Seventhman Blog

  1. The Science and Art of Building a Great Software Team

    "software team"Just like coding, building a great software developer team is also an art and getting the right people on board is still a work-in-progress for many. It’s not so much about the smartest, the most experienced that counts.. but the right people who will fit in skill-wise and personality-wise.  The last thing you want is for your project to fail simply because your team didn’t work well.  The reasons are many and if you will be honest to admit it, not all of us work well with others.  You might be stuck with such a team right now so the next question is, how can you turn things around to help them become more productive?

    Are You Ready to Shake Things Up?

    There’s a reason that big brands are still sourcing outside help even if they have talents in-house.  Would you agree that diversity is the biggest contributing factor to a project’s success?  Sometimes, you simply need a second opinion (or third, fourth and so on).  If you’re tired of the same old scene where everyone agrees just to get things done, how about encouraging some conflict?  The last thing you want is stagnation.  It will surprise you that when tension runs high, ideas come in an endless supply as everyone continue to raise the bar higher – to come up with something innovative.  You must be lucky if you find a devil’s advocate in your group, of brilliant mind disrupting mediocrity to come up with something amazing.  The problem is, not everyone can identify the outliers from the real artists.

    When It Comes to Successful Software Teams, Size Does Matter

    And to top it off, I’d say bigger is not always better.  While there are varying opinions on what the ideal team size is, anything that’s not double-digit is great to start with.  Hiring small means easily managing less people and faster communication with key people.  Keeping it small is also great for boosting dedication and morale where each person will take ownership of his/her own code.  When you work with a small team, this will also mean that you can afford to pay senior developers more.  We all know that coming up with better codes and designs are best left to those who can make better decisions.  If you can’t really keep it small, I’d say break large teams into smaller teams with leaders on every hub.

    Looking Beyond Agile

    There will always be a gap between software developers who are code-oriented and business people who are strategy-oriented.  While agile is great for trying to improve from the mistakes of the past, you have to look beyond the software development stage for you to create something that equates to great user experience.  Agile may help measure your working software, but the idea is not really user-centric.  More meetings don’t really mean productive meetings.  Talking about the requirement everyday just adds more tension between IT and business.  Instead, each one should understand the business side of things and the end users more.  At the end of the day, software is not just a bunch of codes; it must be usable.  In short, development teams are not only about creating codes, but creating experience too.

    To build a great software is not like building automobiles.  There must be a balance between methodology and the creative process to make it work.

    Truth is, effective teams don’t just happen overnight. You have to put in the human side of things – to trust and protect your team may be the next best step you can take… would you agree?

     

     

     

  2. Synergy: Doing Business in Real-Time

    "synergy"It’s amazing to see the correlation between the rise in  remote work and the growth in virtual teams around the world.  A survey even shows that 77% of American adults feel that online meeting is on the rise.  When companies are in a boot-strapping mode so they can meet their business goals, just how can teams that are spread out geographically collaborate like they do in real-time?  Of course, online collaboration saves a lot on travel time and transportation cost, not to mention that participants are more focused meeting online than offline.  Even after years of working with virtual teams, I still face daily challenges in managing it and having an open mind is just a start.  The real question is:  How can you make your process work?

    When Real-Time Performance Feedback Counts

    If you’re working with people across different culture, you know that having a global mindset is the key to making everyone work seamlessly together.  Having a common language is not really enough.  You have to combine communication tools with real-time feedback to your team so they can learn and improve faster.  Most often, feedback come in a little too late and people end up with disagreements.  To engage your virtual workers, you have to give constant feedback that will encourage good habits and practices.  Thanks to online conferencing tools and social networks, this is not an impossible task.  I’m using Yammer to share constant updates with my team, to keep a friendly and healthy discussion, or when I need to implement a quick change.  Think of it as having your own knights-of-the-round-table in a click.  Slipping out a note of appreciation can work wonders too and yet, how many of us have sent a thank you note lately?  Call it your digital pat on the back and it’s time-tested to boost your workers’ morale, no matter how far they are.

    Keeping the “I” in Agile

    I.. for innovation, that is!  Just how can you mix quality time with real-time connectivity?  And if you can, will you create a synergy that will help bring you closer to your goals?  Creating a real-time feedback loop is a serious game that demands business agility, where people can excel at their skills.  Still, there are some who say that the Agile process is anti-innovation.  This can be true though if your user stories are not based on real scenarios that your business face.  The problem with online collaboration comes in when there are more than two users/players in the scene and most often, too much time is wasted on talking about things that are not related to the issue at hand.  To learn faster and come up with effective solutions of getting things done will require not only abstract thinking in a technological perspective, but innovative minds as well.  If you are transparent with your team about your plans and processes, you open the door to making better decisions for your business.

    Revamping Your Business Process Management

    With globalization, the demand to accelerate business processes to come up with real-time solutions is becoming a necessity.  In the name of growing a brand’s recognition and business profit, organizations will have to learn how to synergize by getting rid of information anxiety and empowering their team at all levels.  It will all come down to managing IT, the people.. and maximizing business value where tech is concerned.  These days, the fast will beat big and everyone will be forced to innovate.  Doing business in real time may simply mean alignment of strategies and performance feedback from day-to-day… and responding quickly to change.

    Are you ready to empower your team?