In these difficult and demanding times, a laser-focused approach to delivering timely and high-value software that addresses the business challenges is expected. While some may want to measure the value based on cost per unit (hour/day) the real value is measured in the impact our work has on people’s daily lives and business outcomes.
I have been leading software projects for almost twenty years, and to theoretical learning, I have been adding the practical knowledge that comes with experience. My purpose is to help customers and business partners achieve their goals through project delivery that creates the best possible results. Working as a consultant, I have been exposed to various realities and contexts, different vertical businesses, strategy types and, maybe most importantly, a variety of business cultures and team organizations.
From an early age, mankind has executed awesome projects and implemented great works that are, even today, magnificent. Intrinsic curious thinking in engineers (regardless of formal qualification) leads us to question how things were made. I often think about how the magnificent pyramids were built at a time in history when machines, methods and methodologies were so different and not as powerful as today. Despite this, they have stood the test of time and are still standing. The execution of complex projects has always been possible, and with sufficient resources and time, almost anything can be achieved.
Today our world is different, dare I say supersonic, when compared to the many thousands of years of history, or even with the past centuries that we, as humans, have experienced. It is now an expectation that objectives are met faster, that dreams are more achievable (even the ones almost out of bounds) and that final outcomes have the biggest impact. This new paradigm requires, more than ever, different approaches. As Albert Einstein stated: “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”.
Currently, software is present in virtually all machines, common components and objects such as the burgeoning smart light bulb. The speed of product launch is stunning. Try to explain to older people that a 5-year-old television may be obsolete because it does not have the new fancy x-link or does not support that app you use to entertain your kids. Decades ago, whenever someone bought a television it was a long-term (or even a lifetime) purchase, anticipating many years of use as the big upgrade came when the “black and white" was finally upgraded to a color television.
This increased demand from consumers forces us, in the software industry, to deliver a quality product that meets the pre-defined requirements. Maybe more than ever, as Marshall Goldsmith observed, “What got you here won’t get you there”. As a result of this global context and needs, new approaches to project execution have emerged, formalized to some degree about 10 years ago with the common designation of "Agile".
Agility is one of the most important pillars of our society and our adaptability is challenged daily. This agility is only possible by cutting out some of the more traditional paradigms, making choices (some incredibly difficult) about what features, or characteristics, will or will not survive. Often the choices do not only align to what is good or not, but to what is best and which options will bring the best results. We must, in a world of limited resources, more than cutting, select what we want or what we will change to achieve the needed results, to be better. More than just think or plan, we must practice and instill Kaizen (the philosophy of continuous improvement) and Lean (more value with fewer resources) in our cultures. These drivers are what motivate us on a daily basis to support our customers, as business partners.
Every day we execute our customer’s projects with value and agility with a laser focus on helping them and their businesses solve problems using technology. It will be for them and with them that we do it lean!
Check out our approach to agile delivery in more detail in our White Paper.