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Product Strategy

[Episode 02] How to avoid ignoring our HEROs


Companies, like societies, include among their ranks atypical people who, if taken individually and outside standard (and imposed) processes, are capable of generating more value. A recent study by Forester calls these people HEROs, which stands for Highly Empowered and Resource Operative, thus designating the resourceful and autonomous employees. With the help of new practices, new tools, new collaborative approaches, even outside rules, they are capable of carrying out their tasks with great ease and generate new value.How should the ISD behave towards these 2.0 employees? Are they grains of sand in the industrial mechanism of the ISD? How can they be detected soon enough to avoid hampering them in creating value?iPhone, iPad, tablets, Facebook, Twitter and many others are online tools and services (many of them free) which have made these employees understand how they can be used for a better and faster production. As regards the ISD, it is planning on industrializing its services in order to ensure proper cost management while maintaining a high level of security. Thus, it is becoming difficult to reach a compromise between these optimization requirements and the need of isolated elements. At any rate, the ISD must keep things under control in order to avoid the excessive use of resources.The Pentalog ISD recently considered this matter. We are looking to improve our department and these HEROs can contribute unsuspected values. The ISD must keep things under control: but what is our approach?We have just implemented a special monitoring system in order to pay attention to the demands that are made (surprising access or installation requests, regular communication with different managers etc.). The objective is that the ISD is informed and gets involved as early as possible in the experimenting process that businesses or individuals would otherwise carry out on their own. We must be aware of these experiments and provide assistance in order to avoid limitations. An experiment at this level does not cost much, if anything. Therefore, we must not wait to reach a more advanced phase to identify the major difficulties to come (incompatibility, incoherence etc.). The sooner failure is perceived during an assessment cycle, the more “acceptable” it becomes. Moreover, the ISD is, thanks to its pivotal role, an implicit relay between the experiment phase in which we must evaluate the benefits, and the massive deployment that follows.For the moment, we have begun studying our infrastructure in order to anticipate and better meet the needs of these HEROs. Considering that the main resource expected by these HEROs is Internet access, we have launched several studies. The results should be ready in the following weeks. The first step consists in identifying network resources. This means that, depending on the user profile, different filtering/control rules apply. Therefore, the IP address would no longer be the one responsible for access filtering. Moreover, this would limit the number of exceptions by attaching rules to defined, managed and mastered profiles. Of course, in order to ensure an efficient control and observe the recent set of verification rules required by the French law, all external accesses will be memorized.The other infrastructure subject is the increase of the wifi terminal capacity in our offices by taking over the following advanced functions: Centralized administration of all our offices, VLAN management, Temporary account management for our visiting customers, Increasing the coverage and the number of users. In short, these are functions that will help both standard users and those who have these particular needs.In our approach, we consider that HEROs are also suitable candidates for pilot phases, thanks to their ability to adapt to experiments, and that their feedback is important. We can already state that the innovations which will have to be tested will be submitted to our HERO panel, in addition to the users who will be more naturally approached. As the objective of the ISD in terms of innovations is to rapidly deploy them in order to benefit from their new value, the department needs capable employees.As regards the ISD, due to reasons related to security and proper resource management, it could tend to limit the use of these resources, which entails restrictions for our HEROs. However, we must find the right mixture between the industrial approach that corresponds to the largest number of users and a more “Formula 1”-type approach aimed at a public with different requirements. We must find the right mix of firmness and flexibility through clear and easily comprehensible rules: “What are the gains of your tasks, for your colleagues or for Pentalog?” If the value is above zero, we will work together on the experiment. Depending on the potential of the innovation, the transformation will be performed by the ISD or by the Labbs. The ISD deploys the solution following acceptance by the steering committee, which ensures that the solution meets our needs. The experiment aims at gathering information to justify the benefit.Not everyone can be a HERO. If you are a Pentalog employee and consider yourself to be an unidentified HERO, don’t hesitate to contact me in order to exchange ideas and see how the ISD can take your needs into account to generate new value.I will definitely use this communication channel to share with our faithful readers the result of experiments involving our HEROs.[Episode 01] The right processes for the right needs

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