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

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?

#it,#transformation,#modernization,#strategy,#product,#organizational structure @IT Number of answers: 0

Andrew Sopko, Director of IT

, answered on 2017-12-26T00:00:00Z, a year ago

For younger companies, this has happened organically. When a company starts, people who come in are increasingly expected to bring their technology solutions along to help grow the business. As the company scales, the need for an organized approach arises and IT comes into play. At Twitter the internal technology team grew out of this necessity and this has helped us in two ways:
  1. Stay lean
  2. Focus on the customer demand
We're no different than a consumer-focused product team in that we build what the customers need, in this case the customers are Twitter employees and partners. There are 3 things that help position Twitter’s IT team as a product org, not just a cost center.

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.

upvotes: 4

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Mike D. Kail, CTO

, answered on 2019-03-14T21:19:16.091Z, 2 months ago

As I said to Mayank yesterday, I think the rebranding is from Information Technology to Digital Technology (DT) as that transformative effort is across the entire company

upvotes: 0

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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

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