CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 25

can significantly slow down the

managed IT processes, as previously

development process. We were able to

noted, to the ways we worked on

show the procurement organization

third-party intellectual property

that we would be using the best

licensing and how we certified

quality, highest performing parts

products for compliance with Federal

and that our vendor selections did

Aviation Administration regulations.

not affect the company's overall
strategies for reducing procurement
costs. Procurement understood our
methodology, tailored its process for
our purpose, and got us the parts
we needed faster than would have
been possible through traditional
In the end, thanks in large part to
that cross-organizational effort, we
were able to crunch a typical 18- to
24-month development cycle down to
six months. We hit our first milestone
in November 2013 and completed the
project in April 2014. So we didn't hit
the 90-day mark, or the 120 - but
we absolutely got it right as fast as we
could. It was an incredible effort by

Based on that list, we formed a
cross-organizational leadership
team and began working together
on process improvements. Having
the COO's backing really helped
energize and drive the leaders to
take the necessary actions within

down the road with
much better products,
at lower cost, and with
Figure Out What Motivates a customer satisfaction
Your Team
rating that goes through
As difficult as this challenge was
the roof.
their respective organizations to

improve cycle times for engineering

for my core team members, I was
confident they'd be successful.
That's because I believe in them
unquestionably - that's an

imperative. Let's face it, as leaders

The rapid-fast development didn't

we're not the ones doing the work.

go unnoticed by the higher-ups,

The people on the front line of any

either. My boss, who is the vice

development project are the ones who

president of engineering, shared our

get the job done. My fundamental

accomplishment with the COO. As he

belief, a philosophy of leadership, is

told me, he thought that what we did

that the better care you show your

was significant enough to warrant a

people, the better job they're going

look by corporate leadership - and

to do.

the COO agreed. If other parts of the
organization could see what things
were slowing down development,
and why that mattered for the overall
good, he reasoned, then the company
- and its customers - would benefit.

If I can take that
30% of engaged workers
and make it 40%, I'm
going to be better than
all my competitors. And
if I can take that 30%
and make it 60%? Well
then I'll be screamin'

I'm 100% confident that when you
have engaged, motivated employees,
they will find a way to get the job
done. And let me tell you, when you
have engaged, motivated employees
who are passionate about what

As an organization, we called the

they're doing, your job as a leader gets

initiative "What Slows Us Down." We


ended up with several items, ranging
from how we procured products and

CTO Straight Talk | 25


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2


CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2