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We like to innovate. LASTING Software is the consultancy & software development company with a “no excuses” mindset. We have a clear focus on delivering the right product from an end-user’s perspective. Our specialists always put themselves in the clients’ shoes and deliver solutions that fit actual needs.
develop the graphics engines & tools which allow you to control your car and view your world.
create medical systems that monitor and protect your families.
enable 100’s of smart factories around the world to manage their Materials Planning.
realize the algorithms and analytics processing Big Data, which underpin 1000’s of FDA/FMA clinical trials.
build news apps which allow you to report ‘Real news’ in ‘Real time’ with data driven journalism.
transform statistics and analytics into insights on your KPI’s in cloud based AI decision systems.
Big Data starts with quantity, but it is not all about it. Quality also matters – as the professionals around the globe have already determined. Quality data leads to quality results. But the companies still need the best algorithms to sift through it, process it and deliver the most valuable insights.
Still, being able to access a larger quantity of data makes the big players in any field keep up their advanced pace. Trends can be computed into mega-trends. It takes a quite powerful business stance to be able to see things at this kind of level. That is why we constantly follow topics that concern our activity. Keeping updated with what other top level professionals do or think is a good way of taking advantage of Big Data insights, by proxy. Combined with our own experience and insights, this allows for trend anticipation.
On this line of thought, this week we noticed an article about the way organizations innovate. It’s about the manufacturing space, about the way the products’ UI needs to change. The delivered solutions have to meet the challenges of tomorrow.
Now, one may argue that software engineering is in a different league than manufacturing – and they would be right, of course.
However, when trying to innovate, understanding how people work on a scientific level is important in any line of work. For all successful innovators, the mindset is common. It acts like a unifying field that brings together all those who know or learn how to design and implement for the future.
Whenever aiming to create completely different/improved elements, one needs to know the premises extremely well. Only by being aware of what has already been done (and how), you can come with that great extra element. That is why we fully assess our customers’ operational needs before providing possible solutions.
Remember that here, at LASTING Software:
Besides the expertise of the workforce, innovation requires a curiosity for the new, courage, determination, structure and a will to succeed. Focusing on what customers need now and in the future, along with what will make them more effective and efficient, proved to be the best way to go about becoming more innovative.
People need to be tenacious in their questioning of the status quo and accepted wisdom. They need to be able to anticipate mega-trends and incorporate them into products so that solutions are futureproofed for themselves and their customers.
We enjoyed reading this article published by an infrastructure engineer from Quora, Angela Zhang. It presents project phases, focusing on the right way to do project scoping, in a realistic and efficient manner.
As we enable teams to deliver products to market faster, efficiency is key. We facilitate delivery in multiple markets without having to incur the costs and time delays in ramping up permanent organizations. Subsequently, have learned hands-on how to speed up the R&D process and reduce time to revenue, as well as reduce burn rate. Indeed, developing a realistic and revised version of the project plan is important.
De-risk the project as soon as possible. Two common ways of de-risking a project include (1) working on the riskiest parts upfront, and (2) prototyping the riskiest parts using dummy data and/or scaffolding. Whenever a new open-source system or external service is used, that usually represents a big risk.
Define measurable milestones to get to the project goal. Schedule each with a specific calendar date representing when you expect this milestone to be reached. Then, establish some sort of external accountability on these milestones by, for example, committing them to your manager and setting up milestone checkins.
*Visit the freeCodeCamp page on Medium for similar articles.
*Our way of working ranges from fixed-cost projects to time & material projects. Also, the types of collaboration available include extension of the team, feature teams or entirely independent product teams.
As we spend most part of each weekday at work, it is only obvious why company culture is so important.
We immerse ourselves in an environment that should make us grow and develop. On the other hand, imprinting company values on different persons is a continuous process. It is also a very satisfying part of being a leader. Fascinating and sometimes complicated, the process leading to a successful outcome has a backstage phase.
Defining the company culture is proactive. You realize that you want to do it. You analyze, discuss and establish an identity. Authenticity is a permanent companion in this – or it should definitely be one.
But how did the professional perception of company culture evolved in the last decade?
In a quest to be unbiased, we chose HBR as a common denominator. Yes, we could have used insights from our own company. But, as we established ourselves as a standalone entity 18 years ago, in this big picture we are adolescents. Maturity is at the horizon. Yet, we are proud of our culture, and we learned and progressed with hands-on experiences.
Yet, the focus of this exercise involves a higher degree of societal relevance. How did the company culture concept evolve globally? What can we learn from comparing older and more recent recommendations from the same influencer?
This 2002 HBR article tackles “the confusion underlying many values initiatives”. Companies were willing to change something about their culture. But they were unsure about how to do this.
