IT is viewed by many people as being something technical. They have a vision of managers with lot?s of plans, documents and spreadsheets, and nerds that are sitting behind their computer doing the ?real work?. It may be out there, but I don?t see that often. What I see are people working together to deliver software solutions that work, which help their customers in their daily work, and deliver business value to the company. Communication and collaboration is essential to make the people that are doing this successful. So for me, soft skills really matter in IT! What do you think?
Last week, I wrote an article about lean distributed startups. The past months, one of the startups within our company that has taken most of my attention is 'hire a nerd'. The main goal of this project is making a product out of our current core service (building offshore and nearshore dedicated teams for software firms and departments). Yes the name is provoking, we're also contemplating launching a second version under our Bridge brand. We try to achieve two things for our customers:
The agile manifesto proposes that a ?team reflects on how to become more effective?. Agile retrospectives can be used to inspect and adapt the way of working. But sometimes teams struggle to figure out what an agile retrospective is? And they wonder why they should do them? Without further ado, here?s an introduction to agile retrospectives, to help you to get started with them.
The Agile Retrospective
An agile retrospective, or sprint retrospective as Scrum calls it, is a practice used by teams to reflect on their way of working, and to continuously become better in what they do.
The past months, I have been experimenting with the lean startup method in a distributed setting. Let me explain this, because if you are not an offshoring insider, this could sound like gobbledygook.
The lean startup method you probably have heard about. The essence of the method is: if you have a (software/internet/app) product idea, develop a minimum viable product as fast as possible. This could be an 'alpha' version of your software, but even better is a 'simulation of your idea'.
Are you a doctor with your own practice and you are wondering why you ought to consider taking advantage of medical billing outsourcing? It is no secret that doctors are considered to be very smart individuals, but when it comes to medical billing, lots of them are totally clueless. It is as though a lot of those who are in the medical field have actually given up hope of ever effectively handling the financial part of their practice and decide to have their billing department handled by just ?anybody? ? in the long run, their practice ends up suffering?badly!
Organizations want to mature their IT or R&D software development and do that by using CMMI for example. They set a goal: we have to get at CMMI level 3! And expect that their employees do whatever they can to achieve that goal. Unfortunately, this doesn?t always go like that. Why do you want to mature, ?what?s in it for me? is the question an employee will ask himself. What does work is the improvement of skills, by helping employees to become more capable. The CMMI continuous with CMMI Roadmaps makes this possible.
This week, I launched my first ever book. The book is written together with some experts from all over the world. It is part of a series of ebook on managing remote teams. Our aim is to help people who plan to manage or already manage a remote team. I have found in the past years, that many people struggle when part of their team is working offshore or nearshore. The challenges in managing remote teams are a.o. managing the distance, cultural differences and different time zones. Many offshore or nearshore providers today use methods like scrum to bridge the challenges. But Scrum tells you only a small part of the story, it helps a lot to manage a remote team, but there is more to it.
Once considered a controversial topic, outsourcing is now embraced, not just by technology organizations but with information technology (IT) departments of companies in various industries. I can confidently say that the volume of technology offshore outsourcing ? where small and large organizations in economically developed nations send work to companies in developing countries ? has risen since this approach became common during the mid 90's economic boom. During that period, the standard of the practice remained pretty much the same.
Perhaps your business has more work than it can handle. Or maybe you?d like to take on additional responsibilities, but can?t because you don?t have the specialized expertise needed to get the job done right. Outsourcing certain back-office tasks can help your business to focus on doing what it does best, without sacrificing the quality of those things you?re just not equipped to handle right now.
Few months ago I published a blog on Measuring and controlling product quality for iterative large(r) projects. I made a promise to blog about how we steered product quality in Agile teams, using Fault Slip Through. The approach is to reduce quality risks by deciding in the planning game when and how to invest in Quality. Let?s take a look how you can steer product quality in Scrum teams.
It is no secret that call center outsourcing is a well known industry; as a matter of fact, there are so many people who know of the many advantages of offshore outsourcing and plan to explore it. There are a lot of jargons used in the ?offshore outsourcing? business, which are known to be quite confusing.
I recently read an interesting discussion on Quora. I love the reply of Venkatesh Rao. I am currently writing a book on managing remote teams and engage many experts from around the world to write about the best practices on offshoring and nearshoring. Here is the reply he posted: