Born to be Agile
Agile methods like Scrum and Kanban have taken over the modern software development process, but each company is a unique system with its own challenges. With the various definitions of “agile” floating around, what does agile mean to us at MOIA?
MOIA was founded in 2016 to build a modern ride-sharing service for the cities of the future — reacting quickly to change has always been a part of our core DNA.
Our agile coaches, Antonela and Laura, will tell you more about how they work; to improve how we work.
What does agile mean at MOIA?
Antonela: To me, agile is about finding creative and self-organized ways to deliver value in iterations, and learning from experience. MOIA has had a complex task charting new directions in the market by offering an innovative mobility service, and agile was the natural response to it. It feels like a part of the company’s DNA.
Laura: I fully agree with that. To me agile at MOIA is about a self-organized and responsible method of collaboration. Since the beginning everyone has owned their share of making MOIA better every day. We constantly learn about ourselves, our service, our market, and how to improve our work, as well as our way of working.
What is the difference between MOIA and other companies that you have seen?
Laura: Even though I have seen and worked for really amazing companies before, I have never been in an organization where everyone is this passionate about their work. I think that one key factor is the strong vision that MOIA was founded out of, one that is very present in our daily work. Throughout my time at MOIA we have always had clear goals that derive from this vision. In addition to these goals we also have the freedom to decide for ourselves about how we want to achieve these goals in the most effective way. This mixture of passion, purpose-driven development, and trustful autonomy makes MOIA really unique to me.
Antonela: Adding to that, I feel that MOIA is successful because it started with teams of capable and passionate people who were eager to find ways to make it work. There is a strong sense of purpose and passion. People here know the why, and that gives us the chance to put all our resources and creativity into discovering ‘what’ and ‘how’.
Which agile frameworks are used at MOIA?
Antonela: Another thing that I love about MOIA is that we value matter over form; we are more focused on “doing” than on naming things. As agile coaches, our main task is supporting the team with coming up with a process that enables them to reach their goals in a sustainable way — whatever that is. In a practical sense, this means that I like sharing my knowledge and experience with the teams and then giving them space to come up with solutions together. I enjoy borrowing ideas and approaches from different methodologies and finding new ways to tailor the solution to the specific needs of each team.
Tell us where you are performing well in terms of agile values and where you could improve?
Antonela: At MOIA we are really passionate about our customers. There is a strong focus on learning by doing and analyzing data. I am extremely happy to say that MOIA is not the right company for people who enjoy endless hypothetical discussions. We could improve by being even more courageous and embracing failures as perfectly tailored, made-to-order lessons.
Laura: As Antonela said before, we strongly believe in individual adaptation over using a specific framework. We embrace change and all the new lessons that come with starting such an innovative and complex service from scratch. At MOIA no one has ever told me that I have to do my job in this or that way, and I value this freedom a lot. However, the responsibility to shape my role into an effective one is placed under my control.
What are the main challenges for MOIA?
Laura: As a rather young company we are not only constantly learning new things about the market we are in, but also are still growing every month. This means that even though we value flexible adaptation, it is also challenging for us to keep up the pace while still building trustful relationships in our teams and delivering valuable features to our customers.
How do you make decisions on a broader level?
Laura: I’m really proud to say that broader decisions are made by everyone in the company who is passionate about the concerned topic. These topics can also be brought up by anyone, for example in our bi-weekly round regarding ‘How we work’, or in a company retrospective. Regardless of the origin of a problem, we invite everyone to participate in finding a new solution. To us it is imperative that we shape our decision-making culture from a similar cross-functional perspective.
Antonela: And adding to that, I am impressed by how MOIA as an organization is able to simultaneously encourage participatory decision making while staying responsive and being able to come to decisions quickly.
What do you wish for next year at MOIA?
Antonela: My wish for MOIA is that we stay strongly focused on our company’s mission and continue to find the right questions and answer them in synergy.
Laura: Like Antonela, I wish that we keep raising and answering the right questions. To me this is strongly connected to getting more data from our customers and the overall service to learn about us from a neutral perspective.