Tag Archive: agile management

Clarity is needed for the success of a software project

Have you ever heard crickets chirping when you announced your product? Sucks, doesn’t it? A lack of enthusiasm from customers or even your own sales team is a sure sign that your product fails to meet demand. While it’s true that a project is a success if it meets the needs and expectations of consumers within the constraints of the project, it is more accurate to say that a project is only considered a success if it’s perceived as a success. In order to have your project perceived as a success, you need to manage expectations. And the way to manage expectations is with clarity. A successful project needs everyone involved with the project to have a clear purpose, clear priorities, clear use-cases, clear estimates, and a clear understanding of dependencies and uncertainty. Fully expanding these points could easily fill entire articles (or books), but here’s a basic recipe for making a software project successful.

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How to motivate your team without really trying (or paying a penny in bonuses)

There is a great deal of evidence that for inventive/creative tasks (such as most kinds of software development), extrinsic rewards (such as bonuses) do not work as primary motivators.   In fact, if used without any intrinsic motivations, extrinsic rewards will actually decrease performance over both the short term and long term.  Dan Pink and others assert that engineers and other creative types instead value autonomy, mastery, and purpose above all else in their jobs.

Here’s an outstanding whiteboard animation where Dan Pink neatly explains the science behind intrinsic vs. extrinsic motivation:


Here’s a great video of Dan Pink speaking at TED last year where he explains the hard-core science more fully:


His book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, explains the principles still further and drills down into the how’s, why’s, and gotcha’s discovered over the last several decades of research.

© 2018 Robert Corvus