The KITS group requires a well-designed formal communication structure in the organisation, both internally within the different domains of IT expertise and based on the IT requirements of the MAX IV organisation. Communication between KITS and the rest of the organisation is crucial, in order to facilitate efficient communication of requirements which leads to the delivery of appropriate solutions. It is important that the responsibility for choosing the appropriate technical solutions and for the consequences of those choices is shared by the KITS group and others. A number of standards have been adopted which maximise the impact of technical solutions, making them more generally applicable and simplifying their overall complexity. A number of values are applied by the team, resulting in high efficiency and effectiveness and subsequently high motivation and therefore productivity:
Lean Management is an approach used to maximise customer value while minimising waste. The approach needs to be tailored to each organisation and requires continuous refinement. In software development, this overcomes a tendency to over-engineer solutions and anticipate needs that do not turn out to be required. Lean Management also includes automating tasks which take significant time and provide little value or that are so complex as to generate a high risk of human error.
Knowledge Spread is a value which is integrated into the work of the group by promoting a sharing of projects. Over time, the expertise acquired when working on a single project is continuously disseminated to others in the group, to prevent knowledge from being restricted to certain individuals and productivity from being contingent on key individuals.
User Autonomy is a value which focuses on making IT systems more accessible to users. A user can be a KITS member from a different domain, another staff member or a visiting user of MAX IV. This value includes all potential users of any IT system at MAX IV. The aim is to follow the Lean Management principle of minimising waste by reducing the number of key people needed to complete a process. There is a tendency to deliver solutions where the user is dependent on the provider, and cannot maintain or deliver any part of it themselves. We want to make sure that the user is able to participate in development and also have access to troubleshooting in any situation in which they have the capacity to do so. This kind of partnership allows a closer mutual understanding and leads to win-win situations.
Continuous Improvement is a value about analysing current solutions with a view to make improvements. It is a behaviour which can lead to inspiring new ways of doing things, and helps sustain a high level of motivation. All group members are always welcome to propose improvements at any time.
Flexibility is a value about adapting to people’s needs, while maintaining a high standard of delivering effective solutions and staying efficient. Standards can be bypassed or changed, as long as it doesn’t compromise the overall efficiency of the group.