Cloud computing and digital transformation have accelerated the pace of change and companies’ embrace of new technologies. Yet many enterprises still struggle to generate business value from their transformation, a discouraging outcome considering the time and resources these projects require. To deliver the advantage companies expect, they must take a comprehensive approach that inspires teams and enables innovation. This, in turn, will empower the business to imagine new ways to deliver customer value and ignite transformation success. A critical first step is adopting mastery framework.
Transformation Success Factors and the Mastery Framework
Having spent many years partnering with global enterprises on their transformation initiatives, Wipro analyzed lessons from our global engineering teams to identify five success factors that inspire teams and drive innovation through technology, thus delivering a positive impact on digital transformations. These factors are:
Based on these factors, we developed a Mastery Framework that focuses on promoting a High Performance Software Engineering (HPSE) culture that emphasizes a growth mindset, promotes innovation, and enables engineers to move toward professional mastery. This framework has helped numerous companies accelerate value-based delivery.
Driving the HPSE Culture
Software often determines business outcomes, which means organizational performance is driven by the speed at which software is delivered. Providing value at speed requires a comprehensive transition – one that the Mastery Framework can enable by integrating talent transformation and delivery transformation .
While adopting the framework, engineering teams are continuously coached on cross-functional collaboration, fearless experimentation, upskilling, cross skilling, reskilling, community contributions, and value delivery. In a nutshell, the framework nurtures engineers in the HPSE culture.
HPSE culture is important because modern businesses need to go to market quickly, possibly revising the idea along the way to keep pace with changes in customer expectations. This is not possible unless and until engineering teams are flexible, adaptable, and ready to move out of their comfort zone quickly and iteratively. The Mastery Framework promotes this culture by providing six dimensions to build high-performing software-engineering teams that excel in these highly agile environments.
Six Dimensions of the Mastery Framework
Adopting the six HPSE dimensions requires a transformation in the way people work, including process and technology. Ideally, each engineers’ engagement and contribution toward the framework is measured by engineering managers, coaches, and guild leads. The HPSE coach drives the Mastery Framework adoption, working with guild leads across talent and delivery to drive value-based objectives and key results. Here’s how each dimension should function and be evaluated.
Figure: Wipro’s HPSE 6 Dimensions for the Mastery Framework
Guild Meetup: A Guild is synonymous with a community of practice. Engineering teams across the organization meet every month to discuss best practices and emerging trends, and to conduct working sessions to solve business or technical problems. Guild leaders volunteer on a rotating basis to anchor the meetups, with meeting impact based on facets such as engineers’ participation & contribution , the number of reusable assets shared, and the number of interventions added to the product backlog. The Guild delivers value by innovating better products, services through cognitive diversity in the community, breaking silos across organization, and leading to products released to the market sooner by removing duplication of efforts.
Hackathon: Hackathons provide engineers time and space for innovation. The HPSE coach manages all aspects of hackathon hosting, with engineering teams from across organization volunteering and submitting their solutions. The impact of the hackathon is measured based on the new product ideas created, new product ideas and innovations implemented. The innovation that comes out of hackathons benefits companies by inspiring teams to think outside the box and potentially creating new solutions or products that increase revenue.
Spotlight: These microlearning brownbag sessions are organized by the engineering lead to encourage continuous learning. The impact is measured based on the repeatable best practices implemented, reusable interventions proposed and implemented, technical debts identified, stories added in the team backlog, and the promotion of an inclusive work culture. When engineering teams learn new skills and processes, they are likely to be more innovative, ready to move out of their comfort zone, and achieve transformation KPIs.
Mastermind Circle: Occasionally, a thought leadership series is organized by the HPSE coach. Industry thought leaders from Wipro are invited to anchor the sessions, which are targeted toward business problems and market-driven business and technology insights. The impact of the mastermind circle is typically generation of business opportunities that are added to the portfolio backlog.
Assessments: The framework requires assessments to ensure continuous progress in transformation. These assessments include: monthly culture assessments (inspired by Ron Westrum’s culture framework), quarterly DevSecOps maturity assessments, flow of value assessments (increase the speed of product delivery to market), and competency assessments executed by the engineering leads. The HPSE coach measures the impact using the following metrics: Improved Engineers Happiness Index & Developer Velocity Index , Increase the speed to deliver products to market , number of engineers who are upskilled, cross-skilled, and reskilled, and the number of Diversity Equity Inclusion interventions.
Blogging: Blogging is a great opportunity to coach engineers in writing and thought leadership. Mentors are assigned to the engineers for guidance on content and publication. The impact is measured based on the number of articles/journals or books written, the number of open-source projects supported, and the technical documentation each engineer publishes.
The Benefits of Enabling Professional Mastery
The Mastery framework also provides a codified approach for providing structured learning in each area of software engineering specialization. Engineers are then assessed by a Mastery Jury based on their contributions to each HPSE dimension, their value creation, their organization giveback, and overall project evaluation. Business and IT teams also have an opportunity to learn emerging skills and explore new digital roles with a sustained focus on professional growth. This is a critical aspect of a successful and high-performing engineering team.
For companies, the framework integrates the aspects of talent transformation and engineering transformation, thus providing benefits that are wider in scope and have direct impacts on cost, quality and transformation delivery. As engineers gain skills and become more engaged and knowledgeable, they can help organizations accelerate digital transformation and achieve the sustained innovation required to deliver business outcomes.
Engineering Transformation Lead, Wipro Limited
Jayashree leads engineering transformation for a portfolio of clients in the US. She has delivered multiple global transformation programs involving building of products and platforms across banking, media, and healthcare clients. Jayashree has deep technology experience in developing business applications and delivery using agile execution methodology.