February 13th 2008

Good to Great and the software business

Good to Great and the software business.

You know Dad, the software business is just so much harder than other businesses!

So said my entrepreneurial son, Kyle, who has started his third business after two successes in software. The third business is not software, its about selling food. And he is getting significant traction. More sayings last week from Kyle.

” Look I have a trusted partner with trained reliable staff in the kitchen. I know that the operation there is smooth and efficient with predictable results and deliveries. All I need to work on is the business, not the operations.

In software I was always worrying about operations. If it wasn’t slipped deliveries, it was getting coders, it was flaky programmers who did not turn up or did not do what was needed, it was projects coming in over budget, upgrades that did not (Shades of RIM) and so on. If I took my eye off operations it could all go to H. over time. In any “spare” time I would look after the business end. But operations was what just drained me. This new business is much easier plus the money comes quickly and steadily. “

A colleague and I discussed this and other issues today and saw that it related to Good to Great. Jim Collins talks about getting the right people on the bus and getting those people in the right seats. In my son’s food business the Collins model works. In software development, you are often struggling with being underfunded, getting any staff at all let alone the right ones. Then not having the right seat cause you really needed a different skill set, but this person was skilled and available. So you really are faced with having to train them into the role you want. The major issue is getting things done on time without breaking the bank. More often than we care to talk about it does not get done on time, impacting marketing, sales, revenue, stock price, the CEO’s ulcer, your job security; pick your poison.

After a time we fleshed out a webinar that we will do after I get back from Argentina around the topic of “Getting Things (Dev ) Done on Time. What help is available to build great development teams that still produce quality software, with predictable, reliable estimates of time and budget.? It will be Wed March 20th at 11 AM through the Software Productivity Center, www.spc.ca. Not your average show I promise. Watch for it.

And that’s 30


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One Response to: “Good to Great and the software business”

  1. I see more pictures of dogs–even on your site. What is happening?

    Margie said on 13 Feb 2008 at 6:21 pm #

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