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Every journey begins with a clear understanding of where you are starting from and where you want to go. Without that information you can’t begin to make plans. For us that meant we first needed to look honestly at our culture and some of our challenges.

 Bandages and Becoming “Brent”

In the DevOps novel The Phoenix Project there is a character, Brent, who seems to be essential for every IT project. At G2G3 our Simulation Delivery Team had become our own internal version of Brents. Not only were they essential for our deliveries, but their skill and knowledge allowed us to bandage over some of the weaknesses in our products. We were relying too much on our talented trainers instead of focussing on continually improving our product.

 Kits and Code

A key factor in the success of our simulations is our incorporation of kinaesthetic learning throughout the event. Both the software that drives the game play and the game kits that the participants engage with are critical to the learning experience. But as we continued to refine and develop our simulations both of these elements needed to be updated. We have shipped hundreds of game kits to our partners around the world and getting all of those updated always seemed like too daunting a task, so we just avoided it. Likewise, some parts of our code base for the software were getting old. Certain eBoards seemed to be held together with sticky tape, black magic and the continual prayers of our developer, Stu. If we wanted to get better products out to our partners and the market, we would need to tackle both of these challenges.

 Adopt and Adapt

After almost 20 years in the market, working with some of the world’s biggest brands and with very little competition, we got complacent. Meanwhile, the way we worked as a company began to look more like the old waterfall world of silos and throwing work over the fence. For us to succeed moving forward we would need to take on board more DevOps practices and start to address the changing market dynamics around us. The world doesn’t stand still. While we may have been static, the game has changed. So must we.

Culture Revolution

Finally, in the years after our acquisition we began to lose much of what it meant to be G2G3. Leadership seemed to be more focussed on profits than outcomes. We often found ourselves working on the wrong things, being pulled (and sometimes pushed) in the wrong directions and making plans with the wrong considerations in mind.

Starting to address all of these challenges was the beginning of our transformation journey. We decided to shift our focus back to the basics:  delivering great solutions, delighting our customers, clients and partners and developing a dynamic work environment to play and create in every day.

The journey continues in our next blog as we explore how we began to address these challenges.

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