I built a robust, high moral engineering team producing market focused,
quality e-mail product.
HP's release of a UNIX e-mail system did not gain the product factories
expected traction. In fact the field was not rewarded for selling
UNIX systems into commercial accounts yet, and the e-mail product had
effective positioning, no brand awareness and missing features.
I was asked to take over the engineering team, which was disappointed
at the lack of market pull for their "baby". A number of team
members were "looking around". Some of the team had a much higher
opinion of themselves than was valid.
The design and development process model was a pure waterfall.
The design engineers were spending 60% of their time on test/fix.
This waste of time was limiting creative thinking and design
I applied Adair objectives system to development
engineering team enabling improved processes and strong morale.
Main aspects were:
- Visited key customers for informal discussions - and developed
product gap analysis with the product and engineering team.
- Agreed product plan & strategy including new
positioning. Agreed key enhancements
to product to match positioning.
- Agreed plan, budget and timetable with development and general
- Developed individual Adair objective & development plans with
each engineer. Individual, group and task goals were agreed and
- Worked with
central research laboratory on deploying leading
quality/risk framework. Coordinated quality plan - agreeing must
actions. Design work was validated by buddy checking.
Implementations were owned by the responsible engineer who would
investigate, develop, unit test, integrate, system test and fix.
- Agreed development life-cycle adopting a "spiral"
process. Created the framework of a Gilb quality plan.
- Focused team on "must-have" aspects of functional and quality
- Each sub-team was able to choose a mission.
- Group goals were integrated into the activities.
- Team's developed their schedules.
- Modularization of architecture & Interfaces was improved and
subsequently allowed layered test processes & good isolation of
changes and problems.
- Lead weekly cross-functional product team meetings.
- Managed salary plans, & performance evaluations of team of 12
The development team saw that it was empowered to make key
infrastructure investments they believed in and that success was owned
The source management and testing infrastructure shifted developers
from "maintenance" to "thinking" and the modularization and automation
allowed for rapid cycles of unit, and system development, integration,
test and correction.
The product gained a full feature set, was modularized robustly and the
quality of the releases improved considerably.
Politics, Economics & Evolutionary Psychology
Nature and nurture drive the business eco-system
Emerging structure and dynamic forces of adaptation
||integrating quality appropriate for each market