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Getting the most from your Talent… Improving the On-boarding Process. Association For Software Engineering Excellence Meeting February 21, 2009. Table of Contents. Introduction – Rick Kuula Overview of Presentation Goals Business Case for Improving On Boarding Processes Case History

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Getting the most from your talent improving the on boarding process l.jpg

Getting the most from your Talent…Improving the On-boarding Process

Association For Software Engineering Excellence Meeting

February 21, 2009


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Table of Contents

  • Introduction – Rick Kuula

  • Overview of Presentation Goals

  • Business Case for Improving On Boarding Processes

  • Case History

    • Goals and Objectives

    • Current State Flows

    • Major Findings

    • Process Opportunities

    • Implementation Timelines

  • Getting the Most out of Your Consulting Relationship

  • How Can I Get Started With Improving On Boarding?

  • Presentation Recap


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Introduction – Rick Kuula

President/Founder of Solutia Consulting, Inc.

26 years in IT – 5 in industry and 21 in consulting

Originally a Developer – experienced as a Project Manager, Business Analyst, and QA Analyst as well

Industry experience in Healthcare, Manufacturing, Distribution, Insurance, Financial Services, Retail, and Business Services

Enjoy solving Business Problems through Technology


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Introduction – Solutia Consulting, Inc.

  • National firm with offices in Minneapolis and Dallas

  • Rick is on a quest to get to 10 offices within the next 10 years

  • Core Services in Business Applications – PM, BA, Dev & QA

  • Unique Service Offerings:

    • Environmental Sustainability

    • Customer Experience

    • Business Process Improvement

    • Business Intelligence

    • Microsoft SharePoint, C#.net, and Reporting Services


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Overview of Presentation Goals

  • Create a business case for improving the On-Boarding Process for Software Professionals

  • Share a specific example of how one company analyzed their On-Boarding Process

  • Make a business case for improving upstream sourcing activities


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Business Case – On Boarding

  • What would the impact on overall productivity and employee satisfaction be if . . .

    • We could put the right developer on our team with the right technical and interpersonal skills?

    • They were available at the time we needed them for our project?

    • That person had working hardware, telephone, e-mail on DAY ONE!

  • We had an effective training program that….

    • Quickly got this developer up to speed on our project?

    • Clearly articulated the business and technology goals of the project?

    • Was continuously improved based on feedback from developers who executed the program?


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Business Case – On Boarding

ON BOARDING

SAVINGS

Save 3 weeks per year with 60 new developers in a Fortune 500 company with 300 (20% turnover)

180 Weeks

Salary and benefits cost - one week - developer at $80,000

$2,000

Potential Savings

$360,000

Across entire Fortune 500

$180,000,000

  • I know this isn’t a lot of money by Washington D.C. Standards . . .

  • But what if we could save just one week on-boarding ALL of our new employees . . . ?


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Business Case – On Boarding

  • Even if you don’t care about the money, what would the impact on productivity be if we gave everyone this kind of lift when they joined your development organization?.


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Other Reasonfor Efficient On-Boarding

Technology is rapidly advancing, creating a challenge to stay current.

Competition from outsourcing organizations (onshore and offshore) is increasing, forcing internal development organizations to be more efficient.

Being efficient requires being nimble.

Must be nimble in order to compete.

Being nimble requires the ability to efficiently onboard your talent

and build a flexible workforce to quickly adapt to the needs of the business and changing technology.


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Benefit Recap – On Boarding

  • What sort of benefits should we expect?

    • Quicker time to get up to speed should equate to more productive projects

    • Happier and more productive recruits should reduce turnover

    • Ability to take on more projects

    • Able to form virtual teams more quickly


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Case HistoryOverview

  • We were asked by a software development organization within a Fortune 500 Manufacturing company to provide a “pool” of developer resources

  • We agreed to do this but wanted to do a one week process assessment of their on-boarding process prior to committing resources


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Case HistoryProject Goals and Objectives

  • Decrease time to productivity for new (“cold”) developer:

    • Time to source: Reduce from average of 23 days to maximum of 10 days.

