Technology in the Agile EnterpriseThe transition to becoming an Agile Enterprise is one that touches every part of the organization — from strategy to structure and process to technology. In our journey to share the story of how we at Flux7 have moved through the process, today we will discuss how we have adopted specific supporting technologies to further our agile goals. (In case you missed them, check out our first two articles on choosing a Flatarchy and our OKR journey.)

While achieving an Agile Enterprise must be rooted in the business and must be accompanied by an agile culture (more on that in our next article in the series), a technology platform that supports agility can be a key lever to successful Agile transformation.

At Flux7, this means both technologies that support communication and learning for teams to be agile and agile technology automation. Flux7 uses a variety of tools, each with its own specialty for helping us communicate, collaborate and stay transparent. We’ll first take a look at each of these tools and the role it plays, and then we’ll share a couple of ways in which some of these tools come together to create agility.

Agile Communication

As a 100% remote organization, communication is vital to corporate success. As a result, we use several tools to communicate, share files, documents, ideas and more.

  • Slack enables us to communicate in near real-time sharing files, updates, links and so much more. Slack is a go-to resource for everything from quick questions to team updates and accolades.
  • OfficeVibe allows employees to communicate feedback to the organization anonymously. At Flux7 we take feedback gathered from the OfficeVibe LeoBot very seriously and aim for top scores as a measure of our success in creating a thriving culture.
  • Gmail is used for less real-time communication needs, and for communicating with external parties (though we also use Slack channels with our customers); Google Calendar communicates availability and; Google Meet is used widely for internal and external meetings.
Agile Collaboration

Working closely together from a distance may sound antithetical, but with the help of several tools, our teams are able to collaborate effectively, boosting efficiency and productivity. Our favored tools for collaboration are:

  • Trello helps us collaborate on OKRs and customer engagements and is where our teams are able to visualize, plan, organize and facilitate short term and long term tasks.
  • Google Drive allows us to collaborate in real-time as our documents are automatically saved so that nothing can ever be lost. In fact, Flux7 has a main door to Google Drive called the Flux7 Library, which is where all of our non-personnel resources and documents are stored. This is just one way we ensure resources are at employees’ fingertips, helping us to stay transparent, agile and innovative.
  • Zapier automates workflows for us. For example, we make extensive use of its Trello PowerUps to automate things like creating new Trello cards from Gmail messages or updating Trello cards with new Jira issues.
  • GitHub Repositories host and track changes to our code-related project files and GitHub’s Wiki tools allow us to host documentation for others to use and contribute. In fact, the Flux7 Wiki page is hosted in a Git Wiki. The Flux7 Wiki is home to a wide variety of resources — from a Flux7 Glossary to book reviews, PeopleOps tools and more.
  • HubSpot is a marketing automation and CRM solution where sales and marketing teams communicate and collaborate on everything from new sales leads to sharing sales collateral.

Agile Metrics and Measurements
At Flux7 our mantra is to experiment more, fail cheap, and measure results accurately. Helping us to measure accurately are:

  • Google analytics gives Flux7 valuable detail about our website visitors, giving us clear insights into what our visitors care most about. HubSpot analytics also gives us website data. As our CRM, when this data is paired with sales pipeline activity data, it gives us an incredibly rich view of the customer journey, helping us hone business strategy.
  • Slack analytics give Flux7 insight into how the team uses Slack. For example, how many messages were sent over the last 30 days, where conversations are happening and more.
Agile Management & More

Continuous learning and growth are central to Flux7’s culture and values of innovation, humbleness, and transparency. As such, we also have the technology to facilitate ongoing learning with:

  • The Flux7 internal e-book library where employees can check out e-books and audiobooks for ongoing education. Flux7 utilizes Overdrive to secure our online Internal Library. Topics range from Marketing and Business to IT and DevOps Instructional Resources. (For more on our Library, please refer to our blog: Flux7 Library Drives Culture of Learning, Sharing)
  • Flux7 also uses BambooHR to store peer feedback; anyone can initiate feedback by asking another peer to provide it. The feedback is stored in BambooHR and only the recipient can see it and turn the feedback into actionable results. BambooHR also contains important files like team assignments, who is on vacation, and recorded All-Hands meetings.
  • We use Okta for single sign-on, LastPass for password management, HubStaff for tracking time on projects, QuickBooks for finance, and more.
Bringing It All Together

IT automation is core to all we do at Flux7 and is instrumental in bringing together many of these tools. To give you an example, forecasting data from HubSpot is automatically sent to Slack with a Zapier integration that allows us to automatically see just-in-time forecasting data. We can share newly closed deals with the broader Flux7 team over Slack this way, too.

We have also integrated Git with Trello such that change notifications are sent as updates to the appropriate Trello card(s), keeping the right team members updated. Trello, in turn, notifies all relevant team members of the updated card information, automatically keeping all team members updated.

At Flux7, we believe in the value of cloud computing and removing levels of management from the process altogether. In fact, we are extremely serverless as a company — with only one server for our website — which allows us to focus less on IT tasks like managing servers and more on delivering value to our customers and employees.

While there are many elements to becoming an Agile Enterprise, technology plays a pivotal role in communication, collaboration, and productivity. As the pace of the market continues to accelerate, agility can only be driven through flexible technologies that help us better anticipate and react to change. Don’t miss the fourth article in our series on the role of culture in building an Agile Enterprise. Subscribe to our blog below and get it direct to your inbox.

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from Flux7 DevOps Blog