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3 Secrets to Digital SuccessFred’s Newsletter #03

Frédéric Lasnier
Frédéric Lasnier
Chief Executive Officer, Pentalog


Today I’ll be talking about some ways to help you make some major changes to your digital activities. What I’m giving you is nothing short of my three secrets to digital success for the 2014-2018 period during which my company doubled in size and we tripled our margins.

3 Secrets to Digital Success.

I’ll help you do three things better:

#1. IT

Better manage your developers with an agile dashboard. No matter what your devs are telling you, don’t listen to them until you’ve heard me out! Being agile is the only way to go, but that will bother everyone at your company who isn’t a developer. I had the same problem, but I solved it.

#2. HR

Give your best employee ambassadors the chance to be shareholders.

#3. Marketing

Learn how to build and deploy an international alliance policy. A little throwback in a big bag of growth hacking.


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#1. The boisterous satisfaction of your agile teams jars withe your secret frustration

Let’s put that misunderstanding to bed. Your agile developer teams are walking around with the kind of smile you’d expect if they just climbed Everest in flip-flops, your product managers are a little more restrained, saying that it’s amazing what you can do with so many limits, your vendors are saying that deliveries are not progressing, and your customers are no longer speaking to you. You, meanwhile, are seeing your developer budgets balloon with no end in sight and increasing your oversight and security, without being able to trust anyone. Deliveries almost never line up with your expectations and you are losing patience faster than your customers. This is despite the fact that you have accepted (what choice did you have?) all the agile changes people asked you for. How and why do things get so out of step? Why does it tend to get worse?

There are two reasons.

1. Communication. You’re not talking the language of agility. You don’t understand the lingo. You’re not part of the goal-setting process so you can’t track the goals. You have to get better fast because there is nothing better than agile for making software. I can help you because I had to learn myself.

2. Your developers are agile, your product managers are kind of lean…and you, to put it simply, are waterfall and budget-focused. Just like the rest of the company. You need to evolve, but even in the best-case scenario that will take 12 months. In large organisations, the challenge can be downright insurmountable.

Since we don’t become lean overnight, I’ll let you in on the secret of how Pentalog solved this problem using a three-part team of Pentalog developers, customers and management. Things got a little complicated as a result.

We had to get fancy with agile so that it could be managed three ways. To make that work, we had to convince our developers to compare data they didn’t necessarily want to compare…data that their peers at rival companies weren’t comparing. I’m talking about data on technical quality (satisfaction and technical debt), velocity (the speed of execution for base units), claimed and measured (whoops) seniority, and so on. The hardest part was getting them to say yes to comparing this data among projects (hundreds of them).

Long story short, we produced a dashboard that we can use for this kind of three-way management and that also delivers a 360° view of how the developer teams really perform.

If you want a little agile audit/coaching, Cornel Fatulescu and his team can do that for you. If you want to speak with me and get your hands on some business cases, let’s talk.

Find out more about the agile performance framework. In any case, what you get is…double profitability. That’s all.

#2. Offer shares to you best-performing, most engaged employees who have the biggest voice on social media

Don’t get me wrong here: I’m not saying I’d give shares to employees who just click “like” on everything. That’s not enough.

I’m talking about deep, ongoing engagement that delivers the highest quality results for the main mission. Capital is the most powerful long-term unit of account that the company owns. In terms of compensation, many employees prefer capital to ready cash. This simple preference is actually a great test for the length of the employee’s commitment.<

To my definition of what I call engagement, I would also add producing genuine messaging on social media that highlights the great, relevant things you have to offer. The employees who do that are also the ones who recruit the best talent in a digital environment where co-opting is the preferred recruitment method for employees and companies. Knowing how to work with them can harness the power of 10 HR Directors and 100 job board posts.

For our part, we saw this very clearly, knowing that co-opting new talent and attracting new customers would benefit the harmony and peace of mind of our company employees. For you business leaders out there, turning your employees into partners is hands-down the best HR decision you can make.

The most powerful, at any rate. At Pentalog, around 6% of our employees are also shareholders, which means there are parent company partners in every one of our units and at every level. We have shareholder project managers, developers, and of course plenty of managers.

All your motivational messaging gets a boost from it!

Just to show you the impact this can have on social marketing, here’s a link to an article that garnered 10,000+ views on LinkedIn, 500+ views on our blogs and lots of views in the press when it was published. Those figures speak for themselves!

#3. Alliances and partnerships. How to finally make them deliver on their promises!

So now it’s time for me to talk about something that’s going to sound really old fashioned. Very 20th century (archaic, I know).

Something that never really worked for a lot of you: partnerships.

To tell you the truth, if they didn’t work for you, it’s because you didn’t know how to make them work, being European and all. This was actually one of my American discoveries. I’ve known about it since I dipped my toe into collaborations with them in 2000. For them this is an established method, one they take very seriously in their country with its outsized geography. Given the distances involved, when American business leaders want to enter new markets they think about all kinds of alliances in sales, technology, distribution and franchises!

three secrets to success in 2018

Learn how to build and deploy an international alliance policy.

And now we’re in the digital age. You with me? And where are tech and software concentrated? On the West Coast, naturally. That puts it pretty far from your European alliance manager.

So, we decided to offer you something:

  • An alliance manager that’s, shall we say, seasoned. With 25 years of experience. To help you set your goals for the alliance and develop your proposal.
  • Alliance HQ
  • Alliance marketing
  • American contact people for the alliance

If you like the sound of that, you should read the original article!


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