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Is Your Software Company Managed By FEAR?

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hey again it's Jamie from Jamie Edwardscomm and today I want to ask you thequestion is your software company beingmanaged by fear and if it is are youdeferring changing that to someone elseif you really want to be happy in yoursoftware development career and maybeyou feel like a cog in a large wheel andyou don't really have the ability tochange anything I hope this video givesyou some information that you can maybeshare with people that attempt to manageyou or leaders at your company or atleast use this information to have somepossibly difficult conversations withwho's running your software company tohelp them understand a little bit betterhow they need to go about developingsoftware to be a little bit more freeabout it and to grow and not beoperating under a cloud of fear becausethey just can't deal with things beinguncertain when I go into a softwarecompany and I find the culture there istoxic and people are operating under alot of fear it's usually because theydon't really understand where in thelifecycle of their software product theyare and they're trying to manage theproduct in the company to save costs sothis video today is going to talk alittle bit about the typical life cycleof a software product and you can goback and watch the video I did yesterdaywhere I talk a little bit more about ata software company a healthier way toset up and think about your softwarebusiness so that it can truly grow butthis is going to expand on that topic alittle bit today and I'm going toprovide you with some information at theend of the video that's going to giveyou some ways to figure out is yourcompany being driven by fear the wayit's managed and could you maybe havesome of these conversations to breakthrough that usually when I find that acompany falls into this it's becausethey're typically thinking that theirproduct is more valuable and certainthan it is and they don't realizethey're much earlier in their productslife cycle than they think they are theymay have hit some profit goals andacquired a lot of new customers butthey've got a long way to go and theystart treating their softwaredevelopment process and the way theymeasure thingsas though they they are a late-stageenterprise company when they're reallyjust getting off the ground this isreally the worst mindset to work in ifyour products in a growth stage youreally need instead at your company tobe thinking about how can people worktogether and take some risks andactually do this in a calculated way sothat when things turn out to be wrongthe theories that we all have aboutsoftware development and inevitably theyare the damages are limited you know ifyou're out there as a software developeror you're in operations or UX again youmight be thinking this is the problem ofthe business but I want to ask you thisif you've ever been frustrated that youhaven't gotten promoted you haven'tgotten the rewards that you want you'regetting raises that feel like they'reminiscule compared to what you reallyfeel like you're bringing to the companymaybe you need to take another look atif you can do some things just throughhaving conversations with people at yourcompany to help the company be setupsfor success better so that you canreally get the rewards that are deservednow this video is not going to give youeverything that you're going to need toactually have successful conversationsabout this I've done many other videosand I'll continue to on sort of softskills and consulting you can go backand watch one on how to earn trust foryour software ideas so you need to buildup a good relationship and that takesunfortunately work other than justsitting on your computer and writingcode or creating screen diagrams or youknow creating scripts to put yourdeployment pipeline together if you wantto accomplish this but if you're willingto put the work in if you're at acompany where you feel stuck and youfeel like you're not really gettingappreciated for what you think you'redoing I would just encourage you to lookat some of these videos like today'svideo and the future ones I'm gonna dothat are gonna help you understandwhether your software business is introuble or not and use this informationshare it with your project managersshare it with your product managersshare it with your CEO your colleaguesand help set your company up for successso that everybody can make more moneyeverybody can grow and there can be muchless fear which is really where Ipersonally see the biggest problems madeat software companies is when there'sjust this culture of oh my god I hope wedon't do the wrong thing and if we canhave a culture and a mindset at asoftware company that actually embraceschange and embraces risk and isrealistic about the fact that softwaredevelopment is very inherently riskyjust the fact that it's so expensive andit's changing all the time and people'slevel of skill is so different from teammember to team member having that sortof a realistic attitude when you goabout developing software that's what'sgonna really produce great products andit's really gonna allow you to love yourjob again so I showed this diagramyesterday and I'm gonna just I'm notgonna go into detail over this but I'mjust gonna review it very briefly thisis a line this this green line this asscurve that represents a typicallifecycle of a software product and thebeginning of the line you know whereit's sort of flat as I talked aboutbefore that's really where the companiestrying to find market fit when it startsto go up exponentially that's when theproducts really just growingdramatically and making a lot of revenueand profit profit for the company andthen when it levels off that's reallywhen it's sort of nearing end of lifeand as I talked about in the other videohopefully your business is being managedso that when that occurs you've alreadyinvested in another productbut what I want to talk about a littlebit today with respect to fear is whenyou look at a software company's productthere's a couple different stages thatproduct goes through now there's manydifferent ways to break up the stages ofa software product and Geoffrey Moore'scrossing the chasm is a really