June 12, 2019

More roles than people meant things needed to be done differently

Create empowered people and teams that are aligned to the company's purpose and direction.

Expertise provided

Product leadership

Organisational development

Organisational agility




The challenge

A tech startup with a great idea but with more roles than people or funding meant Honesty Box needed a different approach for how they organised themselves.

Whilst they had a great product in market and a strategy to move from having a single customer/market to being a multi-client/multi-product business, revenue generated from the single client was good but not enough to add more people and resource to execute the growth strategy; they needed a different approach. 

A second challenge was their cadence in product flow wasn't of high enough quality or speed to both service new revenue streams and still deliver product innovation.

The turnaround

The work focused on adopting new approaches to the structure, culture, practices and processes, and importantly how they organised ourselves. 

Reimagining job descriptions and roles was first off the rank. 

Using value stream mapping, the flow of product value throughout the company was visualised; identifying how ideas for product development came in, through to how these ideas were turned into product and value for clients. From there the roles needed were identified and in parallel old job descriptions were tossed out in favour of describing the roles being done. Mapping those roles onto the flow of value showed up bottlenecks and gaps and from there, groups of independent roles were bundled together. This was entirely co-created by the company staff with the final step being team members selecting the roles that made sense for them in the context of their team mates capabilities.

Coaching in agile ways of working, practicing continuous learning and improvement, breaking work into small chunks of value delivered early and often, they became confident and desirous of the freedom and autonomy that comes in exchange of owning and being accountable for their areas of expertise. 

Introducing and implementing OKRs, a new way of designing and approaching goals, the team saw alignment, transparency, communication and focus improve dramatically. 

Four areas for modernisation
Product opportunity funnel at Honesty Box

A final breakthrough came when all HonestyBox staff went through Agile Fundamentals and Product Ownership courses. Sales, tech, data insights, customer service and ops became product people. Using the language and tools of product management, delivered the effectiveness and flexibility that allowed them to become a high performing agile team all pulling in the same direction. Their product/tech backlog had a rapid flow of quality user stories and prioritised items that balanced their need for revenue with their desire and push to continue product innovation. 

Project results

  • Highly autonomous workforce
  • Product-centric thinkers
  • No bottlenecks in engineering
  • High degree of collaboration amongst people
  • Super happy, engaged people.
Creating the space for HonestyBox team

“We became a happy, fast moving, multi-disciplinary team."

Without Organa, our small team would never have been able to achieve the high cadence needed to service sales and develop new products at the same time."

William Mackinnon

Head of Sales and Client Partnerships
Let’s get in touch

Ready to start working together with us?

Send us a message!

We'd love to hear about your challenges and be able to suggest ways we can help modernise your business minds.

Contact us

Check out our services

We offer bespoke courses, scoped projects and access to accredited training courses - take a look here.

Browse services