I had my first job at this company and worked there for 2.5 years. They develop both hardware and software for a creative niche market (which is loved by users). The company was never very profitable but they have some pretty intelligent engineers. They patented some very interesting new technologies recently which can boost their size. They had financial problems some years ago and one of the partners (who came as a VC) corroded the company's culture for 5 years, he micromanaged and scared people all the time. I left the company because of this guy and now I'm coming back (he left). I'm coming back as a UX designer but I have respect from some people there. Couple of problems at the company: -Lack of communication -Things move slowly despite they "transitioned" into agile -Some people became comfortable and are working part-time while running other businesses -Tend to pay low salaries -Not data driven, using old business models -Not very collaborative and became too engineer centered (complicated products, too many features) The good thing is that they are not very hierarchical and don't have HR or directors, so no politics I really care about this company and I believe I need somehow to improve the culture if I want to make a difference. I want not just to do UI, but actually help improve the product experience, customer experience. What would be the first step to change? Is implementing analytics and making people more accountable the first thing to do? Sometimes I feel that is really hard to motivate people when they already became too comfortable.
culture change is the most difficult of all changes. And u may need to decide on which culture dimension u want/can push a change first. Needs a study of status-quo. i've done few of these.. maybe can help u there. But to the point.
There will be resistance.
and there will be battle.
How do u feel about Trust there? Trust is the hardest to gain and the easist to go. Measure it somehow.. and start increasing mutual trust. Knowing each other helps. A lot.
the Lack of communication is the point of change. All else is not interesting. Analytics isn't going to change anything - u apply that to something that already works well, to measure and improve it. Yours doesnt work.
Accountability maybe, but if implemented without proper transparency and Trust, it will just turn people away (responsible but powerless).
so... as suggested. Start small. Have a look at organisational patterns book http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0131467409/, print the most obviously missing/matching of them and "accidentaly" forget them by the printer or by some coworker (who u think might take it). Don't force it - try find allies in higher places.
Look at me site for more recomendations http://www.svilendobrev.com/rabota/ which although seemingly purely software, are more philosophical i.e. generic in nature.
Anyway, essentialy - do best u can, looking furthest u can. Don't micromanage in any way (analytics is such). And yes, Have fun.