4 Ways To Transform Your Engineering Team
In this post, our Chief Technologist for Cloud Application Development, Samir Luheshi, shares four tactics you can use to transform your software engineering team and achieve greater business agility.
The ability to modernize and develop innovative applications are some of the key benefits that cloud transformation can provide your business. However, accessing these benefits requires a shift in how you organize your engineering teams, as well as the processes and tools that you use.
In 2020, cloud computing continues to be a major catalyst for innovation. In 2018, IDG conducted research that revealed 89 percent of organizations had plans to adopt a digital-first business strategy - fast forward two years later and analysts are predicting that 2020 will still see the rapid scaling of digital initiatives across industries.
This places CXOs and digital leaders in a stressful position. On the one hand, there is a very real imperative to modernize systems and culture in order to embrace the latest thinking and technology. On the other, there is the need to maintain systems of record, and minimize disruption to the existing (and usually profitable) business. This conflict exists on a cultural level as well: Traditional leaders are typically unfamiliar with the fast-paced modern engineering practices that favor agility and experimentation - “move fast and break things” - over long-running projects with a defined outcome.
The key to unpicking this dilemma is to focus on the concept of agility. A CXO or Digital Leader has to be open to organizational, process and technology change in regards to how their business develops, tests and operates software in pursuit of greater business agility.
Here are four tactics we’ve seen CXOs and Digital Leaders implement for a more agile software engineering organization/team:
- Organizational changes. Organizations must consider implementing modernization strategies that include the adoption of new technologies and architectural patterns coupled with the required organizational changes to enable a more agile software development life cycle. The resulting engineering teams are frequently described as DevOps, DevSecOps, 2 Pizza teams etc. Common to all of these teams is that they are responsible for the entire software development life cycle from requirements capture, architecture, build, test, maintenance, and operations.
- Leveraging CI/CD practices. Continuous integration/ continuous deployment can be enormously beneficial, making DevOps teams better equipped to release code frequently, securely and reliably. But adopting these practices can be harder than it sounds. It can often require a checklist of modern engineering approaches and practices to keep existing and new IT and development teams aligned. It’s also helpful to assign a project manager to ensure the transformation process is tightly orchestrated.
- Automate for value. The software development life cycle can often be painfully manual, especially where legacy systems are decades old. Utilizing CI / CD tools can enable automation of significant portions of the SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle). This not only makes for a more agile engineering team, it can also be a massive boost to the performance productivity of a software engineering organization/team.
- Find the data that matters. For developers, application analytics help to quickly predict and identify performance issues before they get to the end-user, while monitoring tools help to ensure the reliability of services by providing real-time visibility into the health of systems. For the C-suite, application analytics data can help prove the value of the new software features. It also enables the limited testing of new features using methodologies such as A/B testing, to justify further investment in new functionality.