The Daemon way: How we empower your team to deal with IT problems on their own.
Technology is hard and getting the most out of teams is harder. But with sound foundations and best in class practices, there’s no reason you can’t succeed. Many businesses struggle because they’re trying to solve the wrong problem. It’s not just about updating your systems. It’s about transforming the culture around their use.
That means seeing every problem as a teaching opportunity. We don’t just want to solve the challenge and leave. We want to demonstrate the Daemon way of working, and the value it can bring to your business.
This way of working boils down to three key concepts- avoiding repetition on the engineering side, inspiring teamwork on the human side and planning thoroughly to anticipate problems. In this article, we’ll take a look at each in turn, and explain how we can help you reap the benefits.
Do it once, do it right
Engineering is about using tools to solve problems. We want to create better tools that can be used to solve problems more efficiently.
There is a fundamental concept in coding- do not repeat yourself. Good coders create software with this in mind, writing modular chunks that can be inserted wherever they are needed. Yet, when it comes to larger components, organisations often waste a lot of time with teams that end up writing the same code for similar challenges.
We don’t just want to avoid repetition in code. We want to avoid it wherever we can. Certain functions are required across multiple systems. Examples of this would be authenticating users or opening documents. Despite this overlap, engineers often build a new component for each system.
We extrapolate the mantra of “Do not repeat yourself” to create reusable components, generating significant efficiency savings at our clients along the way. This process is fundamental to our way of working.
The team comes first
If systems are a digital medium for information exchange, human communication is an analogue version of this. Technical obstacles can be overcome with an objective solution, but human problems are far more complex.
That’s why we’re always careful to address human sticking points as well as technical issues. Our way of working is about creating a collaborative solution and uniting your whole team behind it. Before we do anything technical, we need to answer the following questions:
- Who are the stakeholders and what are their priorities?
- Do all stakeholders agree on the problem?
- Is it the right problem?
- Are all stakeholders bought in on the solution?
- Does the solution solve the problem?
In an ideal world, everyone should agree on the problem and unite behind the solution at once. Of course, “should-land” is a magical place.
Luckily, we have a secret weapon for getting everyone on the same page. Just as we use software to manage IT systems, we use structured workshops to unite stakeholders. During these, we employ Design Thinking to generate practical, effective ideas that everyone can get excited about.
Think like a designer: why Design Thinking is the key to a successful workshop
The pen is mightier than the code
Dwight D. Eisenhower said that “Plans are useless, but planning is indispensable”. While we hope our plans aren’t completely useless, we agree that the real value comes from the process of creating them.
There are many unknowns when building an IT system. Complexity is introduced at every stage, and this creates unforeseen problems. Our way of working is built around anticipating these problems as early as possible.
We do this with thorough planning. The Agile Manifesto urges you to start coding right away so that you can identify and fix problems quickly . We have the same goal, but why write code when you don’t have to?
As far as we’re concerned, planning out a project with pen and a whiteboard is just another form of engineering. Identifying obstacles in this way is just as effective. In fact, it can identify some issues at an earlier stage. Best of all, it saves you the cost and hassle of changing code you’ve already written.
This approach allows us to ringfence risk in two ways. We can identify concrete risks and deal with them, and we can highlight areas of likely risk where we need to tread carefully. You can never know what you don’t know, but we can identify areas with a high probability of unknowns. The more issues we can identify at this stage, the less friction there will be when the time comes to build your software.
Leaving you in capable hands - your own
So that’s the Daemon way of working, but how do we make it work for you? Our aim is to help you extrapolate the Daemon approach to every area of your business. As we employ Design Thinking to help you communicate and collaborate, we’ll teach you how to run your own workshops after we’ve gone.
This isn't just about creating Daemon clones. It’s about giving you the tools and processes to overcome obstacles in your own way.
We’ll stick around for as long as you need us but, if we’ve done our job properly, you won’t need us for very long!