Your corporate efficiency. A work in progress?
Your business. Meant to be a single, cohesive whole, with all parts working together towards a common goal. However, the truth is even smaller businesses are a collection of individuals and departments, and the greater good of the company is often subverted by intra-organizational efficiency gaps, mostly caused by silo orientation or by cultural circumstances. If these quotes sound familiar, do not hesitate to get in touch to address your collaboration challenges, together.
"Lack of alignment between tech and business specialists & leaders"
"Disconnected end-to-end development process?"
"Rework and wasted effort, caused by poor communication"
"Poor visibility into bottlenecks and dependencies"
"Unpredictable delivery, impacting business objectives"
"Innovation stifled by technical debt and poor quality"
Our value & approach
- Reducing time-to-value and managing risk
- Propagating multidisciplinary fusion teams
- Doing the hard things first
- Identifying and mitigating operational inefficiencies
IT & Business gap. Towards a fusion team.
How many times have you heard a variation of “Business and IT need to work better together”? That piece of advice contains one of the most important challenges companies face to uphold their competitive edge.
Even Agile offers no universal cure for collaboration challenges: beyond the surface of closer cooperation between business and IT, traditional role patterns often remain dominant and inefficiencies unresolved. Therefore, vital time is still wasted and the issue persists to varying degrees. We call it the IT & business gap.
Diving in, remarkable consensus is observed in the proposed solutions. For example this insightful McKinsey assessment starts at the higher level of organizational adaptations. But eventually it all comes down to one common denominator: growing interdisciplinary competencies in your team is key. It is even declared a core-value of Agile 2 (#4). This diagnosis is the easy part, unfortunately: growing this true mix of IT and domain expertise requires abundant experience, intrinsic motivation, and time. Much needed and hard to come by competencies.
Since our founding in 2008 we have been living the "crossroads of IT and business", and are therefore uniquely positioned to help out. First, our developers all bring scientific backgrounds to the table: we understand abstractions, complex analysis, and computational challenges. We translate ideas and conceptual algorithms into efficient software solutions, in a variety of industries. Second, our developers bring the interdisciplinary skills required to overcome the gap: going beyond the tech, to seamlessly liaise with all of your stakeholders.
The mission is to reduce time-to-value and manage risk in digital business initiatives. As boundaries between IT and the rest of the business are blurring at an accelerated rate, we actively propagate and help establishing multidisciplinary fusion teams that focus on business outcomes. To achieve this, we participate in your team, share our knowledge and introduce our best practices. The hands-on approach: walking-the-walk with your staff to cross the divides together and advancing your efficiency in the process.
Human skills & experience
- Soft skills
- Operating on both sides of the aisle, constantly
- Balancing seemingly conflicting interests and acting as effective liaisons
- Conscientiously influencing stakeholders in their decision-making processes
- Pursuing your autonomy: to let you assume ownership with confidence
- Industry experience
- High-tech, automotive
- Finance and insurance (banking & regulatory)
- Energy, maritime and offshore
- Domain abstraction capabilities
- Quickly grasping domain-specific concepts and gladly jumping in
- Undaunted by domain jargon and quickly finding our way
- Used to abstractions and quickly gravitating to solutions
- Software and IT proficiencies
- Understanding IT concerns like security, quality, and access control
- Proficiency in Python, MATLAB, Julia, C++, C
- Operating all-round: from large OO designs to generated code
- Full-stack capabilities: front & backends, (web)apps and deployment
- Assisting both IT and the business, for as long as required
Domain experts & developers gap. Towards 'do the hard things first'.
Another frequently observed and partly-overlapping dimension of collaboration discord is the domain experts & developers’ gap. From ideation to production, worlds of domain experts and developers often collide, even if your developers reside within the business. This invariably results in the same-old symptoms: diminished efficiency and loss of precious time.
The domain experts group generalizes to anyone who codes quick and dirty to explore, like data analysts and scientists. They just want to get their stuff done, perhaps with code, but they do not really care. The software developers however care deeply about the code, but often do not fully understand the science, even if they reside in the same business units. This is often compounded by time constraints, prohibiting developers to grow the knowledge required. A cultural gap also known as the two-culture / two-languages problem.
Concepts built in spreadsheets, or handed over in quick and dirty pieces of code. Pragmatic and fast, often without documentation or design. Even put into production despite the obvious risks, we have seen it more than once. We participated in many migration projects, to mature and productize such prototypes, retroactively.
Source: Matthijs Cox - the Scientfic Coder.
Also here, the driver is to reduce time-to-value. To achieve this we promote and guide the unification of prototyping and production environments, to start a new culture right in the middle. This allows you to start tackling the hardest things first and to smoothen your path from ideation to production, for current and future projects. On the way to improved efficiency.
- Identify the most suitable (mix of) languages to implement for production
Pursue the proof-of-concept approach where possible:
- Identify and tackle the hardest things first, at the conceptual level
- Derive feasible designs and build skeletons for validation
- Thereby proving solution intents at an early stage, end-to-end
Optimize for scalability and performance, from inception:
- Isolate and optimize performance-critical components
- Involve end-users and IT from the outset
Value stream management. Towards improved operations.
Gartner defines a value stream as “the sequence of activities necessary to deliver a product, service or experience to a customer, internal or external”.
Beyond development and deployment, efficiency gaps exist as well on the operational end. These are addressed with Value stream management, or VSM in short. VSM is a set of practices that improve the way DevOps teams deliver experiences, focusing on two things: how quickly requested features or updates are delivered and whether the value is realized from those changes. Value streams include every touchpoint on the journey from idea generation to delivery of value to customers.
Many companies suffer from lack of visibility and comprehensive reporting, especially those that are highly matrixed. Value stream management solutions cut through silos, pulling together disparate data to provide you with the metrics you need and actionable insights. Common problems addressed by VSM include:
- Slow delivery of bug fixes and new features or products
- DevOps teams are not delivering as effectively as desired
- Lack of visibility throughout the organization due to silos and disparate data
We use VSM to improve and optimize your DevOps delivery experience, mitigating the operational collaboration challenges we encounter often. This starts with value stream mapping, a visual collaboration technique used to describe value streams by identifying and analyzing the flow of activities required to deliver a product or service to a customer. These analyses reveal dependencies, inefficiencies, and waste. From there, we help you addressing the challenges, moving from your process current-state to the desired-state, step by step.