One of the challenges for me when working with customers is getting them to think about how to change their software process. Often they want to solve their problems, but no one wants to alter the way they work. Whether that's the protocol for capturing code or managing servers, it seems that changing the way we work is hard for many people. They want everyone else to change. Or they want a magic tool that solves problems without them changing the way they work.
Unfortunately, I'm not a magician.
This is a common problem in many organizations. We want to be more efficient and effective, but actually changing our habits and culture is hard. Management should lead the charge, and they want to, but they can struggle with how to do this. Often they focus on changing technology, and not actually improving the way their company works.
There's an interesting article on digital transformations and whether the efforts are worth the investment. In many companies, someone makes a good argument for a course of action or a project and then drives it. Others participate, but often a person pushes this forward, usually because they have some stake in the outcome. A bonus, a reputation, or just pride, whatever matters to them becomes the reason for continuing, even if there isn't enough value from the effort. This can be because of an institutional culture that wants to finish projects, wants to find some success in a course of action. Whether a human or an organization, pride and inertia often keep us moving forward, often without any other support or analysis of how well things are progressing.
Effective dashboards enable everyone to see current status and progress, and to make better course corrections, helping to move from a command-and-control model to a coach-and-communication orientation. Many organizations have adopted KPIs, dashboards, and other ways to analyze parts of the business, but this isn't always something we do well in software development. We tend to look at metrics that management cares about, and on which we are measured, rather than metrics that might help us improve how we work.
Part of digitally transforming a business is also transforming how technology is used. Part of that is us, as technologists, learning to be better and more effective. Whether this is in development or operations, we can often improve how we function. We need coaching, and in many orgs, that coaching has to come from within, from the people in a team asking others to do better. And to allow others to ask us to do better .
Coaching is often teaching from a different perspective. It's helping someone see what they don't see themselves. This might be new knowledge, but many times it's just reminding the individual of something they know, but aren't doing. As we are asked to do more, be open to coaching and be willing to help coach others. Become a role model that helps transform how your organization uses technology.