popularway to look at it and I'll talk aboutthat some more in future videos but whenwe think about fear and whether yourcompany might be being mismanaged what Iwant you to understand here again thisis really important for anybody involvedin software development and if you wantto have higher job satisfaction is manycompanies even multi-million dollarcompanies are still at the early stagein their most successful or hopefullywill be successful software products andthey think they're much further alongthan they are so what I'm trying to showyou in this diagram here is the red linethat's vertical kind of cuts off thesection before it what I would considerthe early stage of a software productand its lifecycle this is really theperiod in time where the company isstill validating whether they foundmarket fit meaning have I found theright combination of features the rightway to advertise the product have Itaken good feedback from customers andit adapted and changed what I thoughtwas a good idea because we all come intosoftware development with what we thinkare good ideas but we have to beprepared that we're going to be wrongand what I'm trying to show here isduring that entire phase there's manyreleases that are going on I even talkedabout yesterday you could do 50 or morereleases of your software product beforeyou really achieve market fit and duringthat period if the people running thesoftware company don't understand thisthey are gonna have a lot tied up intheir own self-worth in their own visionand their own ideas and they're gonnahave a hard time when they don't achievethe goals that they want to so one ofthe best things that people can do andthis doesn't matter if you're the CEO orjust a programmer or a support person isto have an attitude that says I'mwilling when I come in to work every dayand I try to put some effort in to findout that my effortwaste because it's just simply the onlyway that you can actually get to themost valuable ideas for your customersis to have a humble attitude that saysI'm gonna keep trying to find the rightthing I'm gonna try something and findout if I you know it's basically likethink of if you have a dartboardand somebody gives you a bazooka and youcan aim that bazooka at the dartboardbut you've only got one piece of ammoyou can shoot it once and if you missyou miss the whole target that's how alot of companies budget they spend a lotof money trying to hit a target tryingto satisfy their customer and they wrapa whole bunch of money and value in thatand they can only shoot once they've gotone release one chance to make it stickand they plan like that other companiesthink of it as you have 50 darts thatyou can throw at that dartboard and soyou have a whole bunch of chances to hitthe board but they're not going toimpact as hard and that's really themindset you want to have when you'redeveloping software early in this stagenow again if you're a software developerout there or you're in any otherposition that you don't feel like you'rereally in leadership why this is soimportant to you is if you've ever beenon a project and you feel like the waythat the development is being gone goneabout there's a lot of effort beingspent on cost savings so how do we savemoney and you're really thinking manthere is so much time this company'sspending on making me measure everylittle detail of the work I'm doingare we really profitable are we reallygrowing well you know I could tell you alittle story about when I was in myfirst job and I first got out of collegeand I worked for a fortune 500 companyas a tester about three years into it9/11 happened and before 9/11 believe itor not we did not have to estimate ourwork on a new product I was working onnow this might sound crazy to youespecially in today's market but at thattime the company I worked for was highlyprofitable they had a huge purse ofmoney to spend on new productdevelopment they also understood that tobreak into a new market or offer a newproduct and makes people successful youcan't predict everythingand so they brought the best talent theycould together they decided how muchmoney can we spend per month to try todeliver value to our customers and ledus as a team figure out the best way todo that they didn't micromanage us theytrusted the team to do this and throughthat culture I mean we came up withaward-winning SDKs we partnered withhuge technology vendors that didn't evenknow about us before we you knowacquired customers that weren't eveninterested in our brand anymore we did alot of really exciting things and thiswas really because the company at thatpoint that this product I was working onwas not being managed by fear it wasbeing managed by growth and byinnovation and so if your company hasn'thit them the top of this s-curve that'sin this diagram here meaning they'vesaturate they've hit market saturationthey can't really acquire more customersfast enough to truly profit at a reallyfast rate then really the company shouldnot be focused on cost savings theyshould be focused on growth and ifthey're going to do that they're gonnahave to let go of control andmeasurements so much and just figure outwhat am I willing to spend per monthso this third diagram that I just wantto show you real briefly and I promisethis channel is not going to turn intoPowerPoint mania I hate slides just asmuch as you do but sometimes a picture'sworth a thousand words so this is aslide that if you've ever been inmarketing or you've you know run anykind of business or you've been asoftware developer or consultant you'vebeen brought into some of thoseconversations you'll have seen beforebut I want to talk about this in termsof fear so when a software company isgoing to offer a new product or a newversion of a product and they're in thatearly stage of their software productthat I showed you in the prior slidethey're really trying to hit a smallportion of the total market that theycould satisfy and that's what this greencircle represents the target market alot of companies that are getting usedto doing Minimum Viable products or MVPsand you can go back and watch my videoon that they're really selecting a smallsegment of their market to targetbecause they know they can't satisfyeveryone at the beginning and in thisdiagram here I'm just giving an examplemaybe