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8th Light Company’s Structure and Performance Essay


Brief Description of the Company

The company that is reviewed within the framework of this paper is called 8th Light. The company’s key area of practice is software consulting, but they also build custom applications for the clients from all over the Web (“8th Light team,” n.d.). The multinational team of professionals that form the 8th light worked on a number of projects that received worldwide recognition. Overall, the company did not complete a vast number of orders and cannot boast an extensive portfolio, but their work is done professionally. The team always comes up with the best decisions and develops excellent applications that are both stylish and innovative (“8th Light team,” n.d.). The company values productive partnerships, eminent software, and diligent company organisation. The customers of the 8th Light call the company a community of professionals that is always up for a challenge and never accepts defeat. These trivial aspects are also considered to be the essential peculiarities that predefine the motto of the company and the attitudes of the employees. The 8th Light is comprised of skilful individuals who are motivated to provide their customers with high-quality applications, and there are several aspects that make the company stand out against the background of other similar companies (“8th Light team,” n.d.).

Organisational Structure

The organisational structure of the 8th Light company is represented by the flatter organisation model. This organisational structure helps the company to move away from the traditional hierarchy when the top managers convey the vision and the goals to their subordinates. Instead, the 8th Light allowed communication at all organisational levels and got rid of the variety of organisational layers. Occasionally, this leads to the situation where the company is able to perform at a very high level while being less complex than other similar businesses. It is safe to say that this approach to the organisational structure of the 8th Light is logical and practical. Therefore, the management decided to deploy this approach across the whole company, and it helped the 8th Light to trigger progress and move forward while maintaining the performance at a high level. Even though it is evident that hierarchy still exists within the flatter organisation, it does not take away the value of the organisation and does not affect the employees’ performance in a negative way. On the contrary, the company is interested in focusing on partnerships and effective communication. This will ultimately lead to the development of experienced employees who are motivated to change the status quo in the niche and prove that traditional management models may not be as efficient as novel models that are based on the conventional organisational postulates. It is worth mentioning that the 8th Light does not try to reinvent the approach to developing the organisational structure.

Instead, the company adjusts their practices to the business environment, and it allows them to achieve great results within short time frames and spend less resources than other companies. The implementation of this organisational model is contingent on a number of essential points. First of all, the 8th Light largely relies on their innovative technologies that are key to their success in the constantly changing IT environment. The use of these technologies is a major asset that is used to allow employee collaboration and efficient access to the data from any place and device. The second point is that the employees and the management of the 8th Light adjust their behaviours to the basic organisational principle which claims that the employees should want to work for the company (and not forced into it). Another important point that supports the organisational structure of the 8th Light is that managers sustain the other workers and not vice versa. This point revolves around the power of authority that is given to every employee at the 8th Light. Ultimately, the flatter organisational model at the 8th Light company is based on the prospect that the business functions within a flexible environment and the process of constant adjustments are inevitable. In this way, the 8th Light strives to get rid of outdated organisational principles and management practices.

Organisational Culture

There are several important factors that influence the development of organisational culture at the 8th Light. The managers and the employees are required to comply with these factors in order to display commitment and willingness to develop and improve personally and professionally. The whole practice of the company is based on its exceptionally brief and clear vision (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). The latter is directly connected to the 8th Light’s organisational values and purpose of the company. The purpose is the ultimate decisive factor that influences the decision-making process within the company. At the 8th Light, the vision is organised and presented in a way that helps to orient customers and stakeholders. The purpose of the company is reflected by the catchphrase “Software is our craft” which can be perceived as a simple (yet captivating) vision statement. This motto and the vision of the company are the keystones of the 8th Light’s organisational culture. The company pays special attention to their values and the core components of a nice organisational culture (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). On a bigger scale, the values reflect the mindset of the company and the behaviours they manifest in order to achieve the vision of the company. In order to have an impact on the organisational culture, the values have to be communicated in a clear way and enumerate the basic requirements regarding how to sustain professional standards, interact with colleagues, and provide the services to the customers.

The genuineness of the organisational values at the 8th Light is the core focus of the company. The management believes that it is important to develop a simple set of values that would guide the employees and connect the employees’ values to the organisational practices. The company’s organisational culture heavily relies on the values and considers them to be the most important organisational assets (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). The most important thing about the organisational practices is that they should be incorporated into the company’s vision and efficiently affect the corporate performance. Therefore, the 8th Light claims that software is their craft and they are motivated to do whatever it takes in order to provide the best software to their customers with no delays and excuses. The organisational culture of the 8th Light also perfectly mirrors the organisational structure and its flatter model due to the fact that it allows junior members to participate in different discussions without being hit by negative consequences or disrespect from the senior employees. The organisational culture at the 8th Light presupposes that the new policies should be connected to the professional and personal principles of the employees.

