Culture is the key to Innovation

It seems like every NASDAQ company has announced huge layoffs for IT staff in the last couple of years, and it only seems like yesterday those companies were exalting the virtues of giving staff free time each week to work on whatever they want to in the belief this would foster innovation for the organisation. Cynically, many viewed this approach promoted by an organisation was perhaps more to give them the edge in a competitive recruitment market rather than actual belief in a culture of freedom of ideas. Yet innovation, the fundamental corner stone of daily problem solving for developers, is the most important cultural trait for a technology company. 

Throughout their 20 years history DeltaXML has continuously innovated, with patents and new ways of processing data and documents, with world leading products. Whilst they have had a continuous resource for Research and Development, in more recent years this has been supported by their development team with time on ‘Free Sprints’. Agile development is adopted by most software engineering teams and conveniently can be used to introduce free time. More than just a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon, every 3 months, DeltaXML uses the Free Sprint of two weeks giving developers time to undertake a significant piece of work in a considerable amount of detail and often producing a complete proof of concept. 

This is part of culture and importantly their road map of development which has a 5-year horizon for products. Ideas are continually captured and reviewed on a monthly basis with developers given the opportunity to select from a pool of ideas aligned with the road map or decide to explore a new direction. In recent months they have seen some exciting new ideas to extend their products or support the developer community. The culture of innovation brings excitement, anticipation and recognition to the organisation as they help find change that matters. 

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