The Production coach, or how to support your teams to master your Production

Production managers need a coach!

Jérémie Tacquet
Production coach

The Production coach works with the customer to build a tailor-made training programme, with a vision and an objective. Integrated into the day-to-day life of the operational Production manager and his or her teams, the coach integrates different areas of work in a holistic way: he or she acts on posture, leadership and the effective implementation of best practices and operational models for managing IT Production.

In the world of IT Production, we encounter two major difficulties, which stem from the very nature of the business: building up Prod expertise, and the ability to step back sufficiently to link the hazards of field constraints with strategic vision.

  1. Where there is a lack of expertise in the Prod business, we can expect to see these symptoms: teams in reactive mode, complex relationships with business teams and sometimes even with internal IT partners, monitoring and automation practices that need to be perfected, and of course constraints imposed by regulators and surprise internal audits.
  2. Furthermore, even if the strategic vision is defined, and even if the objectives to be achieved are explicit, operational managers may find it difficult to take ownership of them, and to convert them into precise objectives for their teams who have to deal with the day-to-day running of Production.

Faced with these challenges, a solution is emerging: the Production Coach.

The Production coach is an ally in managing day-to-day operations

The Production coach is an ally when it comes to managing day-to-day operations: he or she works closely with the operational managers and their teams, with whom he or she becomes fully integrated. They focus on Production practices and the reality on the ground. By being fully involved in day-to-day activities, they take part in incident management, backlog reviews, preparation of releases, even internal meetings, meetings with Business or with development teams. This observation phase provides a basis for thinking about the current situation, and for drawing up as exhaustive a list of objectives and priorities as possible. These are then broken down into concrete, achievable actions, with the aim of reinforcing practices and mastery of Prod.

But the coach's role doesn't stop there. Managing the Production team requires a certain amount of 'soft skills'

But the coach's role doesn't stop there: managing the Production department requires a certain amount of "soft skills". So he also helps managers to develop their leadership skills. He guides them in their ability to mobilise their teams and their partners: business, dev and all the Prod teams (application or infrastructure). He supports them in managing tensions, in order to navigate in the midst of varied, strong personalities and power games. The aim is to strengthen their influence and presence within the organisation.

To provide this dual support, know-how and interpersonal skills, Alenia's coaches all have solid experience in the world of Production and its management

To provide this dual support, know-how and interpersonal skills, Alenia's coaches all have solid experience in the world of Production and its management. They understand the challenges and pressures faced by Production managers, so they speak the same language and build bridges between C-level managers and operational teams.

What's more, they have received specific training to develop their skills in posture coaching, and their analysis incorporates recent IT developments that are full of opportunities: agility, UX, DevOps, SRE (Site Reliability Engineering) and AI. One of the objectives, like a common thread, is of course to integrate Prod more closely into the IT lifecycle, and therefore to create value with a direct link between Prod and the business.

Measuring this value, and the progress achieved thanks to the support of Prod coaches, may seem complex. But at Alenia, we have built a concrete and detailed maturity matrix, which enables us to monitor the evolution of practices along several axes. This exhaustive reference system not only makes it possible to set up a precise action plan and a clear roadmap, but also to effectively assess the progress made throughout the coaching process.

The role of the Production Coach has become essential for IT Managers who want to meet the challenges of managing IT Production

In conclusion, the role of the Production coach has become essential for IT Managers who want to meet the challenges of managing IT Production. Alenia's coaches offer comprehensive managerial and operational support, to put in place a training programme that strengthens both Prod practices and leadership, as well as know-how and interpersonal skills. They help Prod managers to take ownership of the strategic management vision, and to implement it in their teams, while taking advantage of the opportunities offered by technological developments.

Production coach

Jérémie Tacquet

Principal Manager

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