Often a technology project is seen as a ‘fixed point’. Something that launches, is managed or maintained, but is fixed in time. Then at some future point it’s out of date, or no one likes the design any more. So it changes.
This ‘fits and starts’ approach to tech doesn’t work in a world where software mediates you and your customers, suppliers and staff. Your technology – like your business – needs to adapt and evolve. Optimising over time. Little and often.
You simply cannot get it 100% right upfront. Any design or plan (no matter how well researched) is still a guess, a hypothesis.
Introducing Techdept Bootcamp™
We have taken this truth and redesigned our entire business around it. We do not “do projects”. We offer the Techdept Bootcamp™, a unique process which delivers continuous improvement for organisations and teams.
We first define what we’ll improve – the purpose – by asking one single question. Our response is built around that insight. After delivering the work we quantify the results in a scorecard. We then improve the results.
This simplifies the complex process of making tech. It applies to anything, from a strategic digital transformation programme, to a one-off creative tech installation, to a company web site.
At the centre of a Techdept Bootcamp™ is what we will improve. Because if you’re not going to improve anything why are you commissioning the work? You don’t go on a Bootcamp to stay the same.
The Bootcamp Purpose
“If we met again in 18 months time, looking back, what improvements do you want to see for your company, customers and staff?”
This is the question we’ll ask at the start of your Bootcamp. The answer will help create your Bootcamp Purpose, focusing our solution on what will tangibly improve things for your most important stakeholders. Answering this question doesn’t take long, it is deceptively simple but incredibly effective.
Rather than drone on like a room full of suits, we focus on what you need to do and then we get it done. This is a vision that is within reach, highly actionable, creating focus and priority.
The Bootcamp Process
Making your work happen is a 6 stage process, a simple set of checklists which we refine over time, each month iteratively improving. This is our version of Agile, and we have built on all the best aspects of this practice.
The issue with Agile is that clients don’t really want to pay for “true” Agile. They want a fixed cost against which to plan and judge return on investment; fair enough. The Techdept Bootcamp process is fixed yet highly flexible. We use the checklists as a basis on which to riff (if required). This approach gives our customers clarity yet flexibility. It gives us structure against which to plan, rely on when under pressure, and coordinate distributed teams at pace.
Importantly, we operate Bootcamps with complete transparency. There is no such thing as an ‘internal’ meeting. Slack channels are open to all. This speeds up the entire process, and helps customers spot issues early and acquire knowledge from our team in real time.
The Bootcamp Scorecard
We take the priorities established in the Bootcamp Purpose and Process and create a single page document from which to quantify them. We call this the Bootcamp Scorecard. It is the building block for continuous improvement.
By focusing on a handful (at most) of data points we cut through the fog of “big” data to focus on the metrics that matter most. That move you towards the ‘actionable vision’ established in the Bootcamp Purpose.
In Silicon Valley startup parlance this is called “Actionable Metrics”, but that phrase seems to strike fear into people’s hearts. Let’s call it “information that you do something about”. This is worth a read if you’re into that kind of thing.
For example, perhaps one of the data points we track in your Bootcamp Scorecard is email newsletter sign-ups from a product landing page. It’s an important indicator of potential customers that are entering your marketing funnel. Have these figures gone up or down since we implemented the changes? Either way, the only question to ask is how do we further improve them?
A Bootcamp Scorecard can be straightforwardly managed by your teams, or applied to projects with other suppliers.
Rinse, repeat, transform
In life as in business, there is never a fixed point. The world is dynamic, changing. This is 100x the case in digital. So why design your digital to update in ‘fits and starts’? Improvement should be a continual process, little and often.
The Techdept Bootcamp™ designs this in from the start. A simple process which can be applied to anything digital. Simply work out what you’ll do, do it, and see if it works. The process continues and continues, allowing you to flexibly adapt to market conditions, feedback and ideas.
This mindset of continuous – customer focused – improvement has a rhythm all its own. Once you see the world in this way, there’s no going back. Campaigns, projects and ‘jobs’ all seem static, slow.
There are four extremely important reasons we have chosen to restructure our business round the principle of Bootcamps:
- Keep it simple
The Bootcamp simplifies how to ‘do digital’. And by making it easier to do, things actually get done (instead of talked about). This simplification allows for greater rapidity, agility & focus under pressure and fewer mistakes. Your work gets done on time and budget.
- Focus on importance
We establish at the start precisely what is important from you and your customer’s point of view. We quickly drill into any assumptions to create a solution which creates greatest value for the budget you’re spending.
- Practical tools
The Bootcamp Scorecard measures the performance of the work we do. This is a one page framework for continuous improvement. Measure the data you receive, create an action plan and then run another Bootcamp process: either with us or within your teams.
A Bootcamp improves things in an intentional, and quantifiable, method that you can repeat. You move step by step towards a digital transformation of your company. Project transparency and the practical tools mean your team also transforms.
Embedding learning with Bootcamp Circles™
We invite our clients and select invitees to Bootcamp Circles™. These are half-day open innovation sessions held Quarterly. In these ‘Chatham House Rules’ sessions you hear a keynote speaker and then table topics for open discussion in breakout groups. Findings are shared with the group.
This is part of a proactively managed Community Strategy which you can read about here.
Specific projects have their own support and training requirements which we agree upfront. Our culture is built on a series of five Mindsets, central of which is “Open & Candid”.
Get yourself to Bootcamp!
Do you need your digital to get fitter, faster, stronger, more attractive? We can help with that.
We’re a tech special ops team. We’ll send your digital to Bootcamp and knock it into shape.Find this interesting?