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SWARMing into action

SWARMing into action

I've been Scaling Without a Religious Methodology, or SWARMing, for a while now. I've talked about the principles behind this and the table stakes for starting, but then what? How do you get started, and how do you set yourself up for success?

I am excited to share how I've been structuring a programme to evolve a 6,000-person start-up (!) from good to great. As Stephen Covey says: Begin with the End in Mind.

Daniel Terhorst-North

October 31, 2019

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  1. @tastapod A little about Jio • Built India-wide 4G network

    from scratch • Launched Sep 2016, just over 3 years ago • 360 million subscribers, and counting! • 2 million billing transactions/sec • 10+ billion CDR transactions/day • 6,000 people in Jio Engineering
  2. @tastapod A little about Mukesh Ambani • Built and owns

    Reliance Industries • Refinery to retail • India’s most valuable company • Wealthiest man in Asia (13th in world) • Net worth $50bn • India’s economy “worth $10tn by 2030”
  3. @tastapod A little about Mukesh Ambani • Voracious learner, straight-talking,

    appreciates “speaking truth to power” • Considers his wealth “a social obligation to raise up Indians and India” • Principled, driven, genuine • Applying tech innovation to connectivity, finance, education, “hyperlocal” retail • Transitioning Jio into connectivity platform
  4. @tastapod So I took a look around Interviewed a cross-section

    of people Presented my findings as an Initial Assessment™ - People - Process - Technology - (and Product)
  5. @tastapod Two questions 1. How efficient are we? We don’t

    know! No one is measuring efficiency in any meaningful way. 2. How to become more efficient? Apply Theory of Constraints: 1. Define the goal: “efficient” 2. Identify what (we think) is slowing us down 3. Mobilise around 2. 4. Coordinate, trust and verify 5. Ad lib to fade!
  6. @tastapod Programme Success Jio People Creating Value Engineering Excellence Meeting

    Customer Needs Designing Future Jio Stream 
 Leads (pair) Shadow Exec 
 sponsor Reinventing Leadership Programme structure (warning: do not copy*) * do copy!
  7. @tastapod Operating model Hire the best people I can find

    - co-create guiding principles - then get out of their way Establish frequent, regular communications - upwards, sideways, downwards Publish programme OKRs - to set “true north” - to hold ourselves accountable - to generate excitement and urgency
  8. @tastapod Designing
 Future Jio Reinventing Leadership Engineering Excellence Meeting Customer

    Needs Creating Value Jio People Jio priorities lens Jio today Future Jio Programme Success Streams Initiatives OKRs OKRs OKRs OKRs Operating model
  9. @tastapod Things I am (re-)learning* * including things I didn’t

    notice so other people had to tell me 1. “You are building an organisation within an organisation” - with everything that implies 2. Hiring is tough! “The first job is mobilising the team” 3. It is ok to “fail upwards” 4. Consistency in communications is a design choice 5. Speaking truth to power really can work
  10. @tastapod Where next? Onwards and upwards! It feels like a

    once-in-a-lifetime opportunity - and a great Petri dish for trying things at scale - I’m still pinching myself, 18 months in The team is growing, momentum is growing - I can wait: “Never settle for second best” SWARMing is the only way I can imagine this working