What Is Engineering Enablement and How Can It Improve Efficiency?

What Is Engineering Enablement and How Can It Improve Efficiency?

Whether you’re an IT or a project manager, your fierce responsibility is to always implement the right solutions, increase team productivity, and improve business performance. Sometimes, you’re not entirely sure you’re doing everything by the book. 

Here is some food for thought: does your engineering team struggle with manual and reactive incident response plans? Or does it frequently face a low velocity trying to unravel a riddle in the document repository? 

If your answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, it might be time you consider adding an enablement engineer to your team. 

Let’s burrow deeper into the definition of enablement engineering and see why it brings added value to any organization.

Why Do Organizations Need Engineering Enablement?

The concept of enablement engineering has started to invade Agile organizations. If you don’t believe it, try this exercise: type engineering enablement in the Google search bar! You’ll be amazed by the dozens of companies that post job offers with this title. But where does this need of an enablement engineer come from? 

The structure of any engineering team relies on perfectly balancing trade-offs to maximize effectiveness. This ideal scenario can have several weak points in the real setting, like:

  • miscommunications among the developer, testing, and design teams 
  • unrealistic timelines in the development process 
  • sub-par or incomplete software testing 
  • lack of transparency regarding each member’s responsibilities and project expectations 
  • silo working and not sharing information with team members.

Therefore, engineering teams started to feel the need for a dedicated person who can be a mix of mediator, project manager, and trainer. This specialist would streamline processes and reporting and provide clear goals and strategies.

What’s the Role of an Enablement Engineer?

Big or small, following Scrum teams or the rather classic trio (product, engineering, design), an enablement engineer can fit perfectly in any type of organization.

Key elements of enablement include:

  • driving your organization to undertake a large initiative 
  • moving to a monorepo
  • improving the CI/CD pipeline 
  • tackling technical debt caused by additional rework.

In a nutshell, an enablement engineer’s role is to empower and engage developers, create the right environment to innovate, and remove any potential conflicts or sources of irritation.

Working closely with team members, the enablement specialist develops and improves systems and processes that affect the whole engineering organization.  

Typical daily activities for enablement specialists include:  

  • coming up with solutions for the backend, frontend, and operations areas that will enable high velocity and quality
  • handling problems with the product’s business logic as well as its architecture, scale, and availability
  • prompting team’s ownership of services like accountability on SLA, monitoring, alerting, and deployment of applications
  • providing technical training to support engineers and consultants both virtually and via live sessions
  • regularly updating team processes and procedures and ensuring there’s a strong consistency in adhering to Quality Management System (QMS) standards and processes
  • working with the engineering and product teams to stay updated on high-risk areas, new features, or bugs.

Yet, for all these things to work not just on paper, the enablement specialist needs to get actively involved in all stages of the work process. That means frequent workshops, organizing, and encouraging one-on-one peering between team members while building features. This continuous interaction helps them learn from each member’s experiences and discover all the constraints each one faces.

What Main Challenges Can They Solve?

In any organization, engineering enablement is bound to amp up teams’ autonomy, leading to significant time-saving task automation. Here is Bunnyshell’s personal view on engineering enablement:

“We, the engineers at Bunnyshell, are enablers at heart - that’s what got us working on this project in the first place.

We strive to be observant of the issues we constantly deal with and fix them through creating automation, adopting new tools, and adapting processes.

One of those game-changing tools is the EaaS platform we built, as the time spent on managing environments is very close to 0 now.”

Improve Efficiency with Environment as a Service

Apart from building an engineering culture with clear, simple code and well-explained documentation and processes, you need the right tools to implement them. Environment as a Service is one of the most impactful solutions in terms of improving the engineering team’s experience and efficiency, by maximizing time spent on building the product, instead of fighting environments drift. 

Bunnyshell allows your engineers to seamlessly use environments to develop & test on, through a combination of software development, system integration, and automation. Our user-friendly platform keeps your teams on the same page without recreating environments, and you can keep them up to date, getting rid of outdated and disconnected data and schemas.  

In the end, you’ll build and scale developer best practices into their workflow and enable your team to focus on quality and innovation.

Enable Your Team To Improve Business Performance

Enablement engineering brings the expertise that levels up your team, helping it perform better and deliver features much faster. Your team still has to rely on proper infrastructure systems, automated tools, and platforms. For instance, continuous delivery and decoupled architectures such as microservices can massively speed up work processes, with code going live in minutes rather than months. 

Still, the combination of the right tools and a well-documented workflow and task process leads to an autonomous and product-focused engineering team. Developers wouldn’t have to wait on other teams to complete their tasks so they can start doing their work, whether that work involves a decision or project execution. 

Overall, enablement engineering results in significant time savings — both from a build vs buy perspective as well as allowing your team to focus on building the next awesome and innovative products.

Enable High Velocity Development

Breakaway from the inability to quickly deploy isolated environments of any specification.