Planning Realistic Time Frames In Software Development: Is This An Achievable Goal?

Planning Realistic Time Frames In Software Development: Is This An Achievable Goal?

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

It’s easy to conceptualize software production as a continuous dance between the long-term goals of a project and the uncertainty of planning for the near future. With rapidly changing technology and a constantly shifting landscape, it’s difficult to accurately predict how much time and effort should be allocated to any given project, and knowing the unknowns of software production is almost contradictory. And that’s without taking into consideration factors like market demands and customer feedback weighing heavily on any project. Even foreseen obstacles can sometimes take a development team down an unexpected path, taking more time and resources than planned to address hurdles that completely wreck the initial outline of the project.

Planning Realistic Time Frames In Software Development: Is This An Achievable Goal?

All these reasons make accurate production planning a critical aspect of successful software development, allowing teams to create realistic estimates and prioritize tasks effectively, ensuring no delays and reducing the likelihood of missing deadlines. Developing accurate timeframes requires understanding all elements involved in the project, such as hardware needs and code complexity, and upon thorough comprehension of this information, organizations can run simulations and plan out an appropriate timeline with clearly-defined goals. 

This process, however, requires the creation, testing, and iteration of multiple complex layers that support the end product. This iterative nature makes it difficult to accurately project timelines, as changes can occur at any step along the way that requires reprogramming or versioning. Building high-functioning software often involves adjusting code far down the line as an outgrowth of earlier iterations; a single change can also have unintended effects on functionality elsewhere which add to both complexity and unpredictability. This iterative methodology indeed allows developers to perfect their products; however, it can create wrinkles when forecasting progress throughout the development cycle.

The tension between iteration and business

Planning Realistic Time Frames In Software Development: Is This An Achievable Goal?

Software development is a complex process and involves constant iteration and refinement to arrive at the best product possible. Designers and developers need time to experiment and refine their code to create an intuitive and user-friendly experience efficiently and effectively; meanwhile, most businesses need immediate ROI from their investment, often seeking quick solutions to their problems. Consequently, there can be tension between the need for thorough development throughout the process and what a business expects as the result.

Creating quality software takes resources, like skilled developers and adequate time for development, to come up with a high-quality outcome, so it’d be beneficial for both sides to find a middle ground that works best on both accounts while still maintaining the integrity of the software created. However, businesses can fall into the trap of expecting instant results when investing in software, which may not be realistic; in software development, iteration is necessary to create a quality product that meets the needs of users. 

Therefore, stakeholders need to understand the importance of iteration, and how designers and developers must strike a balance between testing changes quickly enough so that ROI expectations can be met, while still allowing enough time for improvement and polish. With clear communication between all sides of the project, it builds trust and unity that allows a successful implementation while meeting the demands of both business interests as well as design & development concerns. And accurate planning remains at the core of this issue.

Several constraints and external factors, both known and unforeseen, can muddy the estimates and make it difficult to plan projects with a high degree of success”, says Adolfo Cruz, Partner and PMO Director at Scio. For example, as each new iteration of the software is built and tested, any uncovered bug or user feedback can delay the process significantly. Similarly, sudden fluctuations in workload or resources due to changing market trends can warp time frames as well. All these aspects can make it difficult for project managers to set reliable estimates, putting their teams in scenarios where they are chasing impossible targets or failing to meet customer needs on time. This volatility serves as an unavoidable obstacle in software-related endeavors which, if not tackled head-on with the right foresight, can spell disaster for any development team.

As such, creating precise timeframes for developing software can be a daunting task. The development process must account for delays due to unforeseen technical issues that may require further resources to resolve; communication between the various stakeholders that must agree on distinct objectives; and deciding which features will have priority due to their technical difficulty or the level of collaboration needed from other departments. All of these problems can contribute to substantial delays in development cycles and cause originally estimated timelines to be undermined or pushed back considerably. Without proper planning and contingencies built into the timeline, it can be incredibly difficult to accurately estimate how long a software project may take before its completion.

