Showing posts from July, 2009

Maker's Schedule, Manager's Schedule

One of my colleagues at Pathfinder sent this out to the whole company. I have been on the manager's schedule since 2001. Now [more and more] I'm on the maker's schedule. I realized things were different, but I wasn't able to articulate it until now.

Looking Back: Creating a Software Factory – Part 1

A few years back, while managing a software development department, I developed an efficient software factory based on lean principals that directly supported a $2Billion per year business. It didn’t start out that way and took a couple of attempts to get it working well. When I acquired the department things seemed to be in chaos.

• Developers would take on work directly from customers and disappear until it was promoted into production by the same developer
• No load balancing of work among team members
• Little communication with co-workers or management
• Very little formal documentation existed for code that required periodic regulatory audits
• No consistency between developers’ code
• Therefore, nobody could work on each other’s code
• Post-product release bugs were the norm, not the exception

In truth much of the team had their heart in the right place. They had been working with some of our customers for 10+ years and were absolutely focused on customer satis…

The Death of Productivity

I don't often re-post from others' blogs. However, I came across a blog post worth passing on. In my career I have never understood working 60+ hours. Even in graduate school I'd work from 10am to 11pm - but only for 4 days a week! It worked for me. I was able to finish my Master's Degree (with thesis and research project) in less than a year. I was happy to be done and never thought about why things had gone so well. Thinking back, per task, I was not a hyper-productive worker. I was constantly suppressing the Shiny Object Syndrome. Apparently my secret was that less is more. That being said, Jeff Shutherland had an interesting post based on experience from a venture capital firm about company who work long hours and the results. He call s it The Maxwell Curve. Take a look:

The Maxwell Curve: Getting more production by working less!