How To Deliver Great Software

A simple recipe for leaders in the technology space to deliver the goods…

Hire The Best

Find the top talent you can attract and pay them what they’re worth. If that number is more than you make, so be it. I would choose a team of five $300K/year experts over twenty $75K/year “affordable” team members every time. Every. Single. Time.

Set Expectations

Tell your team exactly what you expect of them in terms of deliverables, collaboration, culture, etc. Make it known up front what is desirable behavior and what won’t be tolerated. Bright lines.

Decision Rights

Push decision rights as far down the org chart as possible. You are hiring professionals, treat them as such. At one large company I worked for, after getting promoted to a mid-seniority leadership level, I finally had the authority to approve business card orders, but apparently still lacked the judgment to know when I could allow a subordinate to purchase a reference book. Needless to say, with that Command-And-Control mindset and all the paperwork and approvals needed for every little thing, progress was glacial. If you don’t trust your people, why did you hire them?

Get Out Of The Way

Now that people know what to do and have the permission to do what they need to do, let them do it. No need for ten hours a week of status meetings or a continuous flow of PowerPoint decks for the C-Suite. Your job, as a leader, is to clear the decks of anything that stops your high-performing team from, well…, performing.

That’s it. Simple. The correlation I’ve seen over the last 30+ years in high-tech between these guidelines and ultra-high performance is practically linear. If your company doesn’t operate this way, what might it achieve if it did? If your company refuses to operate this way, why do you stay?