Thinking bigger: Why we launched the Technical Leadership Career Path at Avanade
- Posted on October 6, 2020
- Estimated reading time 3 minutes
I’m proud to work for a responsible, welcoming and inclusive business, offering the best experiences that help our people thrive and feel cared for. At Avanade, we encourage honest discussions and we listen and act upon feedback. Every year we run our employee survey (supported by regular pulse surveys, as required) and through this we learnt about an opportunity to improve both our employee experience and our position as a leading digital innovator. In the past, as our best technologists progressed their careers and took on higher level roles, they hit a point that meant they would transition to business leadership and focus less on their technical passion or pursue this elsewhere.
What if, instead of making our best technologists leave their skills behind to become leaders, we created a path for them to become technical leaders – advancing their skills and growing Avanade’s leadership in the market? That was the idea that set us on the journey to create the Technical Leadership Career Path, and the position of Distinguished Engineer, at Avanade.
The first challenge was clarifying the underlying business need we were solving with this new career path; we didn’t want this to be a flash in the pan or something we were doing just for the sake of it. To create a sustainable, true differentiator for Avanade and for our clients, this needed to be designed to provide unique and strategic value.
We gathered a group of our most advanced technologists to partner with HR to design how to bring this Technical Leadership Career Path to life. Being a professional services firm, our guiding mission is to help our clients solve issues with technology; however, creating space for our best technologists to push the boundaries of the Microsoft ecosystem meant we needed to rethink the balance of direct client work vs. time devoted to anticipating and proactively envisioning solutions to tomorrow’s business issues.
The working group created a robust infrastructure for the program, a selection process built upon these expectations, and differentiated career levels to guide future talent decisions, as well as act as a north star for our earlier career technologists within Avanade who may aspire to be on this path.
Having an intimate understanding of our business is critical for all Avanade leaders. Introducing the Technical Leadership Career Path provides distinct career opportunities for our deeply technical talent, allowing them to mature their business leadership while continuing to allow for their pursuit of technical expertise. In addition to possessing the core requirements of leadership at Avanade, Distinguished Engineers will pursue technical eminence in their given domain and influence senior business leaders with our clients, partners, and within Avanade.
We have the very best technologists at Avanade – compelling individuals who are delivering amazing outcomes, driving value for our existing clients and attracting new ones, and helping to solve their most complex and challenging problems. But this new path will enable us to proactively and agilely innovate upon the Microsoft ecosystem, to be a visionary in the field in solving complex business problems. When clients come to Avanade with new and challenging issues, we will have the brightest technologists with cutting-edge Microsoft expertise ready to tackle those problems.
After months of planning, I am thrilled that this path is now a reality at Avanade, and I can’t wait to see how it shapes the future of Avanade and of our industry. We’ve already seen a very positive reaction to the launch: People are excited about the additional clarity on how to grow their careers in a way that clearly benefits Avanade and our clients. And it’s clear to everyone how this will be a key differentiator in the marketplace. If you’re interested in learning more about the path at Avanade, comment below and we’ll connect with you!