While finding great new talent, don’t forget to regularly re-recruit people you already have. In recruiting, part of the process is taking time to explain why they should want to come work with you. This isn’t an activity only for recruits. Tell your people why they are valued, and make sure they understand why they should continue working with you.
Design security in from the start, so it improves speed. Help teams understand how to be secure, so security never slows them down. Empowering teams to use security tools themselves limits the risk of finding security issues too late in a release. Tools such as code review tools can be automated into every test pass during sprint team iterations. Leverage templates and scripts to ensure security controls are active and operating as expected.
Can you combine data you already have to create new value? Is there a business model hidden in what you discard? For example, we had years of enterprise sales opportunity data. We were about to purge it since all the opportunities were long past. Then we discovered the data was useful to train a machine-learning model that accurately predicted success of any new sales opportunities. This opened up many new ideas.
Historically, IT measured success using compliance, uptime, and delivery: on time, on scope, on budget. These are still worth tracking, but should not define success. It’s the wrong incentive for IT to deliver just what is asked of them. Instead, define success based on bona fide business improvement, not IT delivery. And measure end-to-end processes working as expected, not uptime of IT services.
Transformation is not going faster with the same historical IT practices, or getting more done by just working longer hours, or adding capacity with more lower cost resources. Don’t just overlay what teams knew historically on top of Agile practices. Using shorter waterfalls completely misses the point. Fundamental change is required. Dedicated coaches can help teams really transform faster.
An organizational newsletter is effective if it shares valuable information. Information and stories about successes set examples and give recognition to individuals, teams and divisions. Information about the work and projects of each division keeps everyone on the same team. Chronicling important events and examples reinforces culture. If employees read it, you have hit pay dirt.
The goal is to hold meetings that people feel are worthwhile. Be guided by the principle that everyone should gain something of value to do their job better. Meeting agendas should be shared beforehand, necessary information should be forwarded, and meetings should start on time. Meetings should be organized, follow the agenda, promote participation of all in attendance, and genuinely answer questions.
Building a culture of shared communication is not easy or quick. Many experiences in life have taught people to guard information; that information is power and is not to be shared. Leadership will have to deliberately work overtime and long-term to build an organizational culture that values and practices sharing information. A culture of shared information will empower each employee and the organization.
Build more effective business plans three ways; top down, bottom up and sideways. Use traditional top leadership involvement. Provide opportunities for people at the bottom to bubble up their ideas. Bring different divisions together to hear each other’s ideas and foment creative synergy. Have everyone answer, “Where have we been?” and “Where are we going?” Broader engagement strengthens buy-in and powers implementation.
Grow and promote your employees. This has a much higher return than hiring new employees. Retaining high-performing employees begets more high performers. Keep your eyes on your top achievers; others are trying to recruit them. Do your employees see a pathway to success and betterment? People want goals and pathways to get ahead.