Scaling organizations requires careful attention to a company’s core principals and the way their teams work. Unfortunately, all too often, as organizations grow, departments begin to operate in silos and are plagued by inefficiencies that kill morale and grind product delivery to a halt. From past experience, I’ve learned that the key to achieving next-level delivery velocity is an environment in which empowered employees thrive, and that requires leadership focus across three key areas.
1. Hire Smart People and Get Out of the Way
Leverage lean and agile methodologies to remove organizational barriers that result in waste. Establish small teams with ownership and accountability from idea to delivery. Encourage teams to leverage the best technology and processes to maximize delivery of value to the business — avoid one-size-fits-all models that cater to the average and give teams access to tools and resources they need to succeed.
2. Establish a Culture of Continuous Improvement
Embrace rapid learning through shorter cycles and continuous delivery pipelines. Encourage teams to identify impediments and allow for time and assistance to get them resolved. Leverage the aggregation of marginal gains to receive exponential returns with minimal investment.
3. Optimize for the System
Establish mechanisms for transparency of the portfolio, risks and alignment to ensure that teams are optimizing for the throughput of the system and not any one individual part. Minimize short-term actions that impact long-term velocity and tackle technical debt that has the potential to expand. Measure everything and establish a core set of KPIs that drive to the largest gains in velocity.
When done right, operating at internet scale can create an environment where groups of ‘critical thinkers’ start each and every day excited about working together to make the world a better place for themselves and their customers.
As VP of Engineering, Andrew is responsible for the delivery of the core services powering SilverRail’s travel technology. He has over 20 years of experience building high performing teams and innovative SaaS solutions. He’s served in senior leadership positions with Oracle, Phase Forward, Groove Networks and ScanSoft, where he’s applied his deep technical background with lean processes to create award-winning products and workplaces.