Andrew Sopko, Director of IT, answered on 2017-12-26T00:00:00Z, a year ago
1 - Team Titles and Team Structure
From a team PoV, it’s important to use terms that others in the organization are familiar with and respect. The team at Twitter consists of Product Managers and Engineering Managers. Product Managers are by function (e.g. finance, marketing) whereas Engineering Managers are by technology (e.g. Oracle, Salesforce etc.). The PMs don’t think about finance as Oracle, but rather as a collection of applications, systems, and processes that drive finance. This in turn helps them influence and direct some of the strategic vision as opposed to just being request-driven. The PMs stay close to the operations teams within the business units (e.g. sales ops, marketing ops) and work with them in creating roadmaps organized by sprints that align with the goals of the finance team. It’s not unlike how consulting organizations would operate, except business units have a long-term partner who they can trust and who knows the workings of Twitter.
2 - Capacity-driven and Agile
While this isn’t a differentiator anymore, agile is key to our success. We are capacity-driven and have a deep understanding of our historical velocity and trends which helps us accurately forecast timelines for projects when creating roadmaps. We also have weekly syncs with the business teams on sprints, and deliverables, which brings transparency to our work. We have bi-weekly meetings to prune the backlog and stay current, and we also have quarterly business planning meetings to set and understand the overall vision and direction of the business units. All our meetings have the business counterparts (typically the ops teams) present and actively participating.
3 - Focus on Relationships
Getting started, a large portion of my time was spent on Public Relations, especially in the first year - probably close to 60% of time. We began by establishing relationships with the business executives (our customers), understanding their priorities, explaining our team setup and goals as well as establishing the right terminology, culture, language etc. And while this gets easier over time, it continues to drive our success and is critical at every level of the organization. As with all PR, it takes a bit to get going but once it kicks in, the benefits are tremendous and really help position IT as no different than a product organization.
Mike D. Kail, CTO, answered on 2019-03-14T21:19:16.091Z, 2 months ago
GET THE MOST OUT OF PULSE
How do we completely rebrand what IT is going to do as we grow? Specifically how do we stop talking about IT as IT and transform into a product organization? - Pulse Q&A