A global broadcaster had a big challenge: build a new, multi-site global News Desk for 70+ journalists in three months flat — with everyone keeping their day jobs.

There was no time for “best practice” project approaches; no time to hire project managers, create elaborate plans or produce sophisticated ‘operating models’.

Yet, with a series of half-day, super-productive collaboration sessions and a few simple tools, the team got to work.

“FirstHuman come at things in a fresh and challenging way. They push people to ask new questions – and they keep things focused on the outcome. Ultimately, they help teams get results.” Steve, Senior Editor

A cross-functional team spanning the hierarchy created a simple business structure using a hacked version of the Lean StartUp Canvas.

To organise themselves, the group took over the Director’s office. They plotted Post-Its on a whiteboard for all the tasks needed to create the new operation. People paired up to work on items, organising team “hack days” alongside the day-job to get things done quickly. A daily ‘stand-up’ around the whiteboard kept the team organised and kept the pace.

Many project management professionals would have been horrified by the approach. Here’s the reality: 6 people and a coach designed a built a new global operation in 3 months. Not just that, but here’s what the divisional director said about the impact on the those involved:

“As result of the work with FirstHuman, people have transformed how they are working. In particular, some very experienced managers have changed how they lead their teams. This has been a catalyst for our transformation.” – Sara, Divisional Director