Articles

Critical Indicators for MBO in Software R&D

Critical Indicators for MBO in Software R&D

3 minutes Most executives agree that bonuses and variable compensation plans are great to motivate and engage people to get more accomplished. Discussions and different opinions pop up when the question “How will we establish goals and assess if they were achieved or not?” is asked. HR executives and functional managers know that metrics impact behavior, and establishing wrong goals will potentially promote unwanted results. That is why I am so frequently asked by HR and management teams how to establish goals for research See more

How Frequent Should You Release Software Versions?

How Frequent Should You Release Software Versions?

4 minutes “How often should my company release new features for my software products?” and “How frequently should I release new versions?” are some of the questions I get all the time. Companies around the globe are responding to them with a wide range of approaches, making new releases with frequencies as high as every day and as low as every three and a half years. The question remains: how often should updates be released? Too many software companies are not realizing that the See more

Specialization – Against Mediocrity

Specialization – Against Mediocrity

2 minutes Only differentiated companies grow and outstand. Mediocre companies fight even to survive. What attributes can a company address in order to differentiate itself from the crowd? Just about every relevant business component may be explored with that purpose: products, services, logistics, recruiting, training, communication, information systems, and work environment are common examples. Is there a sure way to help a company differentiate itself in the market? To do things better, different? The answer is professional specialization. Physicians learned this centuries ago; so See more

Software Project Management: Beyond Methodologies

Software Project Management: Beyond Methodologies

6 minutes Luckily for all those not involved with researching and developing work methods, there are models and references for complex software processes—at least, that is, for the most common processes, such as development, testing, customer support and project management. For the latter, the Project Management Institute (PMI) provides the market with the PMBOK Guide (A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge) and several educational resources. The available material is very good and the training resources, complemented by a certification process, bring added value See more

Software Internationalization and Localization – How to break through borders

Software Internationalization and Localization – How to break through borders

6 minutes The United States is responsible for the production of over three quarters of the software used around the world, but there are solid development centers in countries such as Ireland, Israel, Philippines and, of course, India, while the remaining emerging countries of the BRIC (Brazil, Russia and China) promise to also become future powerhouses. Moreover, the Internet allows consumers and vendors to connect as if geographical borders did not exist. For software vendors, particularly the ones in the realm of enterprise software See more

Software Metrics and Indicators Are More than Corporate Statistical Instruments

Software Metrics and Indicators Are More than Corporate Statistical Instruments

2 minutes Software metrics and performance indicators are more than simple mathematical and statistical elements. They are also elements of psychological and behavioral impact on people and organizations since the way in which they are measured strongly determines the reactions of both people and organizations. Metrics and indicators play an essential role in management, whether for statistical analyses or to align people and teams to common visions and objectives. As children, we learn to monitor grades at school, our bank accounts and gas gauges See more

Strategic Planning: Management Tool or Ritual?

Strategic Planning: Management Tool or Ritual?

6 minutes If actions such as implementing corrective and evolutionary measures, adapting product and service portfolios, ensuring proper market positioning, defending a company against the competition, exploring potential business opportunities, establishing strategic partnerships and improving business processes, among so many others, are difficult to carry out with proper planning, without it they may demand huge efforts and massive investments. Or they may simply not be feasible. Every company has short-, medium- and long-term needs that require different measures. Some of these measures can be See more

Upgrading Software Applications to New Technologies – Reencountering the Unknown

Upgrading Software Applications to New Technologies – Reencountering the Unknown

3 minutes Updating software applications to a new technological paradigm, as were graphical user interfaces or the use of the Internet, is an intense and many times even painful experience. This is a challenge many software development teams are facing today. For them, amidst the typical hurry of such projects, an important reminder is that what is needed are finished products, not started projects—therefore, development teams should move carefully and slowly if they want to get there fast! Currently, applications are developed for deployment See more

Bug Scheduling? But The Due Date is… Yesterday!

Bug Scheduling? But The Due Date is… Yesterday!

5 minutes How can one balance resources between the development of software products and their maintenance? Use simple math, don’t hold endless meetings. Picture this: another day and I am with a great R&D team for one more promising consulting engagement. I am surrounded by smart people, great collaboration, high commitment, care for their customers – great things established! We are just starting to discuss how to explore some opportunities to improve productivity and the questions pop up: “How should we establish priorities between See more