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Culture

Cooking with multi-methodology teams

Hélder Cabral
Father, manager, photographer, blogger, runner, living in a fast forward mode, with a phone in one hand, a book in the other, and Asics on the feet.
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Cooking with multi-methodology teams
We all recognise Farfetch as an international, multi-cultural company. 

You can almost breathe the different cultures in the air when you walk through the office, the different levels of experience, the mixture of genius and specialists in every corner and the scrambled ideas that come out from every conversation over a cup of coffee.

You breathe innovation everywhere.

However, it’s not only the culture and the different life experiences that convey at the Farfetch family house. The same happens with the different methodologies that teams apply to their daily tasks and projects. From Kaizen to Scrum, passing through Kanban or even the traditional project management (e.g. waterfall), each team chooses what applies best to their mission.

One might think this can be chaos, at least I know a few Quality Management friends that might shake over such vision – I know, I know, keeping standards and norms – however, you know what? Freedom of choice is also an important slice of the pie, freedom to apply the methodology that makes a better match is also relevant, and freedom to innovate and self-motivate by choosing what makes you happy is essential to success!

Let’s call them ingredients for a happy work life. However, all these different ways of working (the ingredients) need to fit on the same pan and be cooking under the same fire. 

So if you have to build a grand plan tying all these teams to ensure everyone – and here everyone probably means at least 6 different cluster teams with different methodology realities – is working towards success, does that scares you? 

Remember success is highly tied to keep an important Go Live date where several thousand have been invested in complex marketing campaigns or just for that special moment where clients show a new season collection or unveil a new service that will revolutionise our world (no pressure)!

Do you have the cooking skills for it? Are you up to the challenge?

Fear not. It is doable. Although different methodologies clash between teams, the basics are always the same: people, tasks, effort and value. 

Don’t try to rule them all. Concentrate on the inter-dependencies, map them down on your plan. Don’t get lost on the details that each team needs. They’re usually self-sufficient, their managers or agile coaches or the team itself are more than capable of keeping the wheel moving with their intrinsic project details and needs. You’re only required to be tying the knots here. To design the grand view, the glue that will mix those ingredients and give you a tool to follow-up with each work-stream.

I personally like and use MS Project to assist me on that task, but you can use something else that easily allows you to simulate your project, track your progress and check on value creation.

And remember, the beauty is on the simple things: go with the flow, let the teams use their favourite flavours and work with and around them to build that big picture.
Working on a multi-cultural, multi-mixture, multi-methodology environment is just like cooking: you respect the different ingredients, mix their unique flavours and aim to achieve perfection.


Be a master chef!
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