Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Reinvest in Your Engine by Improving The Work Environment

There are really only five ways to increase the profitability of a business based on software development: reduce costs via outsourcing, reduce headcount, reduce other expenses, increase productivity or increase revenues. Reducing expenses can only go so far. The most expensive part of software development is the people. Thus, one of the most successful ways to increase profits is to increase the productivity of the software development team.

The Agile Workplace
At Litle & Co., developers like the fact that Agile provides the additional challenge of solving business problems instead of just technical problems which requires thinking at a higher level. Developers at Litle report that they have a higher level of job satisfaction than in previous companies that were not using Agile because they see the results of their software development efforts installed into production every month. Also, they like the fact that there is much less work which amounts to “implement this spec.”

Your development infrastructure is really no different than the general company infrastructure which includes your cube or office, the carpet, the artwork on the walls, the company cafeteria, your phone, your computer, and the company location. These are all part of your work environment. If you have a computer that is 5 years old, your work environment is not as good as if you have a computer that is only 2 years old. If you are writing in C rather than C++, C# or Java, your work environment is sub-optimal.

The closer that your development infrastructure is to the ideal environment for your circumstances, the more productive your team will be. This principal extends to all aspects of the development environment, from development language, to build system, to build farm, to issue tracking system, to the process that you follow.

Next: Your Development Process is Part of Your Work Environment

No comments: