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Companies Aren’t Progressive (But People Are…)

Filed Under Human Factors, Software Process

courage

Something was recently said to me that struck a small nerve:

You know Max, one thing you don’t get is that you have worked for a ton of progressive and agile companies. There are tons of developers stuck in crappy process and code working for companies that just will never get it…

Although it would be a company’s best interest to be involved in process improvements – is it really the responsibility of the company to invoke process improvements?

A business (in a nutshell) needs to concentrate on one thing – stability. With that realization many thing become apparent; however, for this argument hopefully it is clear that most [successful] companies will not make radical changes to the same processes and procedures that caused success in the first place.

Additionally, because most of the company employees are “so deep in the forest, they can’t see the trees” it is hard for most companies to see their inefficiencies. Even worse, some companies have identified their weaknesses and after years of inaction towards a solution have written off the inefficiencies as the cost of doing business.

With no reason backed with business value all companies will actually resist change. Therefore, it is your responsibility to start the change from within the company.

First off, you most understand the pain caused by the inefficiency, and therefore can best translate the relief of that pain with a given business value. Secondly, if not you then who? If you have enough courage to talk badly behind someones back, but can’t muster the courage to confront the problem, that makes you a coward. Nobody is going to fight your fights but you.

I have worked for some crappy companies, but I have never left a company without leaving it in a better place. The company didn’t change me, I brought the change with me.

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Comments

4 Responses to “Companies Aren’t Progressive (But People Are…)”

  1. developingchris on April 6th, 2009 6:31 am

    +1 max, so true.

    I’ve never entered a place and been progressed, its always the other way around. You have to help them with their business. They were making money in this business before you and if the computers went away they would still make money afterwords, all be it slower.

    And selling them the latest paradigm for something without finding an inefficiency, is not helping with the business.

  2. Matt on April 6th, 2009 5:34 pm

    I’ll be hanging this up in my office to to bring me back during those inevitable times when I feel my client will just never get it. Honestly though, if they haven’t gotten it yet, I haven’t taken my own practices far enough. I’ve found that making certain processes more efficient makes them realize the inefficiencies in other parts of the process.

  3. Derek Morrison on April 8th, 2009 7:21 am

    What a great perspective, Max. Thanks.

  4. Sebastien Lachance on April 10th, 2009 8:02 am

    I totally agree with you. Even if it’s hard to make changes, you need, at least, to try it.

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