We have three executive Teams; Accounting, Growth and Operations and they are lead respectfully by the Chief Financial Officer, Chief Growth Officer and Chief Operating Officer, all of whom report to the Chief Executive Officer.
Accounting is a Team onto itself and they report directly to the Chief Financial Officer.
Within Growth we have Customer Success, Marketing, Sales, and Support Teams all of whom report to the Chief Growth Officer.
Within Operations we have the development Teams for Applications, Content, Delivery and Ticker & Data and they in turn report to the Chief Operating Officer.
All Teams operate according to Scrum Practices; they have a Product Owner (who is also the Team Lead) and they are responsible for the work direction and backlog, and a Scrum Master who is accountable for the work in process and continuous improvement in Team happiness and velocity.
To coordinate within and across Teams we have a series of daily, weekly, monthly and quarterly meetings and rituals that include the following;
- Daily - Standup
- Daily - Scrum of Scrums
- Weekly - MetaScrum
- Weekly - Share & Learn
- Weekly - Scorecard Review and One-On-One
- Weekly - Retrospection
- Monthly - Learning Club
- Quarterly - Goal Reviews
- Quarterly - Skip Level Review
- Quarterly - Compensation Review
- Quarterly - Scorecard Review
Every Team meets prior to the Scrum of Scrums meeting, everyone on a Team is expected to attend, standups are open to anyone who wants to attend, and the meeting is Chaired By the Scrum Master for the Team. The team reviews at a minimum Daily Standup Checklist and any other team specific checklist items they may have.
At 10am EST, all Scrum Masters, or their designate, are expected to attend and typically Product Owners as well, Scrum of Scrums or SoS as it is often called, the meeting is open to anyone who wants to attend, and the meeting is Chaired by the Chief Operating Officer. The checklist includes;
- Scrum Masters report their Critical Number goal versus actual and their Epic target date and if on track to hit it.
- Cross Team blocks identified for the Scrum Master to resolve at Scrum of Scrums?
- The meeting is recorded for those who can’t attend and shared with everyone in the company.
On Thursday’s, just after Scrum of Scrums, all Team Leaders (Product Owners as we sometimes call them as well) or their designate are expected to attend, the meeting is open to anyone who wants to attend, and the meeting is Chaired by the Chief Operating Officer. The checklist includes;
- Good News? Set a positive outlook to help get the right perspective on the rest of the meeting.
- What have we learned from our Customers that we didn’t know before? Any Fresh Eyes?
- Is your Team on schedule to deliver it’s Critical Number and Epic? If not, what corrective action are you taking?
- New Epics to be Validated?
- Closed Epic Validations to review?
- Financial Statement up for review?
- Actions to Resolve Past Issues that weren’t closed?
- New Issues to discuss and resolve?
- How can we improve the next meeting?
The meeting is recorded for those who can’t attend and shared with everyone in the company.
End of day Wednesday, everyone is invited to attend, and the Chair rotates alphabetically between everyone in the company. The checklist includes a 5 minute or less presentation on something new that was recently done, new information to share, or a lesson learned, from every Team, including;
- Company Critical Number, Roadmap and Values Review
- Accounting Finance
- Customer Success
- Ticker & Data
Presentations from each Team rotate between all members of the Team. The same person from the Team should not be presenting every week. The meeting is recorded for those who can’t attend and shared with everyone in the company.
Every person in the company is expected to individually review their Scorecard prior to their Weekly One-On-One with their Boss and run through the following checklist in preparation for that meeting, and for their week;
- Good News - think about what went well this past week and make a note of it. Starting from a positive position helps to have the right perspective for a scorecard review.
- Accountabilities - are the key performance indicators that you are responsible for on track? If not, what needs to be done to correct?
- Processes Owned - are the processes that you own defined and published to the Help Center, optimized, and current? If not, what needs to be done to correct?
- Critical Number - Is your critical number on track to hit the goal? If not, what needs to be done to correct?