Some common challenges

Planning Realistic Time Frames In Software Development: Is This An Achievable Goal?

Creating and implementing software solutions is a tricky and lengthy process, and when striving to stay competitive in the technology sector, companies need to develop detailed strategies to ensure their software projects are completed efficiently and with success. Thus, understanding the need for a planned methodology that allows for continuous improvement is important for businesses wanting to make use of software development within their operations.

But what factors and variables can complicate the process and impede the accuracy of a project’s plan? From unanticipated scope changes to even the software development methodologies themselves, all affect accuracy when trying to implement a realistic timeframe for the product. Budgetary constraints, vendor reliability, comprehensive resource estimates, unmet deadlines, unexpected technical challenges, frequent changes in the technology landscape, and fluctuations in market trends can further create difficulty in determining accurate timelines. The challenge of keeping up with these ever-changing variables while accurately predicting timelines within budget remains immense and requires considerable expertise, so knowing these hurdles in advance can really make a difference in the outcome of a project:

  • Undefined project scope: If the project scope is not clearly defined from the beginning, it can lead to confusion about what the project aims to accomplish, which will lead to delays and misunderstandings between developers and stakeholders. Nailing down the scope, then, is always the first step.
  • Inadequate requirements gathering: If the project requirements are not properly collected and analyzed, it can lead to incorrect or incomplete solutions, which can impact project timelines, budget, and quality beyond the normal demands of iteration.
  • Poor communication: Inadequate communication among team members, stakeholders, or management can cause misunderstandings, delays, and quality issues, demanding an experienced Project Manager to take the lead at all times.
  • Insufficient resources: If the project team lacks the necessary skills, experience, or resources to complete the project, and can’t close this gap with external help, it can lead to poor quality, delays, and cost overruns.
  • Changing requirements: Changes to project requirements can occur during the development process, but they must be managed effectively to prevent delays and cost overruns, requiring clear communication with the stakeholders throughout the process.
  • Lack of testing: Insufficient testing can lead to defects and quality issues that can cause project delays, additional costs, and customer dissatisfaction.
  • Inadequate risk management: Failure to identify and mitigate project risks can lead to issues that can impact project timelines, budget, and quality.
  • Lack of stakeholder engagement: Failure to engage stakeholders can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and quality issues. It is essential to involve stakeholders throughout the project to ensure their needs are met and expectations are managed.

Understanding all the potential issues that may arise during the project and wisely budgeting for them is key to successful planning. Understanding all the potential issues that may arise during the project and wisely budgeting for them is key to successful planning. Understanding all the potential issues that may arise during the project and wisely budgeting for them is key to successful planning.

In short, planning a realistic timeframe for a software development project can be an unpredictable process if approached the wrong way. To accurately estimate how long certain tasks will take to complete, or how quickly any potential complications might be resolved requires the right balance between the technical and the interpersonal, and good organizational practices are key in helping to keep the development estimates on track. By implementing these practices systematically through the course of the project, organizations can significantly reduce the challenge of maintaining a reliable and realistic timeline for their software development projects, leading to better outcomes and more reliable products that benefits us all, both outside and inside the development process.

The Key Takeaways

  • One of the most difficult, yet critical, elements of software development is estimating the correct time frame for the project to be successful.
  • These challenges come from a variety of sources, but the iterative nature of development is one of the most important.
  • This creates tension between the team and the stakeholders that need to be resolved from the very beginning to ensure a positive outcome.
  • But beyond that, mastering all the variables that can come up during development is what a good organization does to guarantee a product comes out on time, and with the highest quality possible.
What Is The Meaning Of True “Craftsmanship” In Software Development?

What Is The Meaning Of True “Craftsmanship” In Software Development?

