This year has been quite interesting, presenting me with some opportunities to reflect on transition. A friend and colleague recently challenged me to write down some good practices for improvement during transitions.
Keep a work journal
Write down what you are working on, what you intend to work on, and what you completed. Keep this to reflect back upon later, as memories of history are distorted by the present. It’s good to look back and see how things were back then, and how they have improved over time. Change and progress are easier to identify when facts and details are at hand.
Be excellent to your team
In everything you do, consider your colleagues first. When you build tools and systems, build with their happiness and productivity in mind. Remember that they are experts in their domain, just as you are in yours. Communication requires both speaking and understanding – listen, teach and train to share experiences and perspectives.
Handovers are important
The act of handing over a system or application validates that the system is documented and understood by the person or team receiving the handover. I first learned the power of a great handover when I worked on ships. During handover the outgoing officer was able to completely communicate the expectations, procedures and state of the systems both verbally and written in documentation. There is nothing quite like the relief that comes from handing over a well-documented system, knowing that it can be cared for by another.
Lower the barriers to adoption
Automation and tooling is a product for internal users, and should be treated like a product. Make things simple. Write good documentation. Set sensible defaults. Aim to delight. People adopt tools that benefit themselves, keep improving until they understand and start teaching each other.
Provide a consistent experience
First you make it all the same, then you can make it better. Good systems are consistent, understandable, and repeatable. They provides a consistent interface across many projects, the process is easily understandable to the user, and repeating it should output the same result. This is one step to providing a high-trust environment that people can be confident in.
These are all goals that I have been working to improve in my own journey, I hope they can help you in your journey as well.