Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Plans are nothing. Planning is everything.

We plan to direct our actions to reach the goal in future. A plan is based on our assumptions about the factors that impact it. These assumptions are futuristic based on our knowledge at the time of planning.

Now, consider these two facts
  1. The most uncertain thing in the world is ‘future’
  2. Any change in our assumption will have to be accommodated by making some provision in the plan
So, what is a plan? It is just a document that will keep altering as we move closer to our objective and/or goal. So why all management people tend to focus so much on having plan first, which anyway will change as we progress.

More important thing than plan itself is the process of planning it. If you have acted thoughtful at the time of planning then chances are high that you have included maximum number of alternatives and contingencies in your plan. This will put you in a better position to handle uncertainties of future. And most importantly, it will be easier for you to buy in from team members reducing the resistance to change.

And probably that’s why Linda Hill and Kent Lineback have discussed “Plans are nothing. Planning is everything” in their book ‘Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader’.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Emerging models for Product Development

Product outsourcing has become an inevitable for every growing ISV. With growth of the ISV the need to concentrate on few critical functions increases drastically. Hence and ISV has to outsource other important activities to remain focused and responsive the market.

As outsourced product development is maturing new models are emerging in course to mitigate the risk. Every model has its own share of pros and cons. The outsourcer has to select to most appropriate model for his kind of software outsourcing project.

Below are some of the emerging outsourced product development models.

1. Software Product Line
An ISV targets the needs of the prospective industry or function by creating a portfolio of products with variations in features and functions. This model has a base or core product and different products in the same line offers increasing feature sets.

2. Modular Development
In this model the product is developed in the form of modules. One module is developed at a time or different modules by different team all at once.

3. Co-development
In this model ISVs’ and outsourcing partner’s team work together. It is preferred model where the technical capability and bandwidth is available on both side. Typically in this model, outsourcing vendor provides resources and product development project is managed by the ISV.

4. End-to-end Development
In this model, the outsourced product development looks after every aspect of product development. This model is preferred where outsourcing partner has technical as well as technical capabilities and product development experience. This model help ISV focus on very critical aspect of software product business boosting its productivity and profitability.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Ability in itself is nothing when denied opportunity

A success is a function of ability and opportunity i.e. Success = fn(ability,opportunity).

Having put the success in mathematical formula let us now try to understand it. Success depends on the ability that you possess and opportunity that is available to you. The absence of any of these will lead to no success.

Among ability and opportunity you have direct and permanent control over ability because you possess it. It is not dependent on any external factor. If you have it then you have it and if you don’t have it then you can at least try to acquire it. On the other hand, opportunity is something that is not in your control. One or many external factors impact the magnitude of opportunity.

So having ability in itself is nothing when denied opportunity.