If we look at traditional organisation these normally have a structure or organogram in the shape of a rake. They usually have a number of operational departments with a number of staff departments above them. A HRM department, account management, product management, marketing & communication, finance & control and ICT.
In addition, ICT often also consists of various departments: Functional Application Management, Technical Management, Middleware, Infra, Network, Software Development, Test and a Service desk.
On top of all these departments there is also the Board of Directors and if we are “lucky” there is also a Supervisory Board.
All these departments have their own tasks, responsibilities, targets and ambitions. They all have their own processes in order to work as efficient as possible. Within the walls of such a department everything is normally organised properly, but once something goes beyond the own department, problems often occur.
Colleagues from the same department often have insufficient insight into what their direct colleagues are doing, let alone that they know what the work entails of a colleague from another department! Mutual understanding is therefore limited and the interests of the other person is often unknown.
In addition, you also regularly see that the interest of the person and/or department is considered to be more important than the ultimate target: a satisfied customer.
And as icing on the cake, everyone from each department believes that they know exactly what the customer really wants. After all we are professional, right?!
The shortest possible Time to Market, providing Value, perfect service and quality. That are the key issues for most organisations. And despite the fact that we are all professionals, there are plenty of organisations that are struggling. They find it difficult to provide real added value to their customer. And especially if this must be done rapidly.
How can you as a traditional rake organisation ensure that you stay ahead of your competitors? That a short Time to Market is realised, that added value is provided to the customer, as well as good service and high-quality products? It almost seems impossible!
Luckily very good steps have been made with the arrival of DevOps to quickly deliver high-quality products to the customer. Little empires within the ICT department are demolished. Teams are formed with all the necessary expertise or in other words: multidisciplinary teams.
These self-steering and self-organising teams of Jack of all trades, are responsible for a product. And indeed the entire lifecycle of the product. They do this in close cooperation with the Product owner who in turn represents the interests of the customer. Many repetitive, manual actions are automated to ensure that the risk of making errors are minimised and processes run faster. All in all very good, important steps.
But to be of real value to your customer, you must also involve the rest of the organisation. The little empires in the other departments must also be demolished and you must set up the organisation as value chains.
A value chain is the entire process from idea to actual product. And really everything, also the ancillary activities, that concerns the realisation of the product.
The elaboration of the idea, market research, SWOT analysis, funding, compliance with law and legislation, and eventually the construction of the product.
A value chain is therefore a lot more than just a DevOps team with a Product owner who jointly build something. All experts within a value chain are jointly responsible for that one product and that one ultimate target: providing value to the customer.
Also make HRM part of this value chain so the HRM officer knows exactly what is involved in the daily activities of the Product owner, Software Developer, Tester, Account Manager and Controller. The HRM officer sees immediately what is required to optimise the work of this direct colleague.
But this also applies vice versa. Because HRM or a controller, or whoever, is part of this value chain, mutual understanding is created and they all see the challenges that the other person is facing and can actually assist with this. A developer sees that the HRM process is inefficient and can accelerate this process by adjusting the HRM application, for example. This might not be a correct example because it does not directly provide added value to the customer, but indirectly it has indeed impact on the customer. Because if the HRM officer can do his job properly, it also effects the rests of the team. A motivated team that feels good about themselves and can properly perform their work eventually ensure positive results and therefore a satisfied customer. And that is of course our ultimate goal!
IT is rapidly developing itself. New tools, methods and techniques are rapidly coming towards us. In addition, the demands of users and consumers are also getting higher. The system or the software must always and in particular work properly. IT is becoming more and more a commodity. Just like water from the tap or electricity from the socket.
Yes, the time has come again. The last quarter of the year has started and therefore it is time for the appraisals. I can already see all the postings on LinkedIn. Did you demonstrate the desired behaviour? Will you get that salary increase now?