What drives success in innovation?
With our full-spectrum Innovation Amplifier, we benchmark your business environment, team experience, process maturity, architecture, and code quality. We help you and your teams create achievable improvement plans for higher innovation speed.
In search of better profitability, many organisations have tried to adopt an agile way of working. More often than not, agile transformation projects do not bring the expected gains. A typical root cause for a failed transformation is that the focus was only on “ways of working” and only involved the software team.
In practice, innovation speed depends on multiple factors that can strengthen or weaken each other. Balanced team experience, stability, and lean/agile processes form the basis, but no team can be productive in a business environment lacking direction. Context switches and high work-in-progress drain the output of the group. Furthermore, no team can be highly innovative in a large code base with low quality. Technical debt is a productivity killer.
Drivers for successful innovations are:
- Teams that can focus, guided by clear priorities, direction and achievable goals
- Clear organization, roles, and responsibilities, aligned incentives
- Skilled, trained & motivated people
- Systematically “sharpening the saw”
- Lean quality system and processes
- Great tools and
- (Re)usable platform assets conforming to a lean but solid architecture
We provide a benchmark against industry best practices and help you understand the areas of focus to achieve higher innovation power at the right cost. With our all-round Innovation Amplifier we provide a Business environment scan, an Architecture & code quality assessment and a Team experience & process maturity scan, through 5 steps:
- Discovery Dialogs, we start with a fact-finding phase in which we collect basic information about the business environment, team experience, process maturity, and architecture & code quality through dialog and assessments.
- Preliminary Insights, based on the input gathered during the discovery dialogs, we share our initial observations, ideas, and recommendations.
- Team Growth Conversations, firmly grounded in agile fluency diagnostic (see below), we engage in conversations with the teams, listening, understanding, and unlocking their creativity.
- Final Recommendations, in which we present our final report, but this is not the last step! It is important that teams us our recommendations as guidance for their own improvement plans. This stimulates ownership.
- Power Pitches, in which teams showcase improvement plans and align with business stakeholders.
We have experienced that autonomy and self-direction are crucial in sustaining a transformation. We have embraced agile fluency diagnostics workshops as a vital component in helping teams identify the most significant and achievable improvements.
Business environment scan
In our evaluation of the business environment, we look at how well the context of the development team helps or hinders innovation success. In many organisations, the portfolio is allowed to increase without restriction, while development pending is expected to decrease. This imbalance needs to be recognised and restored. Furthermore, in search of profitability, many innovation initiatives run parallel, slowing every individual project down. We look at all these aspects, helping executives make choices to optimize portfolio profitability:
- How is the profitability of a new business opportunity requiring software determined?
- Are the business drivers in line with the organisational capabilities?
- How are different business opportunities requiring software effort ranked against each other to optimize business outcomes?
- Are commitments to customers made in alignment with the commitments of the R&D team?
- Is a market/product roadmap available?
- Is a platform roadmap available?
Architecture & code quality assessment
Technical debt in architecture and code is a significant inhibitor to innovation speed. There are many factors why software teams struggle to constructively address this with executive management, which we talked about in this conference talk.
Our technical assesment includes two components.
With our partner, TIOBE, we offer a software code quality assessment service based on the official ISO/IEC 25010 standard on software product quality.
In our architecture assessment we address questions such as
- What is the architecture platform strategy?
- What are the most important architectural drivers?
- To what extent does the architecture platform strategy support the marketing & service roadmap?
- What are critical architecture problems?
We are hands-on, and can help your software architects translate their core problems to executive management
Team experience & process maturity scan
Ways of working and processes are critical elements to innovation success. The agile manifesto brought us iteration, but sometimes at the cost of design upfront and healthy consolidation. If you double your team in one year under project delivery pressure, chances are you will not see the benefits. Fred Brooks spoke about that in the mythical man-month, but too often, revenue and cost pressures are so high development teams grow or shrink in ways that result in high inefficiencies.
In our team experience & process maturity scan we address questions such as:
- How experienced is the team? How much code does the team maintain and how does this benchmark against the industry?
- What ‘hard skills’ and best practices in system and software engineering are actively in use.
- What is the current level in software delivery? What are the main impediments for the team to improve quality and speed?
- How can the team take more ownership and continuously drive towards better and faster software delivery?