The fourth pillar of an Engineering Culture
An Engineering Culture consists of eight pillars. The fourth pillar is called Epic Work Environment. It is one of the most important aspects of an Engineering Culture. As the term indicates, an epic work environment starts with a group of professionals behaving in a certain matter, thereby living a culture.
Some companies still see the IT department as a cost center, not as a business accelerator. But since every company is an IT company this mindset is rather outdated. IT is the business, and IT people have certain “peculiar” thoughts and requirements about their work environment. And to have people maximally engaged to let them add maximum value to the (their) business, this work environment needs to be enabled.
To achieve this epic work environment multiple aspects have to be nurtured:
- People First: hire the right people and trust them that they know what they are doing.
- Equip your people with the tools they need and have them get (buy) all the knowledge they need to stay on par with current technology. Knowledge being books, visiting conferences, or attending a training or meetup.
- Use up-to-date technology: especially in the cloud, you will be forced to stay on par. This will force you not to create huge workloads of technical dept. Yes, there will be technical dept, but not the kind of unsupported frameworks.
- Bridge the gap between the business and IT. Give IT a seat at the table; yes, IT can spend a limitless budget, but make a joint decision on what’s needed to mitigate an acceptable amount of risk for the business. Make sure IT understands the business and, even more important, the business understands and trusts IT. Create a culture that embraces, celebrates, and learns from mistakes. Create an environment that empowers both IT and business.
The bonuses of an Epic Work Environment
Achieving an epic work environment will come with bonuses:
- You will attract new talent that will be inspired by the technology used and the colleagues they will be working with. However: be keen on who to hire; Culture is a team effort and a bad hire might ruin the entire team.
- Your talent will stick around longer. With the current generation, you will do an amazing job if they stay for more than a year.
- Business and IT will have a priceless dialog on the next steps. IT will be proud of regular releases showing the business they can react quickly to new business needs.
- If you empower IT, they will achieve higher quality (‘State of the art Software Engineering’ and ‘Smooth Delivery’), reducing the number of incidents, reducing time needed to test by the business, and shortening time to market for new business ideas.
Sounds too good to be true? Maybe.. take a leap of faith, hire real talent, empower them and find out.
PS: have them coached and trained by the talented crew of Xpirit! 😉
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