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

Craftsmanship is timeless, being an integral practice to human history since the dawn of our species. It represents a quality of uniform excellence, often characterized by removing unnecessary elements from a design and bringing out the best in the crafted object. And although craftsmanship is often associated with aesthetic pursuits like painting or sculpture, its importance goes beyond; it serves as a powerful reminder of the value of hard work and skilled ‘hands-on’ effort, a notion that helps us tap into our creativity and realize our ambitions. Mastering craftsmanship, therefore, is not only a source of motivation but also a means to change our current place for the better.

What Is The Meaning Of True “Craftsmanship” In Software Development?

And considering how technology is the biggest agent of change in our world, it might be interesting to find out if the idea of craftsmanship has a place in this modern computer-driven reality. Is there craftsmanship to be found in software development? After all, programming consists of a combination of hard skills, innovative techniques, and a love for perfecting processes constantly that translate into high-quality products. It can be said that developers practice a craftsmanship approach in every project, taking pride in the details and focusing on making changes that have a clear impact on performance, stability, scalability, and many other aspects of development. 

However, for most people, it’s easy to overlook the art behind software development, but the craftsmanship is present in every little task. From developing feature-rich designs and diagrams to writing clean and error-free code, the job of a software developer involves multiple levels of precision and detail that demand proper diligence. A well-crafted piece of software is an accomplishment, just as a well-crafted painting or sculpture would be, with each step involving thoughtfulness, attention to detail, and careful consideration. There’s an almost creative element to the job of writing software since developers must find ways to solve programming puzzles with innovative ideas and stylish solutions, so designers must have some artistic understanding of how users interact with technology. Nonetheless, this approach must coexist with the demands of an industry that is always moving forward, making today’s software development an incredibly ingenious and complex task that must always rise to the challenge.

The balance between craftsmanship and business

What Is The Meaning Of True “Craftsmanship” In Software Development?

Crafting software is an attempt to capture a responsive balance between the idealistic embrace of artistic virtue and the practical needs of a business environment. On one hand, developers want to use their creativity to build something meaningful that reflects a sense of usefulness and long-lasting quality. On the other hand, there are ever-present realities that require careful decisions about timelines and budget, and finding harmony between these factors while developing software can be hard to navigate. However, it’s by solving this creative tension that developers ultimately can create elegantly well-rounded solutions.

Still, it’s no small feat: both angles need to be taken into consideration when pursuing a successful project. It takes careful forethought, planning, and collaboration from everyone involved (developers, project managers, stakeholders, etc.) to prioritize craftsmanship over profit while still satisfying the business demands. The biggest challenge here is maintaining quality while meeting time and budget constraints; if a product is rushed out the door too soon or neglected too long, users will pay the price with buggy applications or poor feature implementation, so it’s important to have an experienced team of professionals who understand their collective responsibility to craft perfect software while keeping in mind all other key objectives.

As we have already mentioned, the importance of craftsmanship in software development can often be overlooked. It’s easy to rush through a project to meet a deadline and sacrifice quality, but this doesn’t end well in the long run. Quality software is efficient, minimizing user frustration and increasing overall productivity, and crafting robust software requires an investment of time and thought that demands an eye for details both big and small. High-quality craftsmanship requires rigorous testing before deployment, as well as regular updates after implementation to ensure maximum efficiency at all times. In other words, software craftsmanship may involve an initial extra effort, but it pays off by creating an outstanding user experience for years.

Thus, craftsmanship is an idea that one should take care of and pride in when writing code. Being a software craftsman involves learning, understanding, and researching best practices to write amazing code, with a developer constantly asking themselves questions such as: are there better ways to refactor this piece of code? How can I make this easier to maintain? Is there an accepted design pattern that I could use here? By taking the time to ask these questions themselves, developers can ensure that their software is of higher quality and more robust than it otherwise would be, the result of putting your knowledge, dedication, experience, and passion for problem-solving at the forefront. Craftsmanship in software development requires attention to detail, continual refinement from iteration to iteration, and an interest in learning new technologies for their work and aims for excellence when building quality products.

