Retail

The 4 Stages of Team Development & How to Make It Through Them

 

Introduction

In 1965, Bruce Tuckerman postulated the 4 stages of group development when building a team. It’s important to understand these stages as a team developer. Each one consists of different behaviors which are driven by the team members’ needs. Understanding these needs and behaviors are essential in guiding the team to success.

These development stages show up repeatedly on an SAP project, not only when it starts but throughout as phases, deliverables and personnel change.

Stage 1: Forming (Getting to Know Each Other)


This is the first stage of forming a team. This is when the team first meets each other and is on their best behavior. As part of a new group, individuals seek acceptance from their new teammates and try to develop bonds through common interests. They are also looking for an individual to take the lead.

During this stage, it is important for leadership to define objectives, roles, and tasks so that members feel their contributions are significant. That way, team members will begin to establish a sense of purpose and commitment to the team. In addition to the onboarding process, team building activities need to be incorporated to help team members form bonds required for team efficiency.

As with all the stages it is important to recognize that forming occurs whenever a new team is created. In a typical NSPRO engagement teams are formed and dissolved throughout the project lifecycle hence the ongoing need to provide leadership and guidance.

Stage 2: Storming (People Start Butting Heads)


Now that the team is past the introductory stage, personalities can start to conflict due to differing opinions and approaches. Team members will begin to question things such as responsibilities, rules, and criteria for success. […]

By | 2018-04-23T10:30:35+00:00 January 18th, 2018|Categories: Blog, Retail|0 Comments

/N SPRO, a continued sponsor of the 2017 SAP Retail Executive Forum in NYC

/N SPRO is proud to announce their continued commitment to SAP’s Retail Executive Forum 2017 as a Diamond Sponsor. This year the SAP’s Retail Executive Forum will be taking place on October 16th-18th at the Intercontinental Barclays in New York City. Join us and over 300 retail peers for a two-day event, filled with high-level networking and hot-topic discussions. The forum is designed to bring retailers together to interact, network, and learn from their peers and industry experts across fashion, grocery, and hardline/general merchandise verticals.

This year’s event will focus on transforming your entire customer experience. This conference will include several CEO keynote speakers from Tommy Bahamas, Foot Locker, Baja Corporation, The O Alliance, The Robin Report, Food Marketing Institute, and more! Interested in how you can adapt, lead and thrive in the new normal? Click here for more information or to register to attend this year’s SAP Retail Executive Forum.

Already registered? Great! Stop by our Innovation Pod where the /N SPRO Retail team will show you how implementing s/4 HANA just got easier, with /N SPRO’s templated solution for Retail.

We look forward to seeing you there!

By | 2017-10-02T17:17:36+00:00 September 26th, 2017|Categories: News & Announcements, Retail|0 Comments

Solution Validation Workshops

During the design phase of any project, one activity that gets the most attention is the delivery of solution workshops. It’s a deliverable that has high visibility and sets a first impression for any SAP Program. Needless to say, it is imperative that they go well!

Preparation

Get all the requirements from the business. Document your design. Nail down scope. At the end of the day, this is what we drive towards during the Explore phase[1] in an SAP implementation. The effectiveness of your workshop can be assessed before it has been completed. We can get a good indicator of success before it’s even started. It’s all in the preworkshop activities:

  • What are the current business processes?
  • Which steps provide a competitive advantage, if any?
  • What isn’t supported by standard SAP Functionality?
  • What are the business process variations?
  • Do you, the workshop leader, have a point of view?

Planning

This is one of those times where we need to have “the meeting before the meeting” and this could mean several of them. It all starts with identifying the key players and knowing your audience.  Who are the subject matter experts? Do we need the Business, IT or both to get this information? This is a seemingly simple task that is often overlooked and underestimated. Depending on the size of your organization, it can be difficult to find who you need for when you need them at the beginning of a project.

Point of View

Armed with the above information and previous implementation experience, we utilize a hypothesis driven workshop based on what the future business process should/could look like. It established our baseline. A point of view on how the solution should look like in the future. It enables us to avoid large requirements gathering session during the workshop. Never work from a blank […]

By | 2018-04-23T10:30:36+00:00 September 20th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Retail, Retail Technology|Tags: , , |0 Comments

What Teams Struggle With Most When Doing Agile/Scrum for the First Time

There are numerous approaches to software development that have been used over the years. Traditionally, there has been a division into two competing methodologies, Waterfall vs. Agile.

The Waterfall methodology is largely a sequential method to developing software, where requirements are documented first, followed by the development, testing, and go-live phases of the project. Typically, end-users are the last ones to try out the software, and oftentimes there is a gap between what was delivered and what the user expected to receive. Discovering these gaps late in the process is a risk to project timelines.

The Agile methodology utilizes an iterative approach to software development, delivering smaller features and functions to the end-users on a more frequent basis. This allows for more frequent trials of the software and feedback to the development team, allowing the developers to more quickly address any issues or gaps in functionality.

Scrum is one of several variants of Agile, and is a lightweight process framework used to manage complex product development. The Scrum framework consists of Scrum teams and their associated roles, events, artifacts, and rules. Scrum is simple to understand, but difficult to master.

It can be challenging for teams to start working in an Agile/Scrum approach if they are used to doing their software development projects in a Waterfall manner. Scrum teams are self-organizing and are largely self-managing, which can be a quantum leap for organizations that are used to more tightly managed projects and development teams. There is new terminology used to describe Scrum activities, and it takes time to get used to the language of Scrum and understand the overall process. During Sprint Planning, project work is organized into time-boxed Sprints, which are typically 2-4 weeks in duration. Development teams meet in a 15-minute Daily Scrum to update each other on what they accomplished yesterday, […]

By | 2018-04-23T10:30:36+00:00 September 13th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Retail, Tips & Tricks|Tags: , , |0 Comments

Rethinking Traditional Roles Can Boost Your Company’s Productivity

The Workplace Isn’t a Place Anymore

Where work is done is often irrelevant.  In our increasingly connected society, work can be performed almost anywhere.  While working closely with customers is always important and necessary, there are almost certainly activities in your organization that can be performed outside of an office setting.  The key is to outline your company’s overall operational structure and strategic objectives, and then get creative about how you define and fill the supporting roles.  If juggling multiple RFPs, perhaps you can utilize remote talent to assist with proposal development.  And some of your business’s internal processes, such as financial planning, resource forecasting, talent management, or operational support, may be done in large part using collaboration tools with only occasional (if ever!) face-to-face meetings.  Though some activities, such as client/prospect meetings, nearly always require a physical meeting place, similarly a software design and development team may work best when co-located.

Harness Talent Seeking an Alternative Arrangement

Many people choose to leave the workforce due to shifting priorities, particularly after major life events.  Some of these individuals still yearn for an opportunity to contribute and grow professionally.  You hire smart, ambitious people, right?  ​Don’t let traditional assumptions and expectations be the reason you lose or miss out on great talent.  Scaling back in some areas (days/hours per week, travel, etc.) does not mean someone is looking to sit back and coast.  Be flexible and continue to give your employees meaningful and challenging work assignments.  You’ll be happy to see that contributions will remain strong, which benefits your whole organization, and hopefully takes some things off your plate as well.

Working Remotely – Tips for Success

When working remotely, discipline is key.  And paramount.  And without it, failure is ensured.

Yet we’ve all fallen down the rabbit hole of distractions.  […]

By | 2018-04-23T10:32:26+00:00 September 6th, 2017|Categories: Blog, Retail, Tips & Tricks|Tags: , , |0 Comments