This talk was presented during ThoughtWorks Converge - a platform for BAs, PMs and product management community to come together. The theme was Business Relevance, or how to make IT teams more closely aligned with business.
Text of Tactics to Infuse Business Relevance in IT Delivery Teams
InfusingBusinessRelevanceIn DeliveryTeams But the Developers hate IE! C O N V E R G E
WHY DO MOST SOFTWARE PROJECTS FAIL? 2 66% of all software projects over-run their budget 33% of all software projects do not finish as per time-lines 56% of all IT projects fail to achieve the desired business goals
WHILE BUSINESS EXPECTATIONS FROM IT FALL SHORT 3 For most Fortune 500 clients, IT spend as a percentage of revenue is declining, and spend on Innovation (cloud / mobile / data) is increase even as Business environment is uncertain
I.T. IS TOO FIXATED ON EXECUTION, MISSING THE BUS ON BUSINESS ALIGNMENT 4
FOCUS ON BUSINESS RELEVANCE CAN BE REWARDING 5 Shift focus from Delivering Projects to Creating Value Together Make your client look good in front of his management Deeper commitment and higher productivity from delivery teams
PRINCIPLES OF BUSINESS RELEVANCE 6 Empathy Business Context Customer Collaboration
EMPATHY 7 EMPATHY
TALES FROM THE TRENCHES 8 I like testing in Chrome, it is so much easier than doing it in IE - A developer Client is an auto-maker based in US mid-West and the application under development is targeted at business owners, most of them use IE exclusively.
TALES FROM THE TRENCHES 9 I will do it only if it is in SCALA - it will be so cool, all my colleagues will love me, I can blog about it and may be write a book on it Client wants the application in 4 weeks, has no SCALA skills, and even other people in our team have experience in Java or Ruby while Scala will require a learning curve
TALES FROM THE TRENCHES 10 I dont want to work on the Billing engine because it is legacy, can I please work on the mobile piece? The Billing engine directly impacts 80% of clients Top Line. The mobile app is a pilot by the marketing team
TALES FROM THE TRENCHES 11 Look, we signed up for 10 story points for this iteration. You cant tell us to add more at this hour. Clients job is on the line unless he can put up a feature live on the upcoming release ASAP.
A QUICK FAIL SAFE TEST FOR EMPATHY 13 Ben-Cohens test for Empathy: If your attention has a single focusyour current interest, goal, wish, or planwith no reference to another person or their thoughts or feelings, then your empathy is effectively switched off
WHAT YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE BY INCREASING YOUR EMPATHY SKILLS 14 Shared understanding of the project vision and scope Identify key client stakeholders and their motivations and drivers Be able to map out the client organizational structure Identify your champions and detractors Understand how client perceives your organization Most important: Socialize these to the delivery team and get to a shared understanding with the delivery team
DONT JUST MAP EMPATHY, SHARE IT WITH TEAM 15 http://idocare4design.wordpress.com/2013/08/02/toolkit-empathize-and-define- via-dtactionlab/
FOR EXAMPLE 16 Disorganized day care Patients are sent back Figure out the cause Attending lot of calls Overseeing all IT func of hospital Knows problems exist Needs us to identify root cause Need to spend time in Day care Interview team at ground level
17 (STAKEHOLDER) RGCI IT Head (a detailed-oriented person) (PROBLEM / NEED) needs a way to optimally utilize day care beds (INSIGHT) because more cancer patients need to be served EXAMPLE PROBLEM STATEMENT
DONT JUST MAP EMPATHY, SHARE IT WITH TEAM 18 It is no point keeping these insights in a file no one will refer to; socialize the learning with the wider team and discuss how it impacts your project approach.
19 GAINING BUSINESS CONTEXT
WHY IS CONTEXT IMPORTANT? 20
THINGS YOU WANT TO ACHIEVE 21 Understand the Client Business Be aware of the industry trends that could influence your client business. Have an informed opinion on the technology trends that could affect the technology landscape at your client. Be aware of industry accepted best practices and their implications. Invest in domain capabilities where critical Offer insights to client based on experience from similar projects being done in your organization
DOMAIN KNOWLEDGE IS NO LONGER OPTIONAL 22
INDUSTRY BEST PRACTICES GO A LONG WAY 23
ENSURE MULTI-LEVEL STAKEHOLDER SESSIONS 24 Informal sessions to discuss industry trends and technology trends. Develop / Hire Domain Specialists Talent Time-off from projects for self-learning and innovation Get external specialists and clients for workshops
QUESTION MORE: THE FIVE WHY FRAMEWORK 25
STRUCTURING DELIVERY TEAMS : WHAT WORKS? 26
USE SOCIAL MEDIA WITHIN TEAMS 27
CHANGE THE DEFINITION OF DONE 28
GETTING CUSTOMER COLLABORATION RIGHT 30 Delivery Excellence Empathy Driven Relationship Business Context Customer Collaboration Cant happen without getting the basics right!!
CUSTOMER COLLABORATION WHAT IS THIS? 31 The state where client is looking at you as a partner, with equal or more capability and a shared understanding of their business needs; if you are here, Congratulate yourself!!