What Is Culture ? Culture Defined Culture is the personality of the organization. Formally it can be defined as the collective values, behaviors and expectations of a group of employees. It can refer to: processes of decision making guidelines about what kinds of behavior gets rewarded or reprimanded rules around WHO gets to make decisions the […]
Role of the VPE in Management The role of the VPE has two essential tasks: (1) to build and direct an efficient organization that can do the work and to which operational responsibility can be delegated, and (2) manage the complex web of communications between the Engineering organization and all the other interested parties, be […]
Introduction Managing the trade off between encouraging innovation and meeting tactical objectives is a continual struggle for every Engineering organization. Caution will dictate to avoid innovation and take the tried-and-tested path. A high achieving development organization however will always be pushing to innovate and implement new or cutting edge techniques. In this chapter we look […]
Introduction Features, Schedule, Quality — Pick any two” – so goes a popular saying among many engineers. And it indeed it does in many ways reflect the trade-offs that often get made. The less time there is to do a task, the more triage needs to be done as to the amount of functionality delivered, […]
Problem Statement Requirements are a special issue for Engineering management because it is where their relationship with the Business teams really gets tested. The problem domain determines the nature and stability of the requirements, which in turn influences the relationship and the processes used by both business and technical groups. In heavily constrained problem domains, […]
Understanding Customers – as a VP of Engineering What role does understanding the customer and the market play in the VPE’s job? For VPE’s in technology driven companies, it might seem obvious that it is important to understand the people who purchase your products or services. However there is actually a lot of debate on […]
On Wednesday I mentioned that I carry a digital voice recorder with me at all times. I like to record meetings. I like to record them in person, and I like to use conference call services that make it easy for you to record conference calls (eg. *9, PIN, done).
Luckily for me, I learned how to count in early life… probably elementary school. Or sometime… (This used to be called math, for those of us who are not math majors.) I find now that learning to count was a pretty good skill, once I learned how to apply the skill.
Agile isn’t about producing products faster than other methods. Agile isn’t about working faster than other people. The single most fundamental concept in “agile” is the speed of feedback. There are at least 2 very important sources of feedback that can be leveraged in this way.
Probably everyone accepts that a business rarely has the same priorities during an extended period when performance objectives apply, whether it’s 6 months, 12 months, or some other duration, right? Unless you’re in a very long-established business (and even then, departmental priorities can change focus over such durations), it’s likely that what priorities you understood […]
There’s been an oft-repeated observation that there’s a high incidence of classically trained musicians in the software industry. I’ve seen this myself; it’s not hard to identify enough people for a jam session or chamber ensemble in any association meeting here in Silicon Valley. I had the good fortune to be trained in orchestral conducting […]
40 years ago this December, something extraordinary was offered to us. It became known as the “mother of all demos” (MOAD): Douglas Engelbart showed the world what collaboration could look like in this new world empowered by the technology that can connect each of us. He had not only seen the future decades before everyone […]
So what is the result? Today, usually only one team member has spoken directly with a customer, and this understanding isn’t typically captured in written form anyplace to share with the rest of the product development team members. So when a technical tradeoff needs to be made, there is a 50/50 likelihood that the tradeoff […]
Agile project team values and their embodiment in actual practice are highly subject to personal interpretation on the parts of practitioners, and thus necessarily suffer criticism for its wide-ranging variety of acceptable variations, all claiming to be agile. So a significant percentage of projects that claim to be agile, yet not adopting all of the […]
I have a friend (let’s call him Andy) who used to work for me and was a good engineer. He subsequently became VP Engineering at an outsourced software development company overseas. I have another friend (let’s call him Don) who also worked with me at a large software company in the sales group; we went […]