As technology and the new normal transforms how business is done, innovation has become a strategic imperative. CIOs can play a leading role in driving and industrializing technology-led innovation. Many CIOs face a significant gap between the current and desired state of their innovation capabilities. The new normal limits face-to-face interaction, which was supposed to be an integral part of innovation — co-creation workshop / design workshops. Can a virtual environment encourage employees to innovate? As a CIO how do we provide the sandbox for experimentation ?
Enters Virtual Dojo….
A Virtual Dojo is a critical piece of innovation in a digitally charged environment, where we are seeing record online transactions and a move to digital in every aspect of business. At its core, a “Virtual Dojo” is a space that is designed to host an immersive innovation platform and learning experience, where full-stack teams come to innovate and learn modern engineering, product, and Agile, DevOps and SRE practices. A virtual Dojo should be able to effectively coach hundreds of Engineers, Scrum Masters, Product Owners, and Leaders on the new mindsets almost entirely with internal coaches. In terms of metrics, previously teams used a Virtual Dojo, it would take 3–6 months to provide hardware and software for the purposes of development, integration, and testing. Using a Virtual Dojo, a team can spin up an environment in a matter of seconds.
Most CIOs build the Dojo initially focused on IT teams, but expand its reach and gradually it serves other areas of the company as well. We have seen instances where recently teams from HR and Marketing have been among those trained. While it was originally seen as part of the support structure for the agile transformation, the Dojo has proved to be more of an engine powering change. We see that not only does the Dojo help teams to build engineering acumen and deliver technology solutions, it also has served to accelerate the cultural transformation of the organization.
We are seeing widespread adoption of Virtual Dojo. Members from Verizon, Target, Capital One, US Bank, Walmart and 25 more companies (and growing) have established a burgeoning community around the “DOJO” transformation practice. Together, they are working to spread the immersive learning best practice to others and form a supporting community to grow the practice. Establishing a shared knowledge pool, learning events and a cross-corporate community, leveraged by all to borrow what works and avoid what hasn’t to accelerate the journey and success of all with this transformational model.
As we adapt to the new normal, it’s only organizations that can innovate with certainty and on schedule that will leapfrog competitors. The CIO will be responsible to deliver the digital playground a home environment, where all stakeholders can learn and grow- “Virtual DOJO”.