Craftsmanship at every level

What Is The Meaning Of True “Craftsmanship” In Software Development?

True craftsmanship in software development can be seen in its intricate details. Developers who take their time to create their projects with a focus on the elegance of style and precision when producing games, websites, or applications that stand out from the crowd. Crafting a piece of software to be efficient and durable takes skill and talented developers to understand the importance of meeting user expectations, and making sure their work lives up to those standards by adding creative touches wherever possible. Part art, part science—true craftsmanship in software development makes the difference between an ordinary application and one that really shines when developers care about…

  • Writing clean and maintainable code: Craftsmen developers strive to write code that is easy to read, understand, and maintain over time. This means using meaningful variable names, avoiding duplication, and following established coding standards.
  • Building scalable software: Good software craftsmen know how to design and build software systems that can scale to meet the needs of a growing user base. This means understanding how to distribute workloads across multiple machines and designing software with horizontal scaling in mind.
  • Emphasizing testing: Crafting software means placing a strong emphasis on testing. Developers who practice craftsmanship ensure that their code is thoroughly tested and they use automated testing tools to make sure that any changes they make to the code do not break existing functionality.
  • Being efficient with code: A software craftsman understands the importance of being efficient with code. They know that every line of code that they write has an impact on the overall performance of the application, so they strive to write code that is as lean and efficient as possible.
  • Continuous improvement: Finally, software craftsmen are always looking for ways to improve their skills and the quality of their work. They stay up-to-date with the latest tools and techniques, and they are always looking for ways to improve their code and their processes.

In short, software development is an ever-evolving understanding of how coding works and communicates with different systems. By developing software, coders, and engineers are constantly pushing the boundaries of what can be done, learning from a variety of sources, and tackling complex tasks in efficient ways. It’s hard work, but the craftsmanship exhibited within can be extremely rewarding, as it offers an opportunity to create something useful and marketable that solves a problem or makes life easier for everyone. By continuously pushing their own boundaries of excellence, software developers are able to develop projects that achieve unprecedented levels of quality while ensuring usability and scalability. It’s this iterative approach that separates the best software projects from those just good enough—and it’s the commitment to continuous improvement and craftsmanship exhibited by software developers that allow users to seamlessly interact with highly sophisticated products.

The Key Takeaways

  • When it comes to software development, the value of craftsmanship cannot be overstated; creativity and artistry are critical for any successful piece of software out there.
  • What craftsmanship provides is an inspiration to always become better, strive for a better result, and grow new skills and talents that will result in a more positive outcome for any project.
  • However, finding the balance between craftsmanship and the business needs of the organization can be tricky, and must be navigated carefully.
  • Craftsmanship is found at every level of a development project, and the best developers will take it seriously to build the best possible product at the end.
The “Jurassic Park” Problem: How to avoid having a rogue IT person wreaking havoc in your business?

The “Jurassic Park” Problem: How to avoid having a rogue IT person wreaking havoc in your business?

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

IT has become a vital element of modern businesses. It helps streamline complicated tasks like data management, customer communications, logistic planning, inventory tracking, and much more, and with a reliable IT infrastructure, businesses can identify new opportunities to secure better positions and increase success. Technology also increases the efficiency of employee productivity with tools such as remote collaboration platforms and automation solutions-enhancing operational agility, and (perhaps most importantly), businesses can gain an invaluable understanding of their customers by leveraging Big Data technologies which help gather customer feedback in real-time to make better decisions quickly. All in all, it becomes clear that modern businesses cannot survive without reliable IT support, making it the backbone of every successful organization today.

The “Jurassic Park” Problem: How to avoid having a rogue IT person wreaking havoc in your business?

However, the importance of IT means that, if not managed properly, this area can become a vulnerable spot for malicious activities. And we are talking about more than outdated systems or weak passwords; a lack of the proper protection and approach to the IT demands of a business can set off a chain reaction that leads to data loss, security breaches, and serious financial damages. To avoid such breakdowns, organizations should remain diligent in their approach to IT – regularly updating their systems and educating staff on how to protect confidential information. But sometimes, even this is not enough. Sometimes, the call comes “from inside the house”.

