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A012b - Software Development Product & Services - The People Framework

A012b - Software Development Product & Services - The People Framework

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Published by catatoniaunlimited
Revisiting Information Organization Management
Revisiting Information Organization Management

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Published by: catatoniaunlimited on Dec 25, 2010
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12/25/2010

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Mar 2008
Software DevelopmentServices: The PeopleFramework 
Creating Technology Champions
Bernard Sia
 
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
 The document will attempt to rebrand the existing notion of a Support/Operations Vs Projectdichotomy and propose a service oriented, career growth planning and human capitaldevelopment infrastructure that ties the organization as a seamless whole. Components of the service chain and the responsibilities of the each proposed unit will be expounded totackle the weaknesses of a project/support team split. At the end, there will be 5 keydepartments for Software & Solutions delivery namely; Professional Services, Service Desk,Program Management, Product Development & System Administration. The structure and process flows introduced are by no means complete and can be expandedto accommodate business needs.
THE PROBLEM STATEMENTS
HUMAN & KNOWLEDGE CAPITAL RETENTION & GROWTH
 The crutch of any organization is in its myopic treatment of human resources. In a serviceindustry that translates raw brain power into software product, no other arena of gargantuanfailures can compare against an organization that:-a)Are biased against any one function within the organization, typically against thetechnical artisan and leaning towards management. In particular where career growthand advancement are concerned.b)Do not provide transparent career planning and attainable goals and objective as oneprogress through the years of service.c)Do not have a reward system that differentiates performers from their peers, henceeliminating any desire towards progress.
AGGRANDIZING THE DIVISION OF ROLES BETWEEN SUPPORT AND PROJECTTEAM MEMBERS
It is extremely tempting to maintain the line of thought of separating project team membersand operations/support personnel. Often the difference in psyche is further heightened withcharacter prejudices, e.g. support personnel are more laid back, less motivated and hencesuited for the doldrums of repetitive work; where as a project team member is aversetowards litany. Once accepted, this mentality drives deeper the wedge between the 2 unitswhere the organization haplessly profiling less
driven
candidates for support & operationalroles. Coupled to that, it is as if a caste system of old is stamped across the forehead of allsupport personnel, dooming them to play the same role in their next corporate incarnation.Humbly, it goes against the roots of any good leadership to allow hiring based on ineptitude;new hires need to possess the skills and acumen to succeed and ultimately contribute to theoverall human & knowledge capital of the organization. It is with the accumulation of 
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likeminded, performance oriented individuals that will elevate the organization to the nextlevel.
SEPARATION OF STRUCTURE RESULTS IN SKILL DISJOINT
Naturally, the project team will have first dibs on the forefront of tools & technology, and it isthrough each project that the organization learns and applies the lessons from it. Often byseparating the units, the support team will perpetually be several steps behind. The chasmis further widened with the rapid pace of technological change and heightened demand forservices. Typically, the support team that was intended to fix a bug will revert to the projectteam; a self defeating admission of skill limitation on top of grinding to a halt theperformance level of project team members. The solution of implementing a common development framework and methodology hasoften been used to ensure standardization of skills. Unfortunately, the rate of technologicaland required process change has made this decision counterproductive. Epitomized byenterprise architecture that’s not only several generations behind the current scenario butalso with mountainous documentation that has to be constantly kept abreast to remainrelevant. This in turn hinders the organization to move at the pace of new competitiveentrants that are able to bring to business solutions rapidly. The organization then begins to make excuses for the initial standardization approach andstay dormant instead of investing in constant improvement. The argument here is not toreduce the merits of standardization, but to argue against barnacle like resistance towardschange. Secondly, standardization as an end in itself will again lead to stagnation. Atechnology organization has to be agile to adapt to moving circumstances and subscribe toaccelerated delivery whilst maintaining quality of work.
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