your target market is 500potential customers now that's a prettygood sized target market you might iffor an MVP you might really want that tobe like 10 customers that you're gettingfeedback from an input the point beingyou're probably gonna have to at yourcompany release many little releases ofsoftware and many theories of valueremember I've talked about this in othervideos every thing we put on our backlogis a theory it doesn't matter whatusability studies we've done in it andhow much our customers have told usthey've loved it and how many companieslike Gartner and people like this we'vepaid to give us validation that yes myidea is good the proof is in the moneyif the customer pays for it then it'svalid and you're not going to know thatuntil you release something to them sowhen you're hitting this target marketand you're in this early stage of yourproducts development process the goal isto satisfy that target market and nottry to satisfy everyone so where I seecompanies get into trouble is they treattheir product like they're actuallyservicing the entire market and they'renot so the service ofavailable market is really who are thecustomers that you can reach right nowthat you could potentially offer yourproduct to but maybe it's too large of apool to really get feedback from thecompanies maybe not set up as far astheir internal processes and thedevelopment process yet to handle thatlevel of volume but you couldpotentially go after themand the total addressable market isreally the segment of the entire globalmarket let's say the global market waslike thirty million people but thepeople who can afford your product whoare within your customer demographic allthose good things that we softwaredevelopers usually say well that's thebusiness's problem but you know againI'm trying to help you in these videosunderstand at least a little bit aboutthis so that you can have some toughconversations with your management butso I hope this diagram here helps youthink a little bit about is my companymay be operating on fear because they'relooking at the way we're developing oursoftware product as though were actuallyservicing the total addressable marketin other words were thinking were anenterprise or we're thinking were veryestablished and we're later stage of inour software development lifecycle ofour products but we're actually muchearlier so the way you can know this isand some people will be very surprisedif you ask these questions to them ifyou ask a project manager for examplehey do you know what percentage of ourtotal addressable market we're sellingto currently they might look at you likewhat are you talking about that's Greekto me so you may have to talk to productmanagers or VPS of the business side ofthe company or you know the marketingdepartment or the CEO people that arekind of higher up in your company thatare more responsible for the business toget answers to these but if you talk tothem and you find that they're onlyreally doing business with the poorsoftware development product you'reworking on with a very small percentageof the total addressable market that'sprobably a good sign that your companyyour product you're working on is muchearlier in its total product life cycleand so nobody should be managing by fearat that point everybody should bemanaging based on risk and creativityand innovation because it's not aboutcost savings when you're bringing a newproduct to marketing you're trying tohit that exponential growth curve it'sabout delivering the right thing to thecustomer you can be as efficient aspossible at developing software and doit as cheaply as possible and make lessmoney than a company that's that costsmore to do development but theyultimately deliver something that'sincredibly valuable to their customerand cause the company to profit by ahuge amount so the reason I'm bringingthis up with you again is if you'refrustrated at your software company andyou feel like everybody's managingeverything based on fear and there's alot of measurement and process thatfeels like it's not buying you anythingand the company's really slow a lot oftimes that's simply because everybody'strying to feel like they can predict thefuture everybody's trying to feel likeall the ideas in their backlog are validand they don't have a realistic mindsetthat those are just theories untilthey're actually delivered to a hugemarket of people and you've reallystarted to exponentially grow you're notgoing to know that and I'll talk aboutin a future video that going back tothis previous slide once you pass theearly stage and this is something a lotof companies I don't think understandfully once you pass the early stagecompanies should actually be doing lessdevelopment on their product they shouldbe spending more money in marketing andadvertising and partnering and theyshould actually be investing in newproducts because once you hit thatmarket fit and you have the rightcombination of features if you just keepusing your development team to buildmore features on the existing productthat's what becomes a feature Factoryand that's a term John Cutler coined Ilove it he's done tons of articles on ithe's brilliant product manager you cango read all of his articles I'll alsolink you up there to a short video I didon it but so if you're at a companythat's actually trying to expect peopleto continue to crank out features crankout features crank out features and youreally have reached market saturationyou could also have a conversation withyour product development and the peoplethat run your company to help them thinkmaybe a little bit differently aboutmaybe it's time that weto have the bulk of our softwaredevelopment efforts spent on some newproducts instead of the one that'salready making us a ton of money throughcontinuing to advertise and reach thembetterso let me just give you a couple quickscience that your company's beingmanaged by fear I think if you see thesefour signs present your company or evena few of them and you may see many moreleave me some comments below but there'sprobably a really good chance that yourcompany has a mismatch between wherethey are at in their product lifecycleand how they're going about it so thefirst one is a focus on estimation ifyour software company spends a lot oftime and spends a lot of