Implementing and Reviewing Roadmaps: Strategies for Transparency and Alignment
20 April, 2022
As Chief Technology Officer, a key responsibility is to scale-up organizations and product engineering teams. However, this cannot be done without successful implementation of certain roadmaps in order to create transparency to our stakeholders, while also aligning with our teams.
Going from small single-teams of less than 10 individuals, to something around 100 is a huge undertaking for product scale engineering teams It can be successful if you actively seek to combat future challenges that will arise.
Scaling from single-team to multiple-team is, in itself, a challenge because you need to be able to understand how they work together while maintaining organization. Miscommunication without common objectives, or even conflicting objectives, can oftentimes lead to delivery challenges. Recognizing these differences can help create structure within a company.
It is of the essence of success to be able to maintain culture and to grow multidisciplinary teams. You need just the right blend of diversity in skills and background to recognize potential within your teams. Certain structures put into place will allow you to do just that. And then, higher level challenges come around that surfaces what the organizational processes might look like that will allow multiple teams to own different objectives. Identifying these objectives can allow processes to be made that allow various roadmaps to become aligned.
Creating Structures Every Step of the Way
It is vital to be able to create structures and implement processes that help align with what your engineering teams are up against. It is not only necessary, but strategic to pay a lot of attention to defining the objectives that will overall help your teams in order to create roadmaps.
The post hiring process is not a done deal. Having a sense of what progression will look like within an organization means investing in engineers, product, and product design. It is key to always build a progression framework to be able to define objectives for your teams. Review that and make sure individuals understand what is next for them. Instill a forward momentum for your teams while putting emphasis on the learning and developmental opportunities that actually do that.
Roadmap to Success
Implementing a roadmap will help enable successful routes for your team’s and company goals. Not only will it help stakeholders with visibility of business needs, but it will help identify what the objectives are for everyone involved. It is important to find a way to define an intended structure for your product engineering teams, now and in the future, so that people within the team as well as new hires can understand the mission and what day-to-day expectations might look like.
Roadmaps keep everyone involved aligned with the intended outcome. This will only help streamline productivity within your teams when you have a specific, mapped out plan with processes accessible to all.
If there is an unclear expectation or blockage for any member within a team this can lead to a halt in productivity, and leaves room for alternate pathways. You want a direct pathway to your end goal with resources and processes available to help increase outcomes of success.
Invest in Hiring Processes
Invest heavily in your hiring processes so that it will test for a good fit within your organization. Develop strong hiring structures and keep reviewing them as your company grows. My experience is that your goal is to keep working at the picture of a puzzle and refining your view of how to continue to build up your organization. It is not just a one-time plan that will be put in place, it is a continuous and evolving process that should be constantly developing with each new moment in time.
Reviewing roadmaps and maintaining a level of alignment within teams can ultimately stem from keeping team culture intact; talk about values, explicitly values that your people are aligned with. Have open discussion about company values and principles, document them, and open source them to the team so that everyone has some input in regards to their values.
When you invest in the hiring process, you are investing in your team, which essentially means investing in your overall outcomes. There is so much to be said about defining your mission from the start and who can really fulfill that; hire for potential, train for skill.
Diversity Within Your Teams
Additionally, there is a multitude of diversity that can really be helpful within an organization. In my current company there are a range of about 24 different nationalities, with different mother tongues, and a mix of 50/50 males and females, as well as non-career engineers. This contributes to defining team objectives because you are bringing people together who are not homogenous, opening up for more conversation and diverse communication within teams.
I think that diversity is one of those things where it helps your company embody inclusivity, and when your people feel included and a part of the team, productivity is definitely higher. Diversity is expansive and sets you on a track for a world of success.
To find alignment within your company, and therefore align your teams with the goal it is important to bring in a variety of diverse backgrounds to help share in the maintenance of company culture. Culture keeps your company defined holistically, aligned, and on a certain pathway to achieve your desired outcomes.
Things to Consider for Strategic Implementation
- Every moment in time is different. There will be different economic conditions, industries, etc. and your market for engineers will vary. Create processes and structures to that moment in time, and actively refine them. We went from working in a brick and mortar, to being completely remote and having people from Bulgaria, Austria, Spain, Portugal, France — our processes are built around that. You don’t just adapt to the change, you make it the norm and constantly invest in your processes and framework by reviewing their current relevance to your teams.
- Invest your own time in the hiring processes. Use examples and transform them to work through your own context. Actively seeking to review and improve strategies before, and long after the hiring process, will help create more efficiency.
- Build a network. Take stock in listening to how others are dealing with their unique challenges because communication is valuable. Work with the business and establish partnerships that enable growth and more capacity for development. As you and your company are growing, building a network can also help your stakeholders truly understand your roadmap.
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