- Epics - On schedule and on track to hit the measure of success? If not what needs to be done to correct?
- Team Scoreboard - up to date and accurate? On track? Any concerns or corrective actions needed?
- Team - how is the Team performing?
- Any peer or communication issues?
- Are all processes defined and working well?
- Is the Team cross functional and self contained?
- How can your Boss improve the Team’s performance? Start, Stop, Keep doing?
- Customer Insights - anything interesting learned from or about our Customers this week? Have you done Fresh Eyes recently?
- Learning - what are you personally learning? How are you progressing with the Learning Club materials?
- Values - are you adhering to our values? Is the Team? Your Boss? The Company? What do we need to improve to better live up to our values?
- Next Actions - what do you need to get done, and in what order, to address any discrepancy identified above?
And if you are a Team Leader you have the added responsibility of reviewing your Team Scorecard;
- All Scorecards and Scorecard Reviews up to date?
- Is there Critical Number alignment across the Team?
- Are all key performance indicators accounted for and within their acceptable tolerances?
- Is everyone in alignment and contributing to the same Epic across the Team?
- What Delegations https://help.risevision.com/hc/en-us/articles/115003318386-Building-The-Farm-Team-Decision-Making should you be making?
- Are you and your reports in alignment as to what’s next for them? Do you have an agreed upon career path?
Use your Weekly Scorecard Review to set the agenda for your one-on-one meeting with your Boss. Chairing your one-on-one meeting with them is your responsibility. You drive the meeting, and they answer questions and ask a few of their own, but the prep work for and ownership of the meeting is all you.
Each Team retrospects on how they are doing and how they can improve once per week and it is expected that all members of a Team attend the retrospection unless they are away that day. The meeting is Chaired by the Scrum Master for the Team and it is open to anyone who wants to attend and observe. The checklist for each Team member to complete prior to the meeting includes;
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how happy are you with your role in the Company?
- On a scale of 1 to 5, how happy are you with the Company as a whole?
- Why do you feel that way?
- What one thing would make you happier in the next week?
And then during the meeting the Team works together to complete the following checklist;
- All cards that can be moved to Done are moved?
- Happiness and Velocity calculated and reported?
- One improvement to increase Happiness added to this weeks backlog?
- Daily Standup Checklist confirmed?
Every Team is always learning from something. A book, a podcast, documentary, YouTube Channel, whatever medium that is conveying something that we can learn from to improve how we work.
The Team has a standing monthly one hour meeting to review and discuss what they have learned from the medium that they have chosen to review. Everyone from the Team is expected to attend, unless they are away. The meeting schedule and what the Team is reviewing is shared with the Company on HipChat and anyone who has an interest in the topic, aside from the Team members, can optionally attend out of interest as well. The Team members and anyone else who is attending should come prepared to the meeting with notes, thoughts, and takeaways. The goal is that we learn something from each medium that we study that we can apply to the way we work.
The meeting is Chaired on a rotating alphabetic basis by each member of the Team. The Chairperson records all of the insights and helps facilitate the discussion. After the book club meeting the Chairperson shares the summary during a Share and Learn. Some general questions that the Chairperson can use to spark discussion include;
- Pick 2 quotes from the materials to spark discussion and ask if everyone agrees, disagrees, and why.
- What was the purpose of this medium?
- Are there any graphs, charts, or pictures that we should review?
- We’re there any quotes, or passages that stood out to you?
- Have you read, listened to or seen other materials about this topic before? If so, does the author bring something unique to the subject? If not, did this medium pique your interest in the subject?
- What, if any, insights from the medium can be applied to your role, or Rise Vision?
- Do you think the medium presented a balanced viewpoint of the topic or was it one-sided?
- Did how the topic was handled affect your overall impression of the medium? In what way?
- Was there something in particular that stood out for you or gave you an “a-ha!” moment about the topic?
- What did you learn from this medium that you didn’t know before?
- Did the author offer enough evidence to support their view?
