The aim of this article is to communicate our manifesto, fostering a mutual understanding of our expertise. Moreover, we will delve into the key lessons learned throughout our journey, explaining the evolution of our approach.
"Manifesto: A public declaration of policy and aims."
"To be a global leader in developing and designing software applications through innovative people , processes , and tools . To disseminate our knowledge and empower our partner organisations' innovations in developing and designing software applications through education and support."
Historically, we've focused on Processes and Tools, but customer feedback emphasised the value our team bring. Our processes and tools play a vital role in empowering these individuals. Recently, we've incorporated Education and Support into our mission, recognising the importance of equipping customers with the knowledge to utilise these resources, especially since most of a software's lifecycle is spent in production.
"Balanced with Direction: We recognise when something is out of balance and we have the courage to change direction.
Play with Purpose: Through experimentation we can play with purpose and unleash our creativity."
Mastery with Practice: Through practice we gain knowledge, but through teaching and sharing this knowledge we can attain mastery.
Connection with Empathy: Our culture thrives when our connections are nurtured and strong."
A pivotal insight we've gleaned is the importance of balance. Applying pressure on our team to meet deadlines results in compromised quality, lowered morale, and increased turnover, a short term gain which ultimately everyone pays for down the track.
"A squad is a cross-functional team that is self-organising and empowered . They follow the Way of Working but are free to experiment with new processes and tools that are suited for their current project(s).
The optimal squad comprises a Squad Lead, Solution Architect, Product Designer, Software Developers, and a DevOps Developer. While each project dictates the specific ratio and contribution of each role, representation at all stages minmises handovers to maximise knowledge."
We've tried a lot of team structures and found that these roles are best balanced for commercial project output and to minimise risk and maintain quality.
"A track denotes specialisation into leadership, design, development, or devops. It unifies similar roles in a squad for best practice sharing and peer feedback. Despite track affiliations, once in a cross-functional team, squads self-organise, utilising all skills."
This is important as it provides customer with input from the wider pool of experience and also shared standards and best practice to follow at a skillset level.
"Individuals are encouraged to excel in their roles through project experience and leadership discussions, while also exploring various company roles throughout their career journey.
Other company roles include:
An Account Manager acts as the project's guide they manage expectations early by educating product owners.
Employee Experience is central to empowering and inspiring employees to excel. They nurture a culture of collaboration, innovation, and ongoing enhancement.
A Product Owner is the customers visionary and drives the direction of the project. They ensure standards are met by working with the team approving checkpoints along the journey."
We've found that the best account managers come from senior leadership as oppossed to commission based sales people. Therefore, all account management is done by the senior leadership team/partners. Ontop of this it's vital that the team have HR support and a single product owner to work with.
"Our Way of Working (WoW) is the ever-evolving framework for our software development lifecycle, which includes practicing Jidoka, or automation with a human touch.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) detail complex tasks within WoW, acting as a shared responsibility to keep processes updated and accurate with checklists for quality assurance.
The Activity Kit, curated by all tracks, offers tools for problem-solving at all project stages.
BotCamp promotes continuous learning and experience sharing, supporting our mission statement.
The Battleboard is our primary planning tool, integrating sales, projects, and squads to visually represent the current state of play and ensuring squads have time to recuperate between projects.
Information Security Management System (ISMS) ensures our ISO27001 security accreditation. We also use external frameworks like PRINCE2 , TOGAF , and other ISO/IEC standards as part of our compliance, detailed in our ISMS."
A key learning we've made it not to prescribe our process but work to our customer standard and focus quality. We dont claim to have mastered every process or standard but ensure we're practicing and evolving.
"Codebots is a innovative platform engineering tool that is used by a squad to deliver projects. We built this tool ourselves and it is the vehicle for us to operate on the world stage and fulfil our mission statement. It represents a mix of model-driven engineering and augmented intelligence, and is the future of software development. Codebots capabilities empower us to excel in the landscape of digital transformation and legacy systems, marking a significant leap forward in the way we approach and execute software projects.
GitLab is an innovative tool that provides an integrated and simple approach to CI/CD plus many other project related tasks. DevOps will heal the world."
All other technologies, frameworks, and languages that are present in either greenfield or brownfield projects are embraced. If we do not embrace them, we cannot modernise them or experiment with the leading edge of technology. We would eventually get left behind and be out of balance. Squads must be empowered to create a codebot in these technology stacks and not constrained in their choices.
We've learned that we cannot prescibe a technology stack, we certainly have built in a lot of value within certain reuse of standard technologies from Codebots, however it's more important to embrace new technologies within the toolset. Things move fast in our world.
I hope this has framed the why, what and how of our intention. Given this framing, we next move onto how our people, tools and processes can help you.