It’s been a year since we started UberEther and so far things have been wonderful. Honestly, things couldn’t have gone better. We’re up to a team of five right now with plans to at least double this year. We’re major proponents of Jason Fried at 37 Signal’s building of a slow company. While it helps keep us to our philosophy, our customers keep telling us, “If we only had more people like you guys all our problems would be solved.” Identity and access management isn’t about sending someone to class for a week and they come back experts. It’s a mentality and a way of thinking that takes years to learn and is extremely hard to find right now. For us the satisfaction comes from mentoring our customers and watching their teams grow into performing IDM rockstars. We’re hoping our friend Adam hasn’t trademarked that term yet.
Rapid Identity Solutions and Engineering (RISE) is our solution to helping our customers fill the identity and access management talent gap. We sit down with each of our customers and look at their highest priority, highest risk items for the year and select some candidates for RISE. The best RISE candidate projects are SMART goals; Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Based. Once the candidates have been identified we then look at their list of candidate team members (ideally 5-7) and identify the gaps to successfully executing on each of those projects in the time allowed. This quickly narrows down the list to one or two projects. We then select from our team the best team members to help fill the gaps.
We then invite the teams to our facilities in Ashburn, VA or go to their sites to begin working on the project. We run the projects in an Agile Scrum fashion. Teaching the customer’s team members the tools and techniques we use to pull good user stories (or requirements) out of their stakeholders. As anyone who has worked in IdAM knows, majority of the work on any project is pulling the real requirements and re-engineering the business processes on any large IdAM solution. The openness and transparency that agile projects provide is critical to customer success. We run two week sprints for the agreed upon duration of the program with demonstrations with our combined teams every other Friday. The demonstrations are also captured on video allowing the customers to use them with their customers internally. At the end of each sprint we have a potentially shippable product to satisfy some of the customer’s IdAM needs. During the length of the project we normally deploy into production 2-4 times over a 6 months period.
In the last year we have transformed four of our customers teams to lean mean IdAM machines delivering predicable solutions to their customers showing real business value in measurable increments. We continue to mentor many of the team members after they’ve completed the programs and help to continue to help make them successful. We teach them skills and techniques that they can take back to their customers at home and help grow both themselves and other team mates.
Each program has been different. One has lasted a month, we thought it was too short but our customer was ecstatic with the results. We normally find it best to run these programs for 3-6 months. This gives us enough iterations to really show some business value and build some great things with the teams. If you’re struggling to find top identity talent to join your team, join the rest of the industry. I’ve told many customers that you’ll find us somewhere between the unicorns and leprechauns. If you’d like to grow the talent of your existing teams please feel free to reach out to us, we’d love to show you what we can do for your teams. Email us at email@example.com to start the conversation.