The first event as one of the co-organizers for Delivering value: Shaping the future was exciting and interesting for me. Event management is not new and I have heard lot of talks but it is always a delight to listen to a start-up story. At the amazing venue that is provided by Robert Walters and with the sponsorship of PMI Sydney and SoftED, the meetup is definitely a place to be, if you are in the technology, project delivery, space working in Sydney.
It was the day for THE ICONIC. In 7 years, the company has grown from a handful of employees to about 400 people, a strong 50 member best in class technology team and state of art warehouse system. They have a vision of creating the most technological advanced warehouse system in the southern hemisphere by 2022. Incredible to hear this from such passionate people who work at the company. Ollie and Piers gave an excellent presentation and the understanding that they had when presenting the journey was just brilliant.
If you read all the takeaways below, you may feel, wow! Looks like this company is sorted and poised for future growth. But it was not like this always.
Here is how the company evolved:
- Chaotic environment in the organization
- At one point, they also had interns hiring executives
- They found the need to identify processes, organize teams and adapted SCRUM in 2012-13
- They become too structured and organized but still saw massive attrition in 2013-15
- Realization that SCRUM, Agile, Kanban, etc is just not good enough and that they need to evolve and innovate
- One of the traps that they were falling into was copying from others but not understanding the unique culture that they wanted to build and hence something wasn’t right for them
- Not understanding the impact of change and how it can affect other parts of the organization
Key takeaways from the evening
As a company seeing a 60% annual growth, there is a continuous need to evolve and adapt to the changing environment and that is what was the summary of the evening presentation. Some of the key factors and takeaways from the evening were:
- The company has a customer centered approach with cross-functional team built in alignment with the customer journey
- All the tasks carried by the employees are linked back to the customers
- Customer contact center is used as a feedback process to understand the motivation and pain points of the customer
- NPS used as a metric to determine the performance of the organization. They score a whopping 80 with an aim to reach 100. Interestingly, they also have NPS for employees
- The foster team empowerment to build trust and more importantly allow employees to be innovative in building solutions
- They are definitely considering mobile as the future and taking a Mobile first approach
- Believe in mission driven teams and having empathy towards people working within teams and understanding the emotional impact decisions can have on people
- Realization that the same thing does not work for all the teams and it has to be tailored accordingly
- Empowering people to take their own decisions truly helps in driving a cohesive culture but also fostering innovation
- Having cross functional teams and having the principle of never stop learning acts as the glue and lubricant for the engine to keep running
As you can see that the evening was informative, a learning opportunity and most importantly motivating in many ways. I think that by going out of your daily routine, attending such events and learning new things, not only makes you a better professional but helps you grow as a person.
We are working hard in the background to plan for our next event, and you can find more information about us and the next event dates on the meetup page.