Similarities of success: Digital vs. Basketball

Shooting the Breeze

18 March 2020

At KJR we love our sport almost as much as we love technology. With over 21 years of digital transformation projects under our belts and multiple lifetimes of witnessing the grit and grandeur of elite sports teams move towards ultimate success, we struck upon a theme. Or perhaps it was more the notion that when KJR teams deliver digital transformation projects to our clients, the driving factors of success are not too different to those of an elite sports team.

Our partnership with back-to-back WNBL champions, the University of Canberra Capitals gave us the opportunity to explore this further and draw significant parallels to KJR’s services: Advisory & Assurance, Cybersecurity, and DevOps.

Let’s start with Advisory & Assurance…

Successful digital transformation projects don’t just happen. There needs to be focus, strategy and careful planning of all the components required for delivery. Much the same as delivering a perfect free-throw shot.

The basketball play…

Coaching a player through the mechanics of a successful free throw is all about perfecting technique. It may look easy, but if you want your players to make the shot every time, there’s a lot of training that needs to happen outside of the game. To the untrained eye, a wrist flick or foot placement may not matter, but sometimes it’s the smallest pieces of the puzzle that are the most important. After all, every point counts. And missing a free-throw could cost you the game.

The digital play…

Before you even think about launching into a digital transformation project you need to make sure your grand plans can be executed. You need expert and impartial advice, assessment of your current ‘form’ and someone who can guide you through the process. And once it’s ‘game-on’, you’ll need practices in place to keep the plans on track and ensure quality delivery every step of the way.

Jump over to our Advisory & Assurance page for more info on the digital side of things.

Getting serious about cybersecurity

Implementing effective cybersecurity systems and processes is the ultimate play for protecting an organisation against cyberthreats. Think of it as having a strong zone defence in a game of basketball and executing a well-timed block of opposition. Both cases require individuals with well-trained skills.

The basketball play…

It’s the nature of the game – in basketball there will always be the threat of the opposition and their offensive attack. Whether you deploy a person-to-person cover or focus on a zone defence it’s all about individual players working in harmony to keep the opposing team at bay. If they happen to penetrate your gaps, your last line of defence will often be an individual one-on-one match-up, where if the training has been mastered and your timing is accurate you may still manage to block the opposition from scoring.

The digital play…

An effective cybersecurity defensive strategy first needs an understanding of policy and procedure. From here you can make an assessment of where the gaps are and deploy individuals or teams to address them. But there’s more to it, as cyberthreats evolve, organisations need to employ ongoing monitoring to combat shifts in the threat landscape. And don’t forget your human element – without proper training and awareness, anyone within the organisation could unintentionally cause chaos, regardless of the systems in play.

Jump over to our Cybersecurity page for more info on the digital side of things.

And finally, DevOps…

When it comes to DevOps, put down the tools and address your culture first. That’s how teams – tech, sport or otherwise – will rise to the challenge and achieve their goals.

The basketball play…

A champion basketball team need to be experts on their tools of trade – ball handling, shooting, agility, set plays. But a team of skilled individuals does not necessarily equate to a championship team at the end of the season. If the on-court and wider team are not engaged and committed to the same goals and journey, the game will fall apart. When it comes to teams delivering results, the sum of its parts is always greater than the talent of its individuals.

The digital play…

DevOps is a high-performance state of operation achieved when barriers are brought down between siloed teams and individual priorities. Yes, there are very important and useful tools available for DevOps practitioners, but before you become a master there needs to be an alignment of purpose and expectations across the wider stakeholder group. And this is something which can only come from communication and culture. When all stakeholders can communicate effectively, collaboration becomes much easier and the DevOps philosophy will start to work the way it is supposed to.

Jump over to our DevOps page for more info on the digital side of things.


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