your time maybeas a programmer or a ops person or UXperson trying to figure out how longit's going to take to do things they'refocusing more again on cost savingsinstead of growth because if we're goingto try to build a software product anddeliver it to a market and we're goingto be humble about it and we're going tounderstand we need to take risks and weneed to experiment and we need todeliver little things to the customerand figure out what value is in them andbe prepared to throw those away as soonas we find out you know what our ideawas a bad idea then it doesn't make muchsense to spend time estimating it makesmuch more sense to spend time figuringout how do we design a little experimenthow do we release something really smalland have our customer either love it andcontinue to invest in it or abandon itand you don't need to estimate anythingto do this you just need to take thetime to really think about how do Ibreak up my work into small slices I candeliver in potentially days and figureout how to get that out and how tomeasure whether it had the impact thatyou wanted so if you're at a companythat's focused on estimation in theearly stage of the product and theyhaven't serviced their entire totaladdressable market yet then there's agood chance that they're being managedby fear and this is just a mismatch inthe culture and how people are goingabout developing software the secondthing that you might see that's a signof this is when a company focuses andthis is directly related to the last onea lot on cost savings in the way you cantell this is if you have a projectmanager or somebody above you andthey're constantly asking you how muchdid you get done how quickly are yougoing to get this done andfocused a lot on is my development teamdoing enough that's just another exampleof a cost savings in fear mindset and ifthe company again its product is in agrowth stage and they're still trying tofind market fit they should not beconcerned with cost savings they shouldbe concerned with finding the rightfeatures the third thing that might be asign that your company is being managedby fear in the wrong phase of theproduct lifecycle is a focus on featuresinstead of reaching outcomes so a waythat you can tell this is if yourcompany is doing scrum or agile orKanban or some form of lean productdevelopment and you're getting thecompany to do a really good job atcoming up with little tiny thin slicesof experiments they can release to thecustomer and then try to figure out ifit's valuable inevitably many of thoseideas are not going to have the impacton the business that people wanted andwhat I think you need to do is watch forthe reaction of leadership and thepeople who have those ideas when theyget feedback that's negative if somebodyhas a theory that a feature or piece ofthe product is gonna be valuable to thecustomer and they think they're gonnalove it maybe they've again gotten awhole bunch of feedback from theirexisting customers that all say we'regonna love this and then they release itand they measure the impact or they getfeedback and it's not positive feedbackif the people who came up with thoseideas look at it like well that feedbackmust be an outlier you know nobodyreally feels that way we haven't gottenenough feedback from people we just needto keep investing in that that's areally good sign that the peoplemanaging your software product or yourcompany they don't have a growth mindsetthey're managing based on fear and thefourth tip I'll give you to kind of lookat your software development managementand help you determine if they're reallygoing about it in a healthy waydepending on where they are in thelifecycle is they won't really shiftdirection between releases and this isdirectly related to the last point soit's really my ideas have to be rightthat's really the attitudeand when I see companies that actuallyare in a growth mindset what ends uphappening is their product backlog theirtheir list of all the potential thingsthe ideas they have for delivering totheir customers is changing all the timeand so if you have a company thatactually asks your team to estimateagain a whole bunch of work for a bigvision for a software product and theteam starts building it and maybe you'redoing scrum and you know two-weeksprints or month-long sprints orone-week sprints however long youriterations are maybe you're even doingKanban and people are just constantlypulling work off that backlog andexecuting it in the same order and fromweek to week month to month thatpriority list never changesit's a good sign that your company isactually managing out of fear they'reafraid of what could happen if they findout that their features weren't valuableand so in fact they haven't even set uptheir development process to accommodatefeedback so is your software companymanaged by fear now that you've thoughtmaybe about this information some ofthis might be new some of it might nothave you been at a company before whereyou feel like you know what we haven'teven really reached critical mass yetwhy are we measuring everything why arewe estimating everything why aren't wereally looking at measuring whether whatwe're releasing is really having thebusiness impact we want if you'reworking in a company that's like thatand you're frustrated leave me somecomments below of how you've dealt withit and maybe some ideas for futurevideos where you'd like to hear meexpand more on how I've been successfulwith this I'm gonna talk a lot more infuture videos about some reallypractical strategies that you can use toreach people and help them you knowthink about this a little bit more andunderstand what's in it for them butalso how you can cope with if you're ata software development company andpeople are managing things based on fearhaving a healthy attitude so that if youcan't change things you either make sometough career decisions to maybe get outor you just accept the circumstances ina way that you don't drive yourself nutsso if you're new to my YouTube channelplease subscribe you can click thelittle bow like on nextLincoln will actually notify you when Ipost new videosI'm also on for podcast platforms ifyou'd rather listen to this as a podcastgoogle play stitcher iTunes andSoundCloud and you can like me onFacebook so until next time thanks

