Thursday, July 21, 2016

Introducing new tools in pursuit for more productivity, but when ...

How many times to do you find your company introducing new tools for managing tickets, product backlogs and agile development in general? How do you know when you are actually impacting the productivity in a negative way?

Working in software engineering field for almost two decades I have seen a lot of changes in companies when it comes to tools that you use to manage your projects and tasks. Some of these disruptions are very good for your team, but when it becomes a norm every year, then they are just disruptions without anything in return. In fact they could even be worse impacting the productivity in a negative way from technical, security and compliance point of view. What do I mean by negative impact? You could have important items in the backlog that either can be lost in the transformation process or some important details (i.e. attachments) do not get migrated from one tool to another. For example a user story could have important comments and a discussion thread that does not get ported to the new tool. 

How do you gauge when these disruptions become negative? The best people to gauge this are the leaders on the floor who interact with developers and technical experts every day. If the topic of the conversations is what tools are being used instead of what cool features need to be developed for your customers, then those are signs of negative impact. If these type of conversations persist for more than 2-3 sprints, the leaders need to detect this and act to help out the team with regaining productivity. If these scenarios repeat every year due to the company changing directions, the leaders need to shield the development/technical team as much as possible because companies do go through these cyclic changes. 

Almir M.

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