Lessons in Agility (part 3)

Culture Jun 17, 2021

This is the third part of the ongoing posts on how to hire a Product developer using a ongoing recruitment posting from Gusto.

The last two days we talked about day-to-day responsibilities in part 1 and on skills, competencies and compensation in part 2.

Today, we will tie it together with the most important organizational component that ties it all together - values in action. You cannot engage people to solve an organizational problem through ownership with this glue in place.

Gusto's values - presumed to espoused and not just lip service.

Let's evaluate these values one by one:

  • Ownership - there is no two ways about it. Every employee is empowered to make the company better
  • Long-term optimization - Most organizations focus on the short term. But it actually possible to execute in the short term optimizing for the long-term. If assumed otherwise that one cannot execute short-term constantly meeting the long-term, it is a false dichotomy and only means that such organizations do not know how to do this.
  • We are all builders - In cognitive work, every person in the system is a creative builder. And only as good as the weakest link.
  • Go the extra mile - by discovering what delights. There is therefore no fixed scope, design or limits. This is not about working long-hours, but making the work count, extraordinarily count. And this is supported by the next value, the most important of all -
  • Do what's right - Actually this covers all of the above and the one below. Extremely hard to have as a value and once in place has the capability to fundamentally change organizations to the core.
  • And to do all this, one needs radical transparency.

So the summary of the three posts as "Small moves. Big Payoff's" - the derived values and principles:

  • Pick the right people with the right attitudes.
  • Allow people to acquire the required skills
  • Transfer ownership of solving customer's problems to your people
  • Allow Developers to own the Product architecture, testing, code standards, code improvements, documentation, prototyping and iterative launch of the product every day.
  • Allow your people to delight your customers
  • Make them collaborate and be test driven.
  • Focus on teams as building blocks
  • Bring them together with practiced values in action - ownership, long-term optimization, be creative product builders, go the extra mile for customer delight and radical transparency - all leading to "Doing what's right"


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