Let's face it, being a manager is not easy at all time. There are so many hats to wear and so much for you to juggle that it can be hard to get anything right. This is why I always tell my clients to use Flight Levels when they manage their teams. But please, don't be put off by the name: Flight Levels are all about increasing visibility and making sure everyone is on the same page with your projects or initiatives and synchronized with the companys vision and mission. Adopting an effective thinking model* like Flight Levels doesn't just make managing easier at work—it makes you a better leader, too. Read on to learn how this simple system can change your way of working!
Flight Levels contains 3 levels, for having an overview of the work being done in the company. It's about having a visual sight at different levels of how the initiatives are proceeding (level 3), having an overview of how the different teams are working with the different topics/user stories along with having the cross-platform ability to inform and make the decisions across the teams (level 2), and for the teams to know what is happening within their own team, as in the other teams (level 1). In that way, the need for reporting and handovers are at a minimum, and the things blocking the work to be done, are minimized.
It's all about visibility. Flight Levels is about visibility. The levels are about trust, collaboration, alignment and communication. They allow you to have information sharing with your team members in a transparent way.
It's important to note that Flight Levels is not a rigid structure. There is no set of actions you can take in order to implement them, and there isn't specific steps that must be followed. Instead, Flight Levels are a way of thinking about how you do your work. They are an approach to self-development as well as an approach to management, rather than a standard or method by which to organize your team's work on projects or plan releases.
Rather than using Flight Levels as a fixed process for doing Agile (i.e., "We'll do Scrum and use Level 1 or Level 2 practices"), think of them as tools: ways of thinking about and approaching problems in the world around us—in our daily lives and at work—that can help us find creative solutions when we run into challenges along the way.
Be aware of your level.
Be aware of the level of the person you are talking to.
Be aware of the level of the person you are listening to.
Be aware of the level of the person you are having a discussion or conversation with.
As a leader, you want to be able to recognize and address issues as they arise. The best framework for this is levels. Adopting an effective framework for management can make you a better leader because it provides visibility into your business, the people working in it, and the lives of each member of your team.
A good level system will help you manage your team, manage your work, manage time and manage life while also helping build an effective career path for yourself and others on your team.
It's all about visibility: A simple way of thinking about Flight Levels is to keep your team’s visibility in mind. The principle of levels helps you see which goals and priorities are most important for your team as a whole, who is responsible for those goals, how they're doing on them, and how the team's progress informs the organization as a whole. If you remember that it's all about getting everyone on the same page and working efficiently together, understanding how to use Flight Levels will be much easier.
We at Expleo Group are more than interested to tell you more about Flight Levels, and see how Flight Levels can help you in your organization. Please reach out to us, and we’ll find a time to meet.
Credits: Cliff Hazell, co-founder Flight Levels Academy and the book “Rethinking Agile” by Klaus Leopold