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In regards to our future as a human race, sustainability is an issue at the forefront of people's minds. It's been well-identified that, in order to sustain our life (and quality thereof) on Earth, we must adopt more sustainable practices to eliminate waste and maximize on the non-invasive resources we have. As an eco-friendly company, we at Praecipio Consulting whole-heartedly support efforts of sustainability, as evidenced by the reusable water bottles you're enjoying at Summit.
But sustainability as a practice is applicable beyond just choosing reusable bottles over disposable plastic ones (that take a lot of resources to create before they eventually head to the landfill). Sustainability in business addresses a company's need to similarly reduce wasted resources and establish repeatable practices to enable them to do good work without unnecessary overhead.
When you build your business on sustainable practices, you provide your organization the room to scale without strain on your people, your software, or your profits. At Praecipio Consulting, this is what we do; we deliver clients Atlassian software alongside processes, customized to their organization, that allows them to adopt and iterate on these sustainable practices for years to come.
How do good processes sustain a business?
Having the right tools, configured the right way with the right processes, allows you to reap exponential ROI for years to come. Think about the Championship L.A. Lakers' infamous zone defense (run season after season, no matter the lineup) or the repeatable steps you go through while practicing yoga. When processes are solidified, streamlined, and well practiced, you get faster and more agile. You block your defender faster or move into your next pose fluidly and effortlessly. With each iteration (or game, or yoga practice) you lock in your process until it becomes muscle memory; you can sustain this repeated execution and focus on achieving the next level of your capabilities.
Business is no different. To achieve sustainability, you need -
Repeatable, predictable, well practiced processes
Achieving sustainability means the right tools and the right processes- which is where we come in. With process improvement at the heart of our business, our Atlassian services get you both the high-demand software on which to build your business practices, but also the process improvements and consulting to run them (and your team) efficiently and sustainably. Our services are built upon a time-tested methodology that helps our clients not only get successful implementations of the Atlassian suite, but reach greater sustainability, productivity, and profit.
How do you achieve sustainability in your business? Here are our expert recommendations.
Agility defines an organization's ability to assess the situation, make an informed decision, and pivot when needed. In order to do this, you need supreme visibility into your business' metrics. Through visibility of projected release timelines, company finances, or resource availability you gain the authority to properly assess the state of your business and keep on top of necessary decisions in order to unblock work and increase productivity. Track your teams' velocity over sprints, put available resources onto projects for a quicker release, and streamline methods of workflow. Being able to improve (or iterate, in agile terms) helps you squash software and process bugs faster to keep your business producing their best. Going agile applies to all process methodologies. All teams can incorporate regular standup meetings to get timely updates and more quickly remove workflow blockers. Keep the lines of communication open through collaborative Atlassian products and well practiced agile processes.
When evaluating your business goals- whether technology or resource related- you need accurate reporting for effective assessment. Goals should be S.M.A.R.T.- specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound. In order to track progress on S.M.A.R.T. goals, be sure you have technology that can capture these points. Aligning business functions under the Atlassian suite provides cross-team visibility and reporting to make this significantly easier to achieve. Leveraging built-in application functionality, such as velocity and burn down reports in JIRA Software, or aggregated reports from add-ons like EazyBI or New Relic tools allows for S.M.A.R.T. assessments and recommendations to be made so your team can quickly iterate and move on to the next big release.
Develop, ship, repeat
Whatever your business process- from drafting and sending sales quotes to writing and shipping software- repeatability of process is a key contributor to how sustainable and profitable your business will be. Regular S.M.A.R.T. asssessments to identify and eliminate blocker and time wasters are key to refining processes; furthermore, asking questions like "can (that step) be automated?" allows for more efficient processes to prevail. What processes and patterns do your teams perform most frequently, and how can you streamline steps to accelerate the process? For many teams who rely on eSignatures as part of their business process, integrations like DocuSign for Confluence and DocuSign for JIRA significantly reduce time-wasted in context-switching between tools; plus, you get added traceability, two-way data syncing, and supreme automation to expedite your eSignature processes. Figure out where the repeatable processes are in your business and make them lean, automated, and more agile.
Kaizen is the Japanese concept of "change for the better," which has been adapted to business best practices as continuous improvement. Continuous improvement a foundation of ITIL, but is also necessary to keep your teams agile. Utilizing practices like running EazyBI reports to track incident management effectiveness both give your business a way by which to continuously improve. Work in a customer-facing role? Collecting NPS scores from your clients is a candid and constructive way to get feedback to catalyze continuous improvement. Listen to what your customers are saying about the different areas of your business, from sales to user experience, and make plans to improve SLA's, customer feedback channels (We recommend JIRA Service Desk.), or feature request for your next release.
Sustainability is about tuning your processes to be well conditioned, responsive, and lean. Like athletes perfecting the slightest move to be more agile, teams across your organization seek to benefit from disciplined process improvement. From software processes to business processes, there are opportunities to be blocked or to overcome the challenge and get better. Businesses, like people, who figure out how to be sustainable are the ones that continue to last in our ever-changing world; who are agile enough to pivot when needed to ride the next wave.