The last asset that is valued by the company is their human resources practice due to the fact its organisational practice is directly connected to the staffing practices and employee motivation (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). The company would not be able to function properly if there were no employees who supported the core values and principles promoted by the administration. The success of the 8th Light can be described as a variable that is contingent on the readiness to embrace those values. In order to ensure that every employee is the perfect fit for the position, the company relies on strict recruitment strategies. They are looking not only for the talent but the suitability in terms of the 8th Light’s organisational culture. This is an important aspect of the organisational culture due to the fact that these potential employees may accept a lower salary but add value to the company. This guarantees a lower employee turnover and consistent alignment with the organisational culture. Therefore, the 8th Light appreciates and hires only the employees that are willing to work for them.

Organisational Motivation

The notion of organisational motivation at the 8th Light is based on the three key motives. The main purpose of these motives is to increase organisational performance. On a bigger scale, the 8th Light management is aimed at making the most of the good incentives and reducing the impact of the bad ones. The first incentive that has a positive impact on the organisational motivation is the employees’ willingness to embrace a playful approach to the working process (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). This means that every employee at the 8th Light is motivated by the occupation itself. The workers enjoy being engaged in the core activities and solve the problems that appear throughout the lifetime of their assignments. The management realises that the desire to play and experiment symbolises the basic human instincts and signifies curiosity. The second incentive relates to the purpose. This means that the ultimate outcomes of the employees’ input can be connected to the identities of the employees (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.).

The workers at the 8th Light are motivated in a way which allows them to value their influence on the organisation and the things they do for the company. The third incentive is dependent on the potential of the organisation. This motivational aspect can be explained as the benefits that will be achieved by the employees if the organisational objectives are achieved. For instance, at the 8th Light, the workers can be easily promoted if they do their job perfectly (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). The importance of these three incentives cannot be underestimated due to the fact that these factors are inextricably linked to each other. Ultimately, the different combinations of these three incentives lead to the numerous improvements in the company’s performance. The company perceives these motivation sources as a direct impact on the organisational eminence and tries to improve their motivational practices constantly.

Organisational Strategy and Strategic Analysis

It is not an obvious aspect of the company’s organisational strategy and their approach to the strategic analysis, but they are interested in diversification and the identification of opportunities within their area of practice. The 8th Light functions on the basis of a corporate-level strategy so as to be able to expand the reach and improve the existing methods and strategies. Therefore, each and every unit of the company is required to contribute to the overall profitability. This strategy is aimed at providing the company with competitive advantages and efficient methods of strategic analysis (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). There are numerous rewards that are associated with the extensions and competitive advantages inherent in the 8th Light. The current approach of the company would easily let them implement integrated management incentives or reduce the use of pivotal resources. The main aspect of the company’s organisational strategy is to provide the high-quality services to their customers and expand the client base. At the 8th Light, the management chose to implement the niche strategy (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). This means that the company focuses on a certain array of customers who need specific services and adjusts their practices exclusively to those services and clients. Explicitly, the 8th Light specialises in providing the services that relate to the software development and Web technologies.

Management and Leadership

The management and leadership practices at the 8th Light are contingent on the three key factors – the types of the applied leadership styles, the delegation of the assignments, and the managerial considerations. The leadership styles are employed depending on the situation within the company. From time to time, there is a necessity to control the employees and do not let them improvise. Sometimes, leadership practices at the 8th Light require the managers and the leaders to employ a collaborative style and accept the employees’ assistance so as to possibly augment the company’s performance and make the best use of the workers’ creativity. It may also happen that the leader applies a facilitative approach and delegates the majority of the tasks to the workers. This helps the leader to concentrate on the employees’ needs instead of being involved in the overall problem-solving process. The management believes that crafting the organisational culture is as important for the company as is the crafting of the software for the customers.

The delegation of the assignments to the employees plays a vital role in the way in which the 8th Light functions. The management believes that this is one of the most important factors impacting the performance of the company. This aspect of the organisational leadership and management also presupposes the development of the future leaders and an effective delegation of authorities. Even though it is one of the basic activities inherent in the administration’s responsibilities, it helps the managers and other employees to find the best ways to accomplish the objectives set by the organisation. The company also pays special attention to the development of the future leaders and is keen on increasing the employees’ commitment and overall satisfaction.

The issue of considerations relates to the necessity of adjusting the leadership style to make decisions in certain situations. At the 8th Light, the employees are trained to comply with the changes that may occur in the working environment or the organisational culture. The management and leadership practices are aimed at minimising the impact of these changes on the employee performance and establishing a stress-free working environment.

Human Resources Management

At the 8th Light, the team that is responsible for the management of human resources builds their practice on the perception that the staff is an irreplaceable business resource. The key responsibilities that are fulfilled by the human resources manager include recruitment of the employees and the coordination of their consequent training if they are hired by the company (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). The human resources manager has to come up with custom development strategies in order to ensure that the employees perform at the highest level possible. It is safe to say that the human resources professionals working in the 8th Light also play the role of consultants due to the fact that they collaborate with the company’s managers when it comes to the achievement of organisational goals. It is important to mention that the managers and human resources professionals join forces at all the organisational levels of the company (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). This allows them to develop the critical skills in the employees and distribute the available assignments in compliance with the professional knowledge of each of the workers.

