Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's All About the Culture

I was attended in really interestnig conference Agilia Budapest by Aguarra company.

The greatest thing was that almost all speakers brought some new ideas and some new approaches in the subject.

So one of the speakers was Andrei Boghiu Product Manager at Prezi, so you probably know who they are. Adrei talked about the product development process in Prezi, from a feature idea to a deployment. He talked about their: continuous learning, constant feedback from the market, lack of documentation in favour of prototypes, collaboration between people, flat organisational structure and so forth.

I listened to him and in that moment I realized Wait a minute, I've heard something similar! Same story I've heard from Spotify guys and the guys from the ThoughtWorks and Touk and SoftwareMill and from couple other companies.

But you know, every time I hear those speakers, I also see people who try to repeat the success story in their own companies and they fail. What is wrong with that?

My observation is that bright companies talk only about the solution they use. However that solutions are well known it's a hard work to implement them with positive results.

Think about it, even if a company use prototypes and screens instead of stories and scenarios, how they convince people to do that? How they engage the people in taking the responsibility instead of waiting for the orders from top management? Finally, how they created the environment where all that well known stuff perfectly works in?

I asked Andrei about it. I think he was little bit surprised by this question ;) and he mentioned couple interesting things such: they engage people to make failures and learning, people (I mean engineers) directly influence the business activities. These are parts of their organisational culture. Yep, it's all about the culture. The culture is the factor which turn all mentioned solutions from an idea into the everyday habits.

Adrei et al. take their organisation cultures for granted, they find difficult to explain what it exactly is. They are simply affected by the culture of their organisations and work in that way.

This is the question I wonder the most: How the specific culture was created in the organisation? What were the steps they used? I have no any doubts that was made on purpose even if the creators were never named what they actually did.

This question requires some deeper researches and interviews.