Besides listing the types of values, the article insists on three essential recommendations. One of these is to be aggressively authentic. Another one was to own the entire process. We’ll leave you to find out by yourselves the third one.
A decade and a half later, standardization makes its way
Most of us know by now why the “five ways to…” and “seven recipes to…” articles flood the online. They are SEO-compliant. They perform well with the search engines and at the same time attract the reader into clicking on them. Curiosity takes the better of all of us, sometimes.
However, these types of article also serve clarity and summarization. When experienced authors list rules and recommendations, you can be sure they used a thorough research process. Narrowing down a long list to just a few items surely takes time and pondering on the scope-matter.
There we have it – in 2015 HBR mentioned 6 rules for building and scaling company culture.
In short, the rules were:
The article goes into insightful details, of course. What we extracted from here, however, is that earlier theories (see the 2002 article) have been confronted with reality. All the validated ones now became rules. Although the time span between the two features is large, we can notice how some of the recommendations are the same. Authenticity (truthful actions) is still present, proving that it doesn’t get obsolete. Ever.
Two years later, and the same publication approaches another side of the problem. Some strive for creativity and out-of-the-box solutions. But the company culture also includes those who perform routine tasks. Bigger team dimensions, plus routine may equal mediocrity. Mediocrity affects the entire group – and is ultimately counterproductive.
Demanding a step up to higher performance is not easy – and it should be rightly done. HBR provides 4 answers to the mediocrity issue:
In 2018 our influencer of choice went back to the big picture analysis. Their article on toxic company cultures speaks of the necessity of cultural capital. Investing in this type of capital is important. The cultural capital is a core element, “a type of asset that impacts what a firm produces and how it operates”.
Companies with a low cultural capital do not reflect the formal policies and procedures in the daily operations and habits. There is a disconnection. Somewhere in-between rules the traditional economy still applies, and the mere financial savings are the most important.
By keeping up appearances (and nothing more), these companies may feel like they get ahead of their peers in a sneaky way. Admittedly or not, they are trying to get by in the new economy, by re-using the old rules. In the long run, they end up just fighting against themselves.
The article analyzes why companies won’t invest in cultural capital, even after being aware this is bad for them. It also brings in a few public sector considerations. Turns out that the public sector influences the private one. It may encourage resiliency and support vital policies that ultimately shape people. Or it may not.
The 2018 HBR directory of articles as configured by the “organizational culture” topic selector looks like this – click here.
You may notice how the biggest issues are pointed out. From widely politicized problems to leadership questions, each one has its own article.
Workplace diversity, gender equality, pervasive peer attitudes, and a performance-obsessed culture – they are all in this list. The articles are interesting and they may well get you thinking. What does your company culture look like? Which are the most pressing unresolved matters?
A study in collaboration with Oxford University provides extra details about IT software projects. The productivity paradox has a simple solution, according to this study. There is no need for stagnation – the customers can enjoy the increasing computer power. The secret stands in proper, timely testing.
The source article comes from a company specializing in software testing. Even so, their description applies to every IT project. Usually, teams that include consultants, developers and testers handle such projects. We structure our teams this way.
The scenario presents the client’s representative as “Mr. Requirements”. In their worst case scenario, Mr. Requirements uses its own words to describe the end result. This triggers a series of “meetings, workshops, presentations”. The Analyst prepares for translating the project into universal models. The Developer should receive this translation and know what he has to do.
However, as we mentioned, we are looking at a “what can go wrong, it does” version. The Developer doesn’t understand the current description of the project, either. (Rest assured, at LASTING Software this doesn’t happen, as our employees are in sync). But let’s humor this example – and see where it goes.
The software project unravels to the point where the tester comes in. Too much optimism, lack of strategy or other reasons manage to minimize the tester’s key role in IT projects. Thus, this point is belated in the timeline. Some stages need to repeat themselves, once the tester identifies what went wrong. The better solution means better timing. Involve the tester earlier on, when those stages are taking place for the first time – for great results.
The purpose is for the IT Projects to “spend less time; deliver more value for less money”. The way to get this is by making sure all the people involved in the project speak the same language. Standardize communications, train team members to understand each other and coordinate their work. These are mandatory.
A good strategy is yet another important thing. Sometimes the client sees this differently. Some come up with their own management style. This may disrupt the (validated) team practices. From case to case, there is an adjustment process taking place. Depending on how the two sides get on the same page (or not), the project runs more or less efficiently.
In view of those of the above, the article’s authors suggest that the missing link is the tester. Involve testers in the IT projects at the right moment. Here is the low-cost, efficient solution. The key for smooth development, deployments and seamless implementations is here.