In our last post on partnerships, we put context to what a partnership is, and how we build and maintain our various partnerships at client and agency levels. In this post we’re going to dig into building and maintaining some of the not-so-obvious partnerships within We Write Code.
As software specialists, we’re no strangers to the “throw it over the fence” assembly line and siloed, back-channel dystopias that haunt internal teams, departments, and organizations of every size. Over the years, we’ve certainly received our fair share of feature requests with little more context than a JPEG design mockup and a due date.
While these methods can, to some degree, move projects across a finish line, getting people to work together, without really ever working together, is not our vision of what successful internal partnerships should look like. In fact, it’s sort of the opposite. After all, could you really say you have partners in I.T. or Sales or Marketing if they’re just strangers who tell you what to do?
Let’s also distinguish between internal partnerships and other forms of social work relationships, such as work spouses and cliques. While they may share some overlapping characteristics, these revolve around social issues, such as status and influence and popularity, as opposed to project and workflow-related issues. Opinions aside, we prefer to focus on the latter.
So what do successful internal partnerships look like, according to We Write Code?
- Designers and developers collaborating on features and requirements of a company-wide design system
- H.R. officers and marketing specialists scheduling digital campaigns to meet company hiring needs
- Project leads coordinating their development resources and prioritizing each others’ projects on a shared schedule
Essentially, internal partnerships come down to working together to find and solve problems bigger than an individual. There’s a lot of shared trust, understanding, and responsibility that goes along with that. To start building these relationships, initiate direct conversations to learn more about one another. Talk about what you’d like to accomplish together, and avoid taking a “what can you do for me” attitude. Respect one another as specialized consultants, and take every available opportunity you have to create internal partnerships and build a better culture.
Staffing and Recruiting Partnerships
From a staffing and recruiting perspective, we value our clients and the consultants we work with and view them as true partners throughout the process. What does this mean exactly?
Too often we hear clients say “some recruiting firms send me candidates that don’t even match – are they even listening to what I need?” A differentiator of We Write Code is we do not staff to simply ‘put butts in seats’. When we engage in conversations with clients seeking a contractor or full-time employee, we take the time to understand your company’s goals and initiatives, culture, products, and more. This ensures we are delivering top-notch talent that will help you achieve your goals and will be a great match all around – a true partnership vs. transactional.
On the flip side, we often hear frustrations from consultants who have had negative experiences with recruiting firms and they are hesitant to speak with, let alone work with one again. This is disheartening because not all recruiters are the same! Our first step in connecting with someone is to learn about what they’re passionate about, their goals and desired career path, what motivates them, style, etc. This helps us put them in touch with an organization and role that would be the best fit for them personally and professionally.
Nothing is more satisfying in this job than to hear a client say a certain hire is such a great fit for the team, and a candidate giving thanks for making their situation and life better.
If you have been in the development world for any amount of time, you probably have an understanding and appreciation of various community organizations in this ecosystem. Just looking at Central Iowa, we have a wide variety of user groups and technology focused events. The value that these organizations provide to the overall community is immeasurable.
What often gets missed by businesses, is the support and partnerships that these organizations require to sustain themselves. Arranging a venue, lining up a speaker, ordering pizza, and spreading the word of an upcoming event is much more work than you might imagine. Don’t forget about the fundraising side of these organizations. This can also be a monumental task.
For We Write Code, we look at community partnerships as a win-win. We love seeing the community grow and knowledge to be spread widely. We also want to encourage members of the development community to network, meet each other, and spread the word of interesting projects, great employment opportunities, and the latest and greatest in technology.
On the flip side, we know that people who engage in community groups are much more likely to be a culture fit for our organization. More often than not, when We Write Code is hiring, the first place we turn to are the groups that we support. We look at our networks that have formed from building these community partnerships and often find great connections already exist.
And that’s all! Thanks for joining us as we deconstructed partnerships and explored some of the various partnership contexts we’ve got going on at We Write Code. We hope you were able to relate to this two-part series, and even walk away with some ideas on how to transform your relationships into partnerships.
Interested in becoming our next partner?