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Last year I read the book “Employee First and Customer Second” by Vineet Nayar, ex-CEO of HCL Tech – a multibillion dollar IT Services company of India.

employee first customer second BOOK

The book is a story of HCL Tech’s transformation from a large organisation struggling to grow to become a market leader and a best place to work. To do that, Vineet had to invert the organization pyramid and put the employees working directly with customers in the center and transform the entire organization to facilitate them produce value.

It had a profound impact on how I looked at building Digicorp as a company.

Since we started Digicorp, one thing which has remained constant is our aim to build a company where we would like to work. This simple thought has driven many decisions towards building a company having great culture.

This book strengthened our belief and explained a proper strategy to achieve our goal.

Another thing, which is common to Digicorp since inception is that we love working closely with startup founders and build usable products solving real problems. This gives us immense satisfaction and drove us to build Product Teams.

A Product Team is a combination of Product Manager, Developer, Product Designer and QA Engineer, which closely collaborates with the client to deliver right product to right end users.

So now if we want to improve our Product Teams, what kind of company should we be building?

Inspired from “Employee First and Customer Second” and with an objective of building the best place to work, I ended up with the following diagram.

DIGICORP Ecosystem consisting Product Teams

So what does it say?

First thing, I started perceiving Digicorp as an Ecosystem, which facilitates Product Teams deliver usable products to end users by collaborating with client.

As you can see “End User” (USER) is in the center of the ecosystem with Product Team. Product Owner (or Client) is part of the Product Team, which signifies high level of collaboration.

Finally, all other stakeholders are in the outer circle facilitating Product Teams to deliver value to end users.

This ecosystem removes hierarchy from the organisation and improves collaboration.

The Product Teams operate autonomously making most of the decisions on their own. Having said that, they do need mentoring and guidance from people with more experience (outer circle), mostly in the supporting activities like training, recruitment, infrastructure, accounting, etc.

So let us understand, how other stakeholders (outer circle) plays a pivotal role in building this ecosystem:

  • Engineering Manager works towards improving engineering practices, driving innovations and growing Product Managers.
  • Principal Designer works with Product Designers and Product Managers and grows them to build usable product experience.
  • People Manager works towards making Digicorp a best place to work. She also attracts, hires and retains best talent for Digicorp.
  • Finance Manager manages company’s finances using best and ethical practices. She makes sure that we don’t lose money and everyone gets paid on time.
  • IT Infra Manager makes sure we have a stable and modern infrastructure to deliver services to our clients.
  • Facility Manager makes sure that we have the best facility experience for our team at Digicorp.
  • VP-Sales positions digicorp as an expert at building usable products, manage inbound leads and existing client relations.
  • VP-Products focuses on building home-grown ideas and spinning off separate ventures around the most promising ones. (more on this in another post)
  • CEO passes vision to every stakeholder (all current and potential clients and employees), makes sure have right people at right place and have enough balance to run the company.

And what’s the best way to facilitate the Product Teams for these stakeholders?

  • Trust the Product Teams for their decisions.
  • Care about Product Team members’ personal and professional growth.
  • Empower the team members’ by providing knowledge from their experience and required resources.
  • Finally, Inspire the teams by doing exceptional work themselves.

Well, this is how we are transforming Digicorp into an Ecosystem where Product Teams can deliver usable products to end users. We are sure this strategy will help us achieve our ambitious vision sooner or later.

What do you think? I would love to hear your thoughts on this strategy.

  • Posted on July 28, 2017

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