Collaborative Digital Delivery
By Early Metrics Team - 12 October 2022
Early Metrics is proud to work with prestigious companies around the world to help boost their innovation efforts. One of these partners is Capgemini, a global leader in digital transformation, who we support with a range of tools that help corporate leaders to understand and leverage the start-up ecosystem.
This article delves deeper into the key aspects of collaborative digital delivery.
We spoke with Mac Grewal, Senior Software Engineer, and Les Jones, Technical Delivery Lead at Capgemini, about how a one-team approach can benefit both digital delivery and the end user.
Five key factors behind a successful one-team approach
A one-team approach is, put simply, a way of working that takes collaboration to the next level. Instead of a supplier and client working in parallel, the two parties come together as one team to work towards a common goal.
Whilst every relationship and scenario are different, there are numerous benefits and best practices to keep in mind if you truly want to embrace the ‘one team’ ethos.
1. Set the record straight at the beginning
Although not the most exciting part of a project, it’s arguably the most important one. How a contract is drafted will have a big impact on the collaboration journey. Encouraging autonomy and allowing for a certain amount of flexibility can positively impact results in the long run.
2. Work with a common vision and goal
This may seem like common sense, but surprisingly, many collaborations are filled with differing opinions and agendas. To truly work in a one-team way, ensure all goals and visions are agreed up front! By doing this, you will also encourage feedback, challenges, and suggestions from all team members regardless of hierarchy, as it’s already clear that you’re all on the same page.
3. Achieve efficiency through collaboration
“Working together as one team and sharing the workload means that as a team you can move forward much faster.” – Mac Grewal.
The world of teamwork has many contradictions, think ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ versus ‘many hands make light work’. In our opinion, collaboration between a varied team of invested individuals hits the sweet spot. A spectrum of expertise working together can boost efficiency, facilitating adaption to unexpected circumstances, along with providing more resource to speed up a project.
4. Promote inclusivity through collaboration
A one-team environment also often breaks down barriers and allows all employees, of all levels, to get involved. These varied perspectives and fresh views can have a powerful impact on a project. The stats speak for themselves, with one study showing that inclusive teams perform up to 30% better in high-density environments, and another finding that cognitive diversity can enhance team innovation by up to 20%.
5. Establish a disruptive environment
“You need the support from above so that people wanting to make change happen can do so successfully.” – Mac Grewal.
We’ve all heard of the ‘top-down’ versus ‘bottom-up’ debate in the workplace, and whilst we don’t like to sit on the fence, we genuinely believe that collaborative working requires a mix of both. The presence of a disruptive leader that empowers their team can spark impressive results alongside employees feeling they can voice their opinions and disrupt the status quo.
The importance of iteration and automation within digital services
The topics of iteration and automation were raised as we consider the role of a one-team environment within digital services.
Iteration must be consistent
“You built it, you run it.” – Les Jones
Wise words indeed! The DevOps approach enables a single team to handle a product’s entire lifecycle – if you build it, you need to run it. There are numerous benefits to this strategy, the big one being that a product is no longer developed and then passed to someone else to figure out how to operate it later. Instead, everything is dealt with upfront and developed as simply and efficiently as possible, because you know that you’ll be the one dealing with the consequences!
With this in mind, we cannot ignore the importance of continuous iteration and its impact on both the end user and digital team as monitoring and improvements are made during the lifecycle of the project. Over time, whilst iteration may slow down, it will never fully stop whilst the service is running. It is about adapting to change, bolstered by feedback from users which enables efficiency and fast-paced delivery at all stages of the development process.
Automate as much as possible
“By putting everything that we do into code and automating as much as possible, we are left with this question: “what is the human doing and what is the value in that manual activity?” – Les Jones.
As exciting and useful as automation can be, it does raise questions as to human interaction and their role. People should only be doing what cannot be automated. For example, despite the advance of technology, we are still a long way away from being able to recreate a human’s intelligence in all its depth. Therefore, many tasks require human intelligence to add value.
In fact, there are many instances where an automated task might benefit from a human touch, and the key is identifying where these opportunities lie. For all scenarios where a human approach is not essential, automation should be the go-to.
It’s all about the user
“The real passion comes from making the user’s life easier or enabling them to do something they couldn’t do before.” – Les Jones.
Whilst we could talk in great depth about automation and iteration bringing speed to digital delivery, this should not be the central focus. In the end, it’s all about the user. Therefore, whilst we should always seek to reduce development time, it should never come at the cost of usability for the user. Besides, it’s not about working harder, faster, or longer – it’s about working efficiently and achieving the best results.
How can innovative tech solutions support collaborative digital delivery?
As iteration and automation work to improve digital services, we also consider the huge role that innovative tech solutions have in enabling collaborative digital delivery. In fact, many solutions currently on the market empower teams to deliver digital products more efficiently while leveraging the benefits of a one-team approach.
Some good examples are:
- Cloud-based platforms for secure and accelerated software delivery that allow engineers to set up a secure artifact store quickly and in multiple formats
- Tools that allow developers to easily build and deploy code
- Smart text editors that streamline document workflow and improve productivity
Looking towards the future of collaborative digital delivery
So, the big question is, what’s next for the world of collaborative digital delivery? As we keep an eye on the market, several trends have started to emerge:
- Agile product management and software development
- Lean management
- DevOps and business process automation
- Diversity and inclusion within teams
The Agile Methodology is a big trend that is growing in popularity (Capgemini is also a big advocate). In fact, research shows that Agile adoption within software development teams increased from 37% in 2020 to 86% in 2021 and that 64% of companies now have significant experience with Agile. This can likely be attributed to the benefits Agile brings to the table: 2 out of 3 respondents identified management, visibility, and alignment as experiencing the strongest positive impact from the adoption of Agile approaches.
In the near future, we will likely see the continued adoption of these collaborative and flexible approaches to product development. The shift will continue to be driven by the desire to increase efficiency, reduce costs, improve end results, avoid unnecessary delays and ultimately, ensure customer satisfaction.
We’d like to thank Mac Grewal and Les Jones for their fantastic insight that has allowed us to write this article. If you’ve found it of interest, you can contact us here to find out more.