- Has the topic piqued the Team’s interest? Do we want to learn more on this topic?
- Did the author provide any references to more on this topic that we should check out?
The Chairperson for the next topic to be reviewed should have consensus from the Team on what the topic and medium will be prior to wrapping up the current topic - to give everyone plenty of time to get the materials and start to to review them.
At the close of every calendar quarter all Team Leaders meet physically in 1 location for 3 days. 2 days are devoted to updating the one page strategic plan, and the 3rd day is devoted to the leadership Team learning something new. The goal review is Chaired by the CEO and all conclusions from the 3 day session are shared with the Company at the next Share and Learn.
Skip Level Meetings are conducted by the “Boss of a Boss” 90 days, more or less, after the conclusion of the Skip Level Follow Up Meeting for their last Skip Level Review.
The “Boss of a Boss” meets with the Team that reports to their direct report without that Team Leader present. Skip Levels are done for all Team Leaders on a regular cadence, including the CEO (an outside consultant facilitates theirs). The purpose of the Skip Level meeting is twofold:
- Help the Leader be a better Leader. Get good constructive feedback for them to improve how they lead people.
- Encourage the Team that reports to the Manager to speak truth to power. Make sure that their voices are heard and reinforce that that no one needs to grin and bear it.
When meeting with the Team it is very important that they understand why they are having a Skip Level Meeting. The two goals are discussed at length and then discussed again. It is made clear that this isn’t a fishing expedition or a complaint session. Constructive feedback and recommendations are being sought and are expected.
Everything suggested / discussed at the meeting is shared in real-time with the Team and the Leader of the Team within a Google Doc. However, no attribution is given for the suggestions. They are anonymous.
The questions to be asked of the Team are;
- What can the Team Leader keep doing? What works well?
- What can the Team Leader stop doing? What doesn’t work so well and should be stopped?
- What can the Team Leader start doing? What isn’t happening and should be?
- If you were the Team Leader what would you do differently?
- And the last off all, how would you rate the skip level review meeting on a scale of 1 to 10? How could we make it better?
If the Team has no feedback, the Team needs to confirm everything is perfect? Very unlikely… And everyone should contribute. Not just the loudest person in the room. The facilitator does not judge, defend or debate, the feedback, they merely confirm, collate and help prioritize. The biggest impact, most important changes, need to come first.
The Skip Level is scheduled for one hour with the Team. The last 10 minutes are devoted to recapping, clarifying and prioritizing all suggestions. A review of the Skip Level is scheduled with the Team Leader in question during their next One-On-One. All items are discussed and action plans determined to implement any needed improvements.
A Skip Level Follow Up Meeting with the Team is scheduled 45 days after the Skip Level and 30 minutes are spent with them confirming what progress has been made by the Team Leader. All feedback is once again noted in the same shared document and it is reviewed with the Team Leader at their next One-On-One.
The Compensation Review is Chaired by the Chief Executive Officer 90 days after completion of the last Compensation Review and it includes the following checklist;
- Open a Compensation Review Document shared with all Employees and ask for feedback on;
- What works well with how we compensate and as such we should keep doing it?
- What doesn’t work well with how we compensate and as such we should stop doing it?
- What should we be doing with how we compensate that we aren’t currently doing?
- The total compensation, including retirements savings, benefits and vacation time, for all employees is calculated.
- Within PayScale;
- update all Jobs to align with any Role changes made since the last review,
- confirm labour markets and target labour market information,
- run market reports to collect latest market data,
- review the compensation strategy manager and confirm the target market percentile and the target range width around the target percentile and then set ranges to market
- Review and set the variable compensation roles and set their sales targets and commission rates for the next quarter.
- Compare employee total compensation to the min and max compensation for the respective Roles and address any discrepancies with the respective Team Leads.
- Collate the feedback from the Compensation Review Document and summarize all improvements to be made at the next Share and Learn.
Every person in the company completes their Scorecard Review 90 days after they are hired and then 90 days after the last Scorecard Review they did.