Why should Corporate Strategy be important to us in Development?

We code, right!?  We code, and play Warcraft.  Why should we know or care about corporate strategy?

Well, the answer is that most programmers probably don’t really know what their organization’s corporate strategy is.  If you do, you likely have an outstanding manager who has learned that part of their responsibility as a manager is to communicate executive directives back to Development.

A company that performs good ‘Strategy Management’ will do two things:

  1. They will broadcast their corporate strategy to all employees so that everyone can be on the same page.
  2. They will establish measurable metrics throughout the organization to determine how close everyone’s efforts are to the decided strategy.

When this happens, an effective plan is for the Development department to adopt their own ‘Department Strategy’ that supports the Corporate Strategy.  Then look for ways to measure how effective they are at pursuing that strategy.

For example, if your team has to report total hours for the week, reporting could be enhanced to include how many hours each programmer spends on each project.  Then each project can be placed into separate ‘strategy categories.’  Then, time can be measured for each project worked on during the week, and a summary comparison can be presented to upper management showing that the Development department is ‘following corporate strategic goals’ by spending a proportional amount of time on projects that are aligned with various corporate strategies.

If you are a manager and do this before you are asked to, you may even earn yourself a few stripes.  Kapish?

Mike J Berry
www.RedRockResearch.com

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