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Increase Developer Productivity: Scale-Up A³ Framework

A3 Framework: Awareness, Alignment, Accelerate

I created the Scale-up A³ Framework to help tech teams improve productivity with a pragmatic system that builds on each step. 

As companies go from a 5 people in a room to 150, they hit a speed-bump. There are too many people to fit into a meeting room or set standard ways of working. It starts to feel slow, people work in different ways, and it's hard to get aligned. Engineering productivity can actually decrease even if you're hiring more people. 

By going through each phase of this framework, your company will understand where your teams are at (Awareness), align on a common and realistic strategy, metrics, and way of working (Alignment), and then double-down to accelerate your teams on proven productivity enhancements to take you to the next stage of growth (Accelerate).

  • Conduct an assessment of your current state, goals, and maturity.​

  • Conduct interviews of key stakeholders, send surveys to the department, and analyze the results from the wider group.

  • Workshop: Define what's working and what's not. Then define goals for the next stages.

  • Create a realistic product roadmap based on past deliverables, estimates, and headcount that aligns with the company strategy and needs of the customer.​

  • Define key engineering metrics and implement simple measures to improve productivity. Implement a tool like Swarmia where everyone in every team and level can transparently see what makes the teams work better.

  • Define Ways of Working within Product Development and the commercial side to have a standard, simple framework for how your company can run efficiently. 

  • Implement planning cycles and reviews/retros to ensure quarterly plans and annual goals align, are focused, and give clarity to the teams.

  • Define a long term improvement map. Map out where you want to be based on your progress thus far, create an action plan, owners, and improvements to take you to the next stages.

  • Enable autonomous teams that can run. Strip away habits, rituals, and impediments the teams. Implement changes that enable ownership, transparency, and cross-team cohesion.


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