CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2 - 50

quality assurance tests. This is where

don't need to abide by the processes,

we recognize that the young people

we sometimes butt heads against

then we can talk about relaxing some

coming in may have knowledge of new

generational diversity.

of them. But what we find almost

tools that we can use to streamline

Typically I find that those who
challenge our core development
processes are our younger employees,
especially those just coming out
of college. They tend to be quite
confident of their abilities, and they
think all this process is unnecessary
and only serves to slow them down.
They'd much rather just iterate their
way to success. But that's where we

always is that these people realize that and simplify our processes. I'm
they do, in fact, need our processes to

absolutely open to change, as long as

back up their efforts - we are, after

the change is for everybody. If you've

all, writing software with millions

got a great idea, great, we'll all benefit.

of lines of code. What people realize
is that, "Hey, even though I did this
development and this design and I
tested it and I thought it was fantastic,
later on when I put it in into the big
stress load lab, I found defects."

In the wireless industry overall, we
have seen a significant reduction in
the time it takes to get products from
development to market. While once
this period would typically stretch
across 18 months or so, it now runs
no more than six months. Naturally

say, "No." We need to deliver certain

It's a trust thing - you have to say,

levels of quality to our customers,

"Trust me that I believe these are good globalization and follow-the-sun

and I brook no short cuts in the

ideas worth trying out, and I'll trust

development accounts for much of

development and quality processes.

your abilities. Afterwards I'll commit

this. But I do think that diversity-and

that we'll have a review and if there

our ability to capitalize on diverse

are things that are truly unnecessary,

experiences and backgrounds-has

then we will eliminate them from

played a key role in speeding time-to-

our process." And people do tend to

market, as well in all other facets of

respect that, and our process is not

product development and deployment.

The way I get the younger generation
to accept this is to focus on
accountability. I tell these young
folks that if, after following all the
processes, they think their work is so
excellent, so topnotch that they truly

set in stone. It's a living thing, and

The Takeaways
* Many companies understand that it's important to have employees with different expertise, backgrounds,
and experiences. But generating value from diversity is a big challenge.
* Best practices for realizing value from diversity include soliciting opinions from everyone, not just those
who speak the loudest; facilitating brainstorming in comfortable environments, perhaps in homogeneous
units, and then presenting the best ideas to the larger group; allowing employees to customize baseline
products for local markets; giving people the autonomy to organize themselves to perform their work; and
respecting the younger generation's insights into process improvement.

CTO Straight Talk | 50


Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2


CTO Straight Talk - Issue 2