    • Time to get up to speed: Reduce from range of 24 - 48 days to maximum of 15 days.

    • Total time reduced from minimum of 40 days to maximum of 25 days!

  • Establish an on-boarding process that is structured, but not overly cumbersome.

  • Provide clear expectations of developers around standards, which requires minimum follow-up.

  • Produce standard work (all code is similar, regardless of who writes it).

  • Foster synergy within the development team.


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Case HistoryHigh Level Resource Acquisition Flow

3-4 Days

9 Days

3-4 Days

3 Days


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Case HistoryHigh Level Knowledge Acquisition Flow

1-2 Days

7 Days

½ Day

Re-work generally amounts to 2-3.5 days combining both sets of reviews (lead and mgmt)

“Loop” is completed 2-3 times before developer is ready for major development task they were brought on for. ~5 to 9 weeks in total.


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Case History

On-Boarding Process Major Findings

  • May settle for less-than-ideal candidates.

  • Coding standards documentation doesn’t ‘hit home’ the importance that the standards be followed. Results in additional lead time reviewing and re-work.

  • Lack of documentation on the SDK. Results in reliance on lead developer to tell developer where to go look for things.

  • Ramp up process requires too much time and energy from senior team members.

  • Rely on the inspection of finished product, as opposed to built-in quality controls in the process.


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Right hires = more quickly productive

Reduced lead time to start team members

Buy-in on development approach up front

Case History

On-Boarding Process Opportunities

Sourcing Process:

  • Do a better job of knowing and selecting what we want:

    • Define the ideal candidate in writing – both technical and soft skills

    • Better define interview questions

      • Utilize behavior assessments (DISC, MBTI)

    • Document expectations with regards to the standards

      • Set expectations in the interview process

  • Bring team members on more quickly:

    • Investigate off site development strategy (longer term)

      • What would be needed, data source, NDA / Legal

Results


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Ability to bring on more developers

Training time reduced to < 2 weeks

Leadership freed up to plan and lead

Ability to Meet More Business Needs

Cost savings

Ability to take on more projects

Case History

On-Boarding Process Opportunities

Knowledge Acquisition Process:

  • Decrease involvement of leadership, and speed up learning:

    • Develop a ‘canned’ training problem

      • Define characteristics

      • Find or make a case with those characteristics

      • Longer term, make a FAQ to support the problem

    • Create documentation for developer reference

      • Execute on the plan; roll out to team

      • Incentive program – document and roll out

  • Improve adherence to standards:

    • FxCop or similar tool to catch breech of standards

    • Visual reminders

Results


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Case History

Project Costs and Timeline

Sourcing Process Implementation Timeline

Proposed Resource Hours:

  • Client Team – 88 hours

  • Consulting Resources – 10 hours

Define ideal

Candidate

(1 day)

Interview ?’s Research

(DISC & MBTI)

(1-2 weeks)

Document

Interview Materials

(1 week)

Offsite

development research

(4-6 weeks)


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Getting The Most Out of YourConsulting Relationship

Getting the right person with the right skills at the right time is no

accident…

  • Make the consulting firm earn their money and you can focus on getting the project completed successfully

  • Treat the consulting firm like a valued partner, and they will climb over tall buildings for you

  • Share information on your goals and plans and what you think your needs will be and you’ll get a better fit

  • Review a few resumes…pick a couple to interview and then select 1 (vs. reviewing 20-30 & interviewing 5 or 6)

  • Ask questions to weed out firms that don’t spend time with candidates in person to assess their fit


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How Can I Get Started Improving On-Boarding?

  • If your organization has Process Improvement Professionals or Six Sigma Green or Black Belts, why not engage them on improving the on-boarding or even development processes

  • Examine the process through the eyes of a new employee and ask them to record their thoughts and activities

  • Hire a consultant who specializes in Process Improvement who has done similar projects

  • Look for opportunities to standardize documentation, processes, deliverables and training

  • Document a current and future process and a roadmap to get there


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