Practical Agile Principle #1

Small, cross-functional teams working under one roof

In the context of agile projects, such as the design and implementation of EV assembly-line technologies, where the pace of innovation and change requires rapid adaptation and close collaboration, it is important to rethink the role and structure of teams.

The creation of agile project teams becomes a primary requirement. These teams must not only have technical skills. They must also be capable of agile collaboration and real-time problem solving. It is this team dynamic that allows them to maximize every opportunity for innovation while effectively responding to any changes in project or market requirements.

GERMANENGINEER.COM offers the following practical strategies for building and managing agile teams that can overcome typical challenges and deliver outstanding results.

1. Small Teams

To facilitate effective communication among team members, it’s important to keep the team size manageable. As the number of team members grows, the number of interactions increases exponentially. These complex interactions often require structured processes such as meetings and workshops. An overly large team can lead to a higher risk of communication breakdowns because individuals may not have enough time to engage with all of their colleagues as needed. For this reason, some agile frameworks explicitly state the optimal team size. For example, Scrum suggests building teams of 7 +/- 2 members.

If the scope of the work requires more people than the optimal small team size, GERMANENGINEER.COM provides methods for dividing the work among multiple teams, such as Feature or Component Teams, Scrum of Scrums, LeSS, or SAFe.

2. Cross-functional Teams

In agile projects, cross-functional teams play a critical role in driving collaboration and innovation by bringing together diverse expertise from multiple disciplines. For example, to ensure the success of EV manufacturing projects, it is critical to assemble a team that integrates design, engineering, manufacturing, and automation expertise from the outset. By working together from the beginning, designers and engineers can ensure a seamless transition from product design to manufacturing, increasing the overall efficiency and success of the project. Early involvement of all relevant specialists also helps to avoid costly design errors, rework and project delays. An interdisciplinary approach also reduces reliance on external partners who often work at different speeds and disrupt team dynamics. In addition, cross-functional teams promote continuous professional development by allowing team members to share experiences and learn from each other.

GERMANENGINEER.COM excels at identifying the necessary expertise and building effective cross-functional teams, leveraging its extensive experience in manufacturing projects.

3. Under One Roof

Effective team collaboration and communication should be simple, clear, and concise. In this respect, modern communication tools such as messaging apps and video conferencing still have limitations compared to face-to-face communication. As a result, team members have to travel for face-to-face meetings, which is time-consuming.

To maximize the efficiency of collaboration, GERMANENGINEER.COM facilitates project teams to always work in the same physical location. This allows for immediate, spontaneous communication and the natural flow of ideas that is often more limited in virtual environments. Face-to-face interactions also foster a stronger sense of community and teamwork, increasing trust and understanding among team members. A great example of this approach is Tesla’s Gigafactory in Texas, where all employees, blue collar and white collar, work under one roof, fostering effective team communication and collaboration.






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