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8 Things I Learned From ILAO's Tech Transformation

By Samantha Kyrkostas on October 23, 2015

Samantha here. I've got to tell you: there has been a lot going on at Illinois Legal Aid Online of late. I mean A LOT. From a stakeholder's perspective (which is the hat that I wear in this tech transformation project), it seems like the Dev team has really hit its stride. In fact, it kind of seems like they're flying. Every other week at sprint demos, we get an insider's view of all the planning, building, mapping, user testing, developing, user testing again, and challenges the team faces as they take on the gargantuan task of tearing down and completely rebuilding ILAO's products and services.

And in the midst of all that, this ILAOBuilds blog took its 1st turn around the sun!

In honor of this blog's 1st birthday (and because, let's face it, I read somewhere that this is the kind of thing that you do when you manage a blog), I compiled a list of tips I've learned from my colleagues in the past year. What began as a list of tech transformation tips soon became much more. So here is my list of Tech Transformation life lessons, courtesy of the ILAOBuilds team:

8 Things I Learned From ILAO's Tech Transformation

  1. Assume nothing. It's good to make sure everyone is up to speed on tech terminology before diving into a meeting about scrum, stories, modules and entities.
  2. Over and over again, I've heard our team say: stop worrying, get outside your comfort zone and face the uncertainty when it comes to doing something new.
  3. Acknowledge how little you know, then leap into learning.
  4. Make it easy to ask for help, a.k.a. "I'll share the load, if you just call me."
  5. You'll never be able to measure the value of something until you learn to love it (or data isn't going anywhere, folks!)
  6. Everybody's on a journey: you better be listening!
  7. Rules help. But you've gotta embrace change, even when it's hard.
  8. There's only one way to Carnegie Hall: Practice, practice, practice.

When I look back at this past year, at all of the obstacles already hurdled, all the foes already bested, I'm blown away by the progress that has been made so far. It's tremendous. And while there are certainly 'miles to go before we sleep,' I've got to take this anniversary to give a STANDING "O" to the entire ILAOBuilds team for getting us here. Thank you.

Really, thank you.

You are building something great.

-Samantha K.