Accelerate integration with Studio 3T’s MongoDB tools
Knowing how your organization preserves and recalls knowledge is something that we believe happens automatically. And yet, each time we onboard a new employee, we quickly learn that this knowledge is an almost ephemeral knowledge, told by generations of employees through the ages and held back by a social contract.
There is a need to integrate new employees more quickly – to return to In 2018, some tech giants were facing 2-3 year terms for their employees and the pandemic has only amplified the trend towards shorter terms. So anything that gets in the way of a quick acclimatization to work is a problem. There is a common estimate that it takes about six months for a developer to reach full productivity.
With the window of productivity shrinking, spreading knowledge quickly, through training and documentation, is often cited as the way to open that window faster. But, after the pandemic, we already know that more people will be working from home. This places an additional burden on those responsible for creating and transmitting this knowledge. And it also means that the traditional osmosis of knowledge acquisition in the office will not fill in the gaps.
It’s ironic because we’re all in the news business. Shouldn’t all this knowledge be kept in documentation that can be given to the new employee to enlighten him without intervention? You may think so.
But documentation gets old as quickly as you refine your processes to achieve your business goals more efficiently. Second, nobody likes to write it; How many times have you come across internal documentation that was written once and barely maintained? Finally, creating accessible and well-structured documentation takes real time, eliminating the traffic of productive staff members to build it.
So if documentation isn’t the answer, what can you do? It is at this stage that you should consider how your developers, operators and other users apply their tools.
One option is to automate the tool’s processes so that they don’t require intervention, or they can be organized in such a way that the user simply orchestrates the execution of the automated processes. There are definite advantages to this when the process is well defined and needs to be run regularly – CI/CD pipelines and their associated tool chains are the obvious example.
But not everything is a well-defined pipeline, and when you access a developer’s desktop tools, things can be constantly redefined and refined as creative users work toward better strategies for solving problems.
On paper, the idea of automating the use of office tools might be considered appealing, if it can be implemented. But this carries many risks; the locking of current approaches and a lack of flexibility if the automation tooling is not integrated into the tools used.
What’s needed is a way to transparently capture the processes involved in using your tools.
As a useful generalization, there are two types of tools. Tools that make the task easier to complete by assisting the user and tools that make the task faster to complete by working better. It is the first that helps the integration process the most.
When a tool can encapsulate and record a task, it effectively documents part of a process for you, so users can start working effectively using that tool to recall those tasks. This should be an integral part of how the tool is used and applied by the user, and not treated as an abstract operation by a remote control application.
Wrapping and saving a task does not just mean saving the state; this means an accessible preservation of all the elements of the task so that a new user can also examine them and learn from them.
Thus, the natural flow of using a tool should lead to the creation of reusable components that can be passed on to new employees or anyone else they work with. And the tool should be something they want to work with. This is exactly where we aim during development 3T workshop.
It’s not just about integration; the whole cycle of generating, retaining and disseminating knowledge in an organization can also be more efficient, as we will show in a future article.
This post was funded by 3T Software Labs.