Message from John Sambrook, Founder:
For 25 years Common Sense Systems, Inc., has provided software engineering services to high-tech companies in the Puget Sound region of Washington State.
At 61 years of age I still enjoy my work. I am fortunate to have clients who value my ability to contribute to their success.
The work that most interests me today is improving the performance of software engineering teams.
Over the decades I have found that there are always opportunities to greatly improve the flow of software engineering work through the software development process and to do so with improved quality.
I have found that the best managers do two critical things well. First, they ensure that what should be done is done. But more importantly, they ensure that what should not be done is not done. There are many reasons that development teams often wind up with too much work in process. Until this situation is tamed the software group will under-perform.
When a software development team has too much work that has been started but not finished, chaotic behavior becomes the norm. When chaos is the norm, things like work breakdown structures and detailed schedules are worthless and bring no benefit.
In such situations the first thing I do with my clients is to encourage them to freeze about 2/3rds of the projects they currently have in work.
The effect is dramatic and the situation improves almost overnight.
Doing this is like putting a temporary dam in place on a raging river. When the temporary dam is in place the water level downstream falls almost instantly. This allows the team to see where big rocks and other obstacles to flow are located. The work then becomes removing the obstacles to high flow and high quality. When the obstacles have been cleared the temporary dam is gradually removed. The river then flows at a higher rate than previously, software quality is improved, and yet, the work environment is calm.
Still waters run deep — and they run smoothly.
If you would like better results from your software engineering investments, please feel free to contact me for a relaxed discussion.