Recapping Blogs on Areas of Innovation, Teams and Development Methods
Joseph Gulla focuses on areas of innovation (the chicken or the egg question), team structures, and ways to develop applications (including a discussion of architectural styles).
By Joseph Gulla01/22/2018
This post described a hierarchical IT organization with members having roles that align directly with the job of adding and fixing applications for a company with thousands of employees who move millions of dollars worth of goods around the country daily. Hierarchical structures dominated development organizations four decades ago. This was my experience as I changed jobs every couple of years to gain new experiences as an application developer and then as a system programmer.
This post described an organization that created products and offerings with members who work simultaneously on multiple projects. A well-defined process, not very different from a traditional system’s development life cycle, guided this federated team. One of the big challenges for team members was getting detailed work done—like product costs cases or contract development—while meeting the needs of project managers and executives who want to be briefed on status and project developments. Some days, we had six hours of planned conference calls.
This post described a team that created software by having members work on multiple line items on the same projects within a fixed time period. It can be described as a group in a time box unified by schedule. This team felt significant pressure to close line items, while the development process itself resulted in the discovery of new work from defects and the identification of missing (but needed) supporting functionality. This mix of existing and new work made it challenging for developers to report progress of line items (or even status).
This post examined the characteristics of teams that make them effective, regardless of the way they are organized to carry out their work. Five findings included:
- Team members function best when they are treated with trust and respect
- Strong leadership is also an important factor, as it’s needed to help propel teams forward
- Another factor is team and individual reliability. Members and leaders of teams need to do what they say they will do, otherwise the team could falter.
- Teams work well when they have a balance of introverts and extroverts as this mix of personalities and work style provides equilibrium
- Proactive communication is important. Project leaders need to establish communication channels that work effectively.
Joseph Gulla is the general manager and IT leader of Alazar Press. He's a frequent Destination z contributor and writes a weekly IT Trendz blog. More →
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