By doing this, the human resources specialists ensure that the 8th Light will successfully adapt to all the transformations that may occur within the business environment (“8th Light team,” n.d.). Moreover, the company’s human resources strategy can be differentiated due to the fact that it assists in shifting the employees between the assignments and positions depending on the current business priorities and the preferences of the staff. On a bigger scale, this is done to build a team that is able to compete with contenders and offer flawless products to the customers. This increases the capacity of the company and indirectly impacts the employees’ performance (“Software craftsmanship principles & practices,” n.d.). The 8th Light does not really participate in the war for talent. Nonetheless, the company is on the continuous lookout for talented employees, and its key objective is to minimise the turnover rate and increase the level of organisational commitment among the staff.

Marketing Strategy and Practices

The marketing strategy at the 8th Light is based on several important aspects. First, the company is interested in showcasing their best works. This is why the best and most renowned designs are placed at the top of the page and are considered the company’s trademarks (“Software consulting & agile Web application development,” n.d.). Second, the company builds a visible online presence and actively communicates with their customers via social media networks. The 8th Light’s marketing strategy is oriented on a specific niche of customers who require a reasonable price-quality ratio. The company realises its own value and makes the most out of its optimistic and lively motto and vision. They offer detailed, and individually-tailored Web designs and software development approaches (“Software consulting & agile Web application development,” n.d.). Overall, the marketing strategy of the company perfectly reflects their commitment to high-quality products and efficient management of the available resources.

Decision Support System

The 8th Light successfully exploits the benefits of using decision support tools. By using them, the company is able to resolve business issues on a short-term basis and assess the possible risks. By using the decision support software, the 8th Light increases the flexibility of their approaches and analyse their existing upsides and downsides. Moreover, the company also plans their activities effectively and helps to manage human resources in the most competent ways. At the 8th Light, the team uses a combined decision support system. This means that the management relies on both the opinions from the specialised software and human analysis. In addition to this, the organisation utilises a variety of reporting tools in order to support their decision-making processes. By means of implementing a decision support system, the 8th Light is able to speed up the process of making the decisions and increase the level of organisational control. One of the key benefits of the decision support system is that it eliminates the activities regarding the value chain. On a bigger scale, this system increases personal efficiency and helps the organisation to systematise the decision-making processes.

Performance Measurement

There are three basic ways that are used by the 8th Light to measure their performance – 360-degree feedback, self-evaluation, and objective-based management. The 360-degree feedback is founded on the anonymous comments and criticism coming from the company’s employees and other individuals with whom the managers interact on a daily basis (Halverson, 2016). The system of the 360-degree feedback presupposes that subordinates, salespersons, support representatives, and especially the company’s customers should be involved in the process of providing the feedback that might be helpful in the future (Halverson, 2016). The 8th Light employed a strategy where one of the human resources representatives is responsible for analysing and interpreting the results of the surveys. The results of the 360-degree feedback are considered to be the most accurate, and the evaluators think that the confidentiality of the surveys is the key reason why these results should be considered reliable (Halverson, 2016). The 8th Light employees are not afraid to share their opinion and provide the management with honest answers.

The objective-based management functions on the basis of direct reports. By means of these reports, the managers develop a set of short- and long-term goals that are consistent with the company’s values, core objectives, and organisational vision. Annually, the managers measure the staff performance and its alignment with the goals specified at the beginning of the year. Even though this performance measurement model first appeared more than 50 years ago, it is still relevant for the 8th Light. The company’s management replaced the static goals and objectives with the novel objectives that are in line with the dynamic nature of the modern business. From time to time, the management reviews the pre-set goals and tweaks them if necessary.

The most efficient performance measurement strategy is the method of self-evaluation. These tools are utilised by the employees so that they could evaluate their performance on the basis of their own criteria or the criteria provided by the managers. Within the company’s environment, the employees mostly rely on the qualitative criteria, but they are used to apply the quantitative approach to the evaluation as well. This performance measurement method is useful due to the fact that it can raise the level of credibility when the worker’s score is in the higher segment of the evaluation table. The staff that works for the 8th Light is able to discuss the downsides of their performance and how it can be improved in a constructive and peaceful manner.

References

. (n.d.). Web.

Halverson, M. (2016). . The New York Times. Web.

. (n.d.). Web.

Software craftsmanship principles & practices. (n.d.). Web.

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IvyPanda. (2020, September 8). 8th Light Company's Structure and Performance. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/8th-light-companys-structure-and-performance/

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1. IvyPanda. "8th Light Company's Structure and Performance." September 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/8th-light-companys-structure-and-performance/.


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IvyPanda. "8th Light Company's Structure and Performance." September 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/8th-light-companys-structure-and-performance/.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "8th Light Company's Structure and Performance." September 8, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/8th-light-companys-structure-and-performance/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) '8th Light Company's Structure and Performance'. 8 September.

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