Let’s take a funny example of what we mean: Jurassic Park, a cinematic classic that depicted the consequences of human curiosity getting ahead of our technical knowledge and abilities. In the movie, the breakdown of the park is set by a chain reaction of deficient approaches to security, management, and technology, really underscoring how vital these security measures are, even for the most cutting-edge technology. Disaster can quickly occur when deficiencies or malicious actors are not addressed appropriately, perhaps offering an allegory for the high stakes involved with managing today’s cyber infrastructure. As illustrated throughout the film, underestimating risks carries great consequences, and whether computing networks, industrial structures, or hybrid environments, a secure foundation is key to avoiding catastrophic repercussions. 

Implementing best practices, such as authentication and encryption protocols, testing networks regularly and actively informing employees about threat scenarios can minimize risk and maximize resilience in any system. By providing a great storyline while emphasizing essential IT principles, this classic film reinforces why taking security precautions should always be considered—now more than ever before. For businesses or organizations handling sensitive data, individuals need to take initiative in understanding their responsibilities and roles in protecting corporate information from cyber-attacks or malicious use.

The human element of IT risk

The “Jurassic Park” Problem: How to avoid having a rogue IT person wreaking havoc in your business?

Arguably, one of the main points of Jurassic Park is showing why having less-than-ideal IT personnel causes all sorts of problems, and can be catastrophic for a business. By the nature of their job, they have access to sensitive data which, when put in the wrong hands, can be used for nefarious purposes, as well as let in malicious actors by neglecting to patch systems or by not monitoring user activity, allowing third-parties access to information they shouldn’t. Furthermore, they can misuse privileged access, delete data, or create accounts with admin privileges to keep the system and networks open to themselves. 

Ultimately, what a rogue IT person can do is put an entire business at risk outside of traditional cybercrime, giving competitors advantageous inside knowledge (just like the character of Dennis Nedry does in the movie) or manipulating software to perform unwanted tasks. Indeed, in most cases, the development of malicious software by an insider is virtually indistinguishable from cyberattacks by outside actors, so taking steps to secure your business and prevent unauthorized changes is essential if you want to protect your assets, resources, and brand reputation. In hindsight, taking full measures to prevent such situations is what protects businesses, ensuring they have policies and procedures in place to monitor the behavior of their IT staff, particularly when it comes to sensitive matters such as data access and storage. It’s important to review logs and technical security measures such as firewalls and system software patches to make sure they are up-to-date. However, you could say that these steps are more about mitigating potential harm done by disruptive people than outright preventing it. What is the best approach, then, to avoid falling into such circumstances?

Trust is the name of the game

The “Jurassic Park” Problem: How to avoid having a rogue IT person wreaking havoc in your business?

Contacting an experienced systems analyst or consultant may help offer an unbiased opinion on remediation strategies that can be implemented to address any issues caused by the rogue IT person. So, for any business looking to build an IT department, but doesn’t have much experience in the field, establishing trust with anyone tasked with handling digital infrastructure and sensitive data, is the most critical step of the whole project. So the correct approach must be taken.

Partnering with a Nearshore company can be an effective way to reduce the likelihood of a costly and embarrassing IT situation, for example. While keeping up with the latest software, security protocols, and technology trends can be difficult for in-house teams, hiring or contracting expertise from a Nearshore firm adds an invaluable layer of external expertise that businesses can use to protect themselves against bad IT situations such as data loss or system downtime by ensuring there is expert oversight built-in to their processes. Companies that partner with Nearshore organizations can rest assured knowing they have access to experienced professionals who will put the proper security measures into place while also minimizing risk, ensuring successful IT management nearby, with much easier access to issues that may arise. Additionally, with almost instantaneous communication, language barriers are far less of an issue; the nuances of various dialects and the distance between different countries ensure that experience with different cultures is taken into account to create an effective solution. 

