03 - Hire and Empower Technologists
If you think hiring technologists is hard, it’s because you aren’t paying market rates.
Let’s say that you are paying market rates but you offer other job perks, like focusing on a mission that someone really cares about.
In that case, you really need to empower the technologists that do work in your organization. They are there, whether you know it or not. They can help you build speed and technical competency in your organization, if you let them.
So then what? Empower those technologists.
Make sure that in executive-level steering groups and meetings there are technologists present who can provide valuable advice on the feasibility of solutions and associated timelines. Often, things can be accomplished much faster, cheaper, and better, if a competent technologist is present to advise on how to accomplish the business goal.
In parallel to this, make sure that non-technical users are not dictating technical solutions. It is important that business or non-technical leaders clearly communicate their desired outcomes for the organizations, and let the technologists determine how best to solve the problem.
Example (bad): leader says they want to have microservices architecture for the org. because it is more modern and agile.
Example (good): leader says they want the tech people to figure out a way to deliver valuable technology solutions to users more quickly than they have in the past.
There are a lot of ways to accomplish the latter, and many solutions aren’t even technical.
If you unnecessarily constrain the solution space, you’ll probably get a suboptimal solution.