There are essential tools executives need to better lead a software delivery. But before we discuss the software-specific issues, let’s apply what we already know about team formation and team alignment. Any team needs to be aligned and moving in the right direction for excellent performance.
I’m sure you are familiar with the old model of forming, storming, norming, and performing. This model applies just as well to your software team.
The Clear Measure Way Team Alignment Template provides a form to document the team’s alignment. This is one of the two primary tools executives need.
Without consistently reinforcing the vision and the business strategy for the software project, your team is going to go astray. It is human nature and works the same as all the other parts of the company. It has nothing to do with software.
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Tools Executives Need for Status Updates
Regardless of what data they select, the team must send a periodic report to you. After all, you’re giving a report to your executive team or board of directors. And if you have no report from the team, then it’s hard to do your own briefing.
You need a scorecard, the second of the tools an executive need.
The Clear Measure Way curriculum includes a software team scorecard template that you can use. We suggest the minimum set of measures to report, and as time goes on, you’re going to want to add more and more measures. That’s normal. You do that with every other team.
Right People in the Right Seats
Within your plan, you need to make sure that you have the right team skills. If your software team doesn’t have the skills needed to execute a particular project, then you’re not going to succeed. But if you haven’t cataloged the required skills you need, or maybe taken an inventory of the current skills that your team has, then you just don’t know.
One of the peculiar traits of software developers is their inventor personality. If you say, can you do _________, they’re going to answer “yes, I can do that,” even when they’ve never done it before. I’ve certainly done that in my career.
They’ll tell you they can, and after all, Orville and Wilbur Wright said that they can make a flying machine, though they never had in their life. (Turns out they did it.) But that process was invention, not implementation. And developers like to invent.
Developers are pretty good at inventing. But it’s the difference between you’ve never done it before, but you will figure it out, and you’ve done it before and have the skills to do it again. You need to know what your team members have done before, not what they believe they can learn to do.
If you have a smartphone app project, but no one has ever put a smartphone app into production, you’re missing a skill. This is not a bad thing. It’s just a fact.
Skills Planning with the Tools Executives Need
All departments in your business go through this process of skills planning. For example, if your accounting team has no experience in inventory accounting for large warehouses and you plan to build one, augment the team.
There’s no such thing as a “full-stack” developer. Don’t be mistaken. You’ll find that term on the job boards, but “full-stack” means very different things to different people. It depends on the technology stack. So, if someone has full-stack developer on their resume, you must look at the projects they have done, which constrains their definition of stack.
Some answers provided around specific skills represent strategic risks for you. Let’s take security, for example. Security breaches can tank entire lines of business. This is not just some technical skill that somebody has, it’s a department competency.
I encourage you to get specific in needed skills and current skills so that you can understand the actual skills that you have and the ones that are lacking. Then you can build a training and staffing plan for your project.
Do you want to empower your software team
to be effective:
moving fast with high quality?
Chances are your existing team can do training to add skills to their toolkit. The other skills will need to be outsourced from the outside-either temporarily or with a permanent hire. We can help with that.
Let’s chat, assess your situation, and get the tools executives need in your hands today.