It is a known truth that the success of any project, technical or otherwise, lies in its implementation. The translation from an idea into reality is a crucial phase; one that holds the power to derail a plan entirely or ensure a great success. For enterprise technology solutions, the delivery and implementation phase is not only central to achieving your goals, but also has a ripple effect, impacting employees, customers and often, the bottom-line.
What is the key to a successful implementation phase? Do enterprise technology solutions require a different approach? Behind any piece of technology, especially great enterprise technology solutions, is a team. A team of technical programmers, developers and consultants that translate ideas into reality in very tangible terms. These people, who in many ways are shaping the way technology could impact our lives, matter; their insights and technology feedback matter.
Get Their Insights
A technical program manager’s sole responsibility is to ensure successful technical implementations and project delivery. What is required? As I reflect on my recent speech at The Lead Developer – New York, I am reminded that successful implementations of enterprise technology solutions are not based on technical prowess alone. The best-laid plans often do not remain stable. As such, successful implementation of any enterprise technology services requires a team that not only has the technical acumen, but also the innovation and ingenuity to create tech solutions, the discipline to see projects through to the last line of code, and the vision that technology has the power to change the world – everyone included.
The Lead Developer
The Lead Developer – New York
Based in the United Kingdom, White October Events traditionally held its conferences and workshops relatively close to home. The Lead Developer conference in New York City was its first “international” venture. Speaking as a technical program manager, I was taking part in something truly innovative!
An Environment to Innovate, Collaborate, and Always Learn
My first experiences with the conference immediately reinforced this. I was surrounded by high-caliber technical leaders from companies like Indeed, Twitter and Etsy. As you would expect from a conference called, “The Lead Developer,” the talks covered topics that people tasked with leading software development teams creating leading-edge technology solutions would find interesting, including:
• Rebooting culture
• You’re the tech lead! Now what?
• You can’t always get what you want: A year of leading change
Unlike previous enterprise technology events, I had not previously met any of the speakers. However, a number of them were well-known on the tech conference circuit, and seeing them live was a special treat. I took notes during a lot of the talks until I discovered that Jess Eldredge was posting awesome sketch notes of the talks on Twitter (courtesy Jess Eldredge for the top image)
I particularly liked Eryn O’Neil’s “You’re the tech lead! Now What?” presentation. While my title is “Technical Program Manager,” I still consider myself to be a technical lead at heart, having filled that role for many years, on multiple enterprise technology solutions projects. Eryn’s talk reminded me of the value of taking a people-centric approach to leading technical teams. Takeaway #1: Always learn and improve.
Soon, it was my turn. I walked backstage, waited while the technician connected my MacBook to the podium, and started my delivery.
My talk addresses the diversity and inclusion problems in the enterprise technology solutions sector. Drawing on examples ranging from “Star Trek” to the U.S. Constitution, I make the case for a grassroots movement of technologists to make the technology field a more welcoming industry. By allowing the lack of inclusiveness in technology to exist, we are also limiting the amount of ideas available to us as innovators. My talk provides simple and easy-to-implement ideas for how everyone can lend their privilege to truly level the playing field in enterprise technology. Takeaway #2: The path forward is together.
As the event progressed, the afternoon talks covered a variety of topics, including:
- Leading by speaking
- Observable microservices
- Finding the right ingredients for the perfect team
- Retrospectives – Look back, move forward
- Making developers on support work for everyone
The afternoon sessions were amazing; I was particularly impressed by the “Leading by speaking” talk by Lara Hogan of Etsy, and “Retrospectives – look back, move forward” by Jessie Link from Twitter. As someone who works in enterprise technology and also speaks at enterprise tech events, I could relate to Lara’s explanation of how technical leaders can use speaking as a way to become better at our jobs. A Certified Scrum Master, I’ve used retrospectives as a powerful tool to learn how to better serve my teams. Lara and Jessie’s talks served as great reminders while also providing great insights. Takeaway #3: People matter. Get Their insights.
The organizers asked the speakers to take a group photo; I was honored to stand with such amazing voices in the tech industry.
A Safe Landing
Touching down at George Bush Intercontinental airport in Houston, I couldn’t believe I had learned so much in only a couple of days. It was an enlightening and reflective experience. One that directly relates to my work at Questback, creating enterprise feedback management (EFM) technology for our customers.
What is required for a successful enterprise technology solutions implementation? Technology is the foundation; yet, remembering a people-centric approach and the less technical details translates that foundation into an architecture that is usable, meaningful and ultimately, successful.
1. Always learn and improve.
2. The path forward is together.
3. People matter. Get their insight.
About the Author
Anjuan Simmons | Technical Program Manager at Questback
An experienced technologist, Anjuan has served as a trusted advisor for Fortune 500 companies helping them implement enterprise solutions and enhance the experiences of the people in their technical workforces. He has served as a leader in the consulting practices of Accenture, Deloitte and Infosys. Anjuan is an international speaker who speaks before thousands of attendees a year helping them understand that a people-centered approach is always good business.
- By Anjuan Simmons