increasingly entered the mainstream.

There be Giants had a powerful idea, to create a performance management and strategy execution app that will help sizeable organisations empower high-performing teams at scale. TBG chose Human to help them scope out the vision of what the software and the business model might look like. The intention is to equip There Be Giants to plan investment in a defining piece of software development.

For businesses driving empowerment, focus & prioritisation, this is a strategy execution web app providing real-time information to accelerate results, build self-reliance, and build the confidence to take risks and grow.....

The brief

TBG approached Human to scope out an in depth, complex and dynamic software platform. Human were tasked with exploring, distilling and challenging the vision; whilst finding new areas of competitive advantage.

Roger Longden Human workshop

What we did

Our strategy and engagement team facilitated an intensely collaborative workshop with There be Giants. Scope is designed specifically for true leaders in their field, who already have a solution in mind for their business or consumer challenge; typically in the form of a mobile, web or other cloud-based application. Together, we clarify and understand the vision, then scope the key features and user journeys. The TBG workshop explored the different users and their needs, epic functionality areas, user journey mapping, a development roadmap and early stage exploration of potential business model and pricing strategies.

Crossing the threshold

There be Giants and Human share some common ground in Agile values, and the notion that embracing agile principles can unlock huge potential within organisations; unleashing a permanent state of transformation. Whilst we approach the challenge from different angles, the shared values underpinning our approaches are the same.

Showcasing empathy and an in-depth understanding of the context of use was key to delivering further value in this workshop; as well as suggesting further ideas for unique features and functionality that could enable competitive advantage.

Challenges faced

This product sits at the intersection of strategy, organisational design and performance management. As such the software can be a very powerful platform to enable the betterment of employees and an organisation’s overall performance when placed in the hands of a good, empathetic leader. Through intelligent systems design, and engineering for good, we explored how we might design this software to ensure the empowerment of employees, and not to be used as an aggressive management tool to beat employees with a stick. Human embraces psychological safety and we’re very clear on our values which manifest themselves in all of the products that we build.

Impact

Our workshop has given TBG clarity and depth of vision and the tools required to pitch for funding to make the idea a reality and has led to a wealth of new ideas that can hopefully lead to an even more successful product.

Reflection

  • Platform thinking is dynamic and complex.
  • If you want to engender permanent transformation then strategy, technology, service design and product development need to be considered in tandem. Technology in isolation would not be fit for purpose.
  • This workshop allowed us to use our skill and experience in all of these areas to ensure all opportunities and risks were considered.

Be sure to check out There Be Giants for more insight into agile planning, OKRs and more.

If you'd like to dive deeper into the world of OKRs, check out this video from the team at Google...