By Sundeep Singh, Digital Service Manager working at Co-operative Trading Group
How do you keep your teams happy and performing well whilst balancing busy workloads, priorities and keeping up with demands of transformation and change? Start with culture.
More and more IT service teams are working closer with those developing products and services through use of digital technology, which require a way of working that might feel different to what teams are traditionally used to. It is therefore, important that service teams can adapt how they operate, in order to incorporate some of these new ways of working, such as – Agile, DevOps, and Lean principles and techniques, to support the delivery of these services.
It’s about the customer experience
At Co-op Digital, we create innovative products that help solve business problems. IT services play a big part in helping improve customer satisfaction ensuring the best possible experience for users who interact with these products, whilst addressing any issues that may arise that could impact this experience.
For this to work effectively, IT service teams must work closely with product development and some typical challenges they might face are with collaboration, process, and the effort spent on manual repetitive work.
To improve this, you should look to:
- Build a positive working culture
- Use “minimal viable processes” to get things done
- Visualise workloads with other teams
- Automate where possible
By starting with the above, it means that service teams are able to better align and collaborate with others – not only helping improve performance, but in continuing to fulfill business demand and focus on providing value for users.
New ways of working allow us to think and view things holistically, collaborate, promote visibility and create more frequent and shorter feedback loops so that our teams can progress iteratively (using the ITIL4 guiding principles). Having lean processes means that we can adapt and make changes to improve when things are not working, very quickly.
Start with team culture
Building and embedding a positive culture within your teams begins with trust within your teams and it is definitely worth spending time on this. To create a culture whereby sharing, transparency and empathy is the foundation, could be as simple as introducing flexible over-fixed 121s, having “walk-and-talks” or encouraging remote working. Getting to know your teams and creating a safe and blame-free environment, empowering people to make decisions and offering input on process is critical for creating the space to learn quickly and thrive.
It can take time to familiarise with some concepts as they may feel like a shift from how teams currently work, but taking small steps and investing in building an environment that encourages open and honest feedback can result in many benefits – one of the most important being a happier workforce, which has been proven to improve productivity by 12%.
Want to hear more?
To hear more about our service teams’ journey and the challenges we faced as we evolved from a traditional IT service set up to a model that encourages new ways of working – including practical tips and takeaways for your own teams – then join our session at SDI20. Hope to see you there!