Are you tired of “measurement theater” and a fortune telling?

Does the software company you work at frustrate people with a focus on cost savings over GROWTH?

In today’s video, I share some critical insights to how many companies strangle innovation by managing to fear!

Armed with this information, you can stop feeling like a cog in a wheel – and help the culture at your software company improve.

If you’ve had agile coaches, devops experts, and other “gurus” try to help your company and it still feels like a pressure cooker – this might be why!

Subscribe for more videos about Healthy Software Development: https://www.youtube.com/c/JaymeEdwardsMedia?sub_confirmation=1

Related Videos:

“Software Business Life Cycle – Will Your Company Grow?”:

“How To Win Trust For Your Software Development Ideas”:

“Minimum Viable Product – Letting Software Customers Help You Profit”:

“How To Shut Down Your Feature Factory”:
https://youtu.be/OXUNeAHBSMY

$23.20

Agile Software Development with Scrum (Series in Agile Software Development)

From Amazon

Sales Rank 50542 Schwaber, Ken/ Beedle, Mike

eXtreme Programming is an ideal many software shops would love…
Buy now

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One Thought to “Is Your Software Company Managed By FEAR?”

  1. Healthy Software Developer

    What signs have you seen that your company is managed by fear? How are you coping with it, and helping to change it for the better? Leave me your thoughts and feedback below!

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