Leading organizations have invested enormous resources into their digital experience, maturing their digital capabilities and delivering better experiences to customers. With all the right tools, people, and the right mindset, why are there still blockers?
Rangle is about to hit our 8-year mark as a business. We’ve seen the evolution from delivering new, but isolated, applications to the market, to delivering at scale, with digital experiences the norm across all customer touchpoints. Scaling best practices for digital across business lines, products, regions and touchpoints is a serious problem, and takes incredible focus to orchestrate.
This is where most enterprises are coming up short, and why investments in digital aren’t paying off with the speed and business value they were promised. The reality is that as are digital capabilities and customer expectations mature, there’s a new class of problems to solve. Your application development is happening on a much larger scale. Your hero app of five years ago is now being recreated in five or more divisions of your business. The progress is slow because the lines of communication just aren’t there.
New problems to solve
This is where we meet most companies today. Having solved the problems of the past by hiring top talent, ensuring they had the most advanced tooling, and coaching them in agile methodologies, they feel like millions of dollars have been spent with little progress to show for it.
What these organizations are missing is a focus on enablement throughout the organization. The friction created by a product or technology focused on speed and execution when they’re blocked by other divisions within the organization is the biggest pain point enterprises are facing. We’ve found that addressing this pain is down to three process-based solutions that require focus, effort and time to solve.
These three areas of focus for the modern enterprise that will ensure the time and money invested in their digital capabilities starts to pay off:
1. Consistency and standards enforcement
Life was a little easier when your organization was building a single application. However, replicating that success across enterprise with its myriad applications means that maintaining consistency is a challenge. How do you maintain brand standards across all these teams and products? The easiest answer is a design system. If you’re currently struggling with adoption and standards enforcement of your design system, check out Governance by design: Building successful design systems for in-depth advice on solving those challenges.
2. Code structure
Multiple teams building multiple similar applications and experiences are bound to structure their code differently, making reusability a massive concern for enterprise technologists. A greater challenge than just writing clean code, setting best practices for code structure requires both a commitment to creating a robust DevOps practice, and breaking down silos between digital products teams so that they learn to communicate and share knowledge.
3. Team organization
It’s easy to think a single product team practicing Agile will produce great results. However, products teams in an enterprise need to be linked to one another. They also need to have access to cross-functional teams in the organization so that they’re enabled to remove their own blockers and communicate their goals.
Team structure and enablement is the most underestimated facet of modern development best practices—it’s also the most important. Much of what we do as a consultancy now is creating the conditions for team enablement within our clients' organizations. Over the course of the last decade, the shift has been perceptible: The team and the organization matters more than simply building the best applications.
Over the course of the last decade, the shift has been perceptible: The team and the organization matters more than simply building the best applications.
Each of these three areas are reliant on creating a culture of communication within the organization. The reality is that delivering great software is fairly easy—being one of many teams who are expected to deliver it in the same way is hard. The issues are at the organization level, and it’s up to the senior leaders of the organization to create the culture that can change the outcomes.
Don’t underestimate the effort
I have the impression that the frontend is still underestimated by large companies. Over the past eight years, the frontend has evolved into a challenging discipline requiring specialization. Doing frontend well is incredibly hard.
Moreover, your frontend experience is your most salient customer touchpoint. Issues with experience are not application level concern, they’re an enterprise concern. Put another way, if your customer experience across your digital touchpoints isn’t consistent, performant, and delightful, your business is going to lose customers fast. World class experiences require focused business strategy.
The enterprise is a complex environment, which is incredibly challenging. We want to emphasize that the frontend is effortful—not because coding is hard. More developers is not the solution to the problem. Orchestrating those people, aligning their thinking and decisions, and giving them access to decision makers in the business—that’s hard.
It’s our experience solving the first-order problems of building great applications which allowed us to uncover the complexity behind the creation of these products. Siloed organizations can’t be digital-first. The orchestration required to be customer-responsive is impossible where cross-functional collaboration is largely absent. Knowing this, our role as consultants have evolved from strictly technical to practice guidance on enablement for enterprises. Our experience delivering applications in all sorts of complex environments, and becoming comfortable in these environments, has given us the insights to give the guidance you’ll never get from more theoretical firms, or from development-focused agencies. In the enterprise there are constraints, and not everything is greenfield.
Solving these problems in Angular
After eight years, Angular builds are once again the hot topic—but this time there's a new class of problems to solve. Enterprises need strategic and executionary support. The issues aren’t solved by hiring more Angular developers, but by evaluating and improving your standards, governance, team organization and code structure. Our deep experience in organizational transformation, paired with our expertise in Angular, makes us uniquely qualified to solve enterprise Angular problems.
On April 12, longtime Rangler Abdella Ali, together with Freddy Cheungh, will present Using Angular Elements to Give Enterprise Components a New Lease on Life at ngconf. You can register here for the workshop, which starts at 4 pm ET. The workshop is an in-depth tutorial on reusing components across the enterprise environment by converting existing components into web components through Angular Elements
You can also sign up to receive updates on the new edition of our Angular Training Guide, which will be released in full on June 30th, 2021. The original edition of the guide, which has been a go-to resource for more than 150,000 Angular developers, will be fully modernized with our best practices for enterprise Angular developers, including creating scalable architecture in the enterprise. Sign up for our newsletter to be the first to know when the book launches, plus receive teaser chapters as they become available.