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Managing Creativity For Software Development Teams. Part 2

Managing Creativity For Software Development Teams. Part 1

5. The art of team creativity management is balancing strong points of the creativity processes while avoiding the downsides:

  • encouraging (and requiring) deep non-formal understanding of both of the problem area and all the software development technologies by all the team members; that provides the basis for the problems and gaps detection at any team level;
  • allocating enough time in the development iterations for the problems elaboration, tests, trials and failed attempts that will not produce any tangible results by themselves but are the basis for finding creative solutions;
  • creating the supporting, unperturbed, motivating working environment and atmosphere for the team, that includes the room conditions, supporting services and facilities, convenient development hardware and software, good relations within the team, adequate incentive payments, clear and fair company policies, confidence etc. Сreative solutions require prolonged concentrated immersion into the problem, therefore any disturbing events distract the team members and break the creativity process;
  • encouraging clear communication between the team members, management, customers etc.; defining the communication rules and protocols that are both unobtrusive and help delivering the information precisely to the interested parties; encouraging the communication skills improvement; facilitating the early notifications of the problems, impediments, mistakes etc. (reward both the bad and good news);
  • establishing a good team structure, borders and responsibilities, that both grants the team members’ confidence and allows for enforcing important development priorities and directions while retaining enough room for the personal creativity.

6. Creativity is an inherent trait of every healthy, developed, untroubled person. The software developers usually are people with skills most suitable for producing creative solutions. The major creativity management rule is simply “do not block creativity”. That means:

  • ensuring confidence, providing reliable and well-structured environment;
  • encouraging good relations and clear communications between the team members;
  • motivating team members to go above formal instructions execution, making the project goals the personal, emotionally involving ones, turning the project success into feeling of personal achievement and recognition.

Mature creativity is one of the key features that differs a good software development team from a common one. Falling into any extremity from that golden mean produces either a pack of ordinary coders that implement anything that formally matches the requirements, not providing real value, or a wildly artistic company so excited by newest technologies and innovative designs that the business requirements and user experience are considered insignificant to them.

People don’t have to work for a big company to introduce the creativity support – the rules outlined above are simple and fitting into a team of any size. Actually, the most creative startups are quite small, and the tricky part is to do not lose those creativity spirit principles when the company grows and therefore must establish a more formal structure and policies.

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Founded in 1993, SoftElegance is a custom software development company that has been providing reliable services for implementation of SaaS systems, sophisticated business solutions, engineering applications, and business processes automation software. A variety of companies, ranging from dynamic small and medium to Fortune 500, across oil and gas, drilling, engineering, and manufacturing industries, use SoftElegance’s software development outsourcing services. With clients from the U.S. and the E.U., offices in London, Houston, and development centers in Eastern Europe, SoftElegance assists customers in delivering innovative software solutions on a global scale.

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Managing Creativity For Software Development Teams

The term “creativity” is not strictly defined. In general, it is a capability to produce something innovative, original and worthwhile. It involves the following processes:

  • becoming sensitive to gaps in knowledge, deficiencies, missing elements, disharmonies, problems, and so on;
  • identifying the difficulty;
  • searching for solutions, making guesses, or formulating hypotheses about the deficiencies: testing and retesting these hypotheses and possibly modifying and retesting them;
  • getting to a solution that was not available before; that usually involves an insight at some point;
  • and finally communicating the results.

There is no widely accepted theory of the creativity except for the phenomenological descriptions so far.

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Managing Creativity For Software Development Teams

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Gartner Webinar: Enterprise Business Architecture

Enterprise Business Architecture: Uniting Business and IT

Enterprise architects are in a unique position to enable and lead the unification of business and IT. Leading organizations know “our business is IT, and IT is our business.”

One crucial aspect of unifying business and IT is leveraging a enterprise business architecture as a conduit for engaging business leaders, and understanding the ripple effect of business changes on people, process, information and technology.

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Here is Gartner Webinar “Enterprise Business Architecture: Uniting Business and IT” by Betsy Burton, VP Distinguished Analyst. The discussed topics are “What is the value of supporting enterprise business architecture?”, “How should organizations approach supporting their business architecture?”, and “How can organizations leverage business capabilities to engage the business?”.

Study: Software development success is still elusive

Despite technology breakthroughs over the years, software development remains costly and error-prone

Today we’ve found interesting study about software development projects statistic. “The data about software development projects is sobering—as it has been for decades. Too many projects still end up way over budget and behind schedule.”

This study covers 10 000 software projects and found that 21% of them had failed, meaning they weren’t completed or were rejected by the customer. About 37% of the projects in the study were deemed successful: They came in on time and within budget, and users accepted the result.

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The rest 42% of the projects were found to be challenges: They were late, over budget, not meeting users’ needs, or all of the above. This it new study published at 2011 by Standish Group.

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Facts about CIOs’ understanding of the applications portfolio

IT leaders might struggle to take advantage of the latest applications to drive efficiency and competitiveness because CIOs are failing to understand what is in their applications portfolio and how much they are costing.

Following Karl Flinders post originally appeared as “Six shocking facts about CIOs’ understanding of the applications portfolio“. We’ve found this “shocking findings” are really interesting and useful for CIOs and IT directors and Executives. So please find the Fujitsu’s research:

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“The lack of understanding of how much an application portfolio is costing means that companies have no way of telling how much is being wasted. How many companies can afford to be running applications that are not delivering maximum value? Any hopes of applications becoming a strategic enabler for the business certainly seem a long way off for the majority of companies”

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Rational Unified Process Core Workflows: Project Management and Change Management

The Rational Unified Process® is a Software Engineering Process. It provides a disciplined approach to assigning tasks and responsibilities within a development organization. Its goal is to ensure the production of high-quality software that meets the needs of its end-users, within a predictable schedule and budget.

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“RUP Core Workflows: Project Management and Change Management.” is the next post from series Rational Unified Process Core Workflows.

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How to manage risk in outsourced applications. Security in outsourcing contracting.

IBM and Rational Software talks a lot about outsourcing in general and especially about security in outsourcing software development projects . You could find the fresh information and new look to security in outsourcing contracting and subcontracting, risk management or code and data management products like Rational AppScan. There are also available white papers, video and audio podcasts.

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Today we would like to review and highlight Ryan Berg‘s, IBM Senior Security Architect whitepaper called “Trust, but Verify. How to manage risk in outsourced applications”.

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RUP for a small and medium size projects and teams

In the begining we would like to specify what is small and medium size project:

  • Small project: Has a budget of less than $100,000, a team size less than six, including team members who can be switched between this project and others on a daily basis, and a duration of less than six months.
  • Medium project: Has a budget of $100,000-$500,000, a team size of six to twelve, and a duration of six months to two years.
  • Large project: Has a budget over $500,000, a team size of thirteen or greater, and a duration of more than 2 years.

There seem to be two currents that push this “RUP doesn’t know small projects” perception:

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