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Rob, emerges from triangles & ovals
Rob, emerges from triangles & ovals
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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 no 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 time. 

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 management. 
  • Developed individual Adair objective & development plans with each engineer.  Individual, group and task goals were agreed and progress monitored. 
  • Worked with central research laboratory on deploying leading quality/risk framework.  Coordinated quality plan - agreeing must have 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 improvements. 
    • 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 engineers. 

The development team saw that it was empowered to make key infrastructure investments they believed in and that success was owned by them. 

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. 


Market Centric Workshops
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integrating quality appropriate for each market
 
This page looks at schematic structures and their uses.  It discusses a number of examples:
  • Schematic ideas are recombined in creativity. 
  • Similarly designers take ideas and rules about materials and components and combine them. 
  • Schematic Recipes help to standardize operations. 
  • Modular components are combined into strategies for use in business plans and business models. 

As a working example it presents part of the contents and schematic details from the Adaptive Web Framework (AWF)'s operational plan. 

Finally it includes a section presenting our formal representation of schematic goals. 
Each goal has a series of associated complex adaptive system (CAS) strategy strings. 
These goals plus strings are detailed for various chess and business examples. 
Strategy
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This page uses an example to illustrate how:
  • A business can gain focus from targeting key customers,
  • Business planning activities performed by the whole organization can build awareness, empowerment and coherence. 
  • A program approach can ensure strategic alignment. 
Program Management
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