Nearshore development partnerships offer a powerful combination of advantages to mid-sized businesses that are looking to outsource their IT work,” says Rodolfo Cruz, Project Management Officer and Partner at Scio. These partnerships are often more trustworthy than the alternatives, like freelancers or local talent, because they have accountability standards in place that provide substantial benefits in terms of quality assurance and accessibility. This is particularly important for mid-sized businesses as it removes the significant psychological burden placed on them when considering outsourcing — namely that something will go wrong or be impossible to address. With Nearshore development partnerships, these problems can largely be avoided as they meet agree-upon performance guarantees and have personnel who are accessible and easy to communicate with.” 

Because, when it comes to IT matters, trust is an invaluable asset. Every step in the process of acquiring and maintaining technology requires an element of trust – from trusting vendors to appropriately provide reliable hardware and software solutions, to relying on company employees to keep confidential data safe, trust is a necessary ingredient for any successful IT operation. By having the assurance that their data is handled properly, people and organizations can focus on the problems at hand rather than worrying about security breaches or technical hiccups. For any IT work to progress normally, all parties must be confident that systems are properly secured, that equipment functions as expected, and that sensitive information remains uncompromised. Establishing a clear chain of command within the IT department also helps establish a formalized reporting structure that prevents any single technician from having too much power or responsibility. Additionally, regular internal audits can help identify any unusual system activity and provide peace of mind that the network is secure. Finally, proper training for all personnel on new technologies and policies keeps everyone up to date and aware of security protocols, ensuring minimal disruption from rogue actions. With these safeguards in place and strong relationships built on trust between all players in a technology system, operations can safely proceed.

Avoiding the “Jurassic Park” problem 

In other words, to prevent rogue IT technicians from creating chaos in the workplace, it is essential to have extensive management policies and procedures in place. The lesson is that businesses must understand the potential risks associated with any technological system they implement, as well as the appropriate steps needed to achieve a safe operation. Individuals and companies alike need to be cognizant of evolving threats to create effective security initiatives. With its exciting plot, Jurassic Park serves as a parable for the need for sound practices in IT; we must remember not all advances come without inherent risk.

So, if you are looking for solutions regarding IT, Nearshore development partnerships can be the perfect solution for mid-sized businesses seeking to streamline their IT management. Companies that are willing to partner with companies in other countries gain access to a more comprehensive network of software engineers and talent with specialized skills. When searching for an effective IT solution, it pays to consider the advantages that come with selecting nearshore development partners. Taking these proactive steps to prevent a potential rogue IT person will minimize future conflicts, protect company assets and ensure everyone is looking in the same direction. As we can see from Jurassic Park, IT security is vital for maintaining a safe and efficient workplace environment, and without proper protocols in place, unauthorized users can access confidential data often leads to a catastrophic result that you can avoid with the proper people on your side.

The Key Takeaways

  • IT has become the backbone of most modern businesses, and as such, it can become both a strength and a weakness for a company for several reasons.
  • One such risk, for example, is having an IT technician using his position to damage the business, which can be crippling for a company, as illustrated by the movie “Jurassic Park”.
  • That’s why “trust” should be part of every IT process, and having the appropriate people to trust with such responsibility is critical for the well-being of a business.
  • Nearshore partnerships, for example, can guarantee this kind of trust, providing any business with the professionals they need to keep operations running well.
The Great Resignation and the future of corporate cultures: Rebuilding a better software industry for all

The Great Resignation and the future of corporate cultures: Rebuilding a better software industry for all

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

The events at the beginning of 2021 set ablaze a revolution across the corporate world like never before. Companies that were once dormant in their response to messages from employees and people impacted by their decisions woke up with a start, quickly realizing that the rise of Great Resignation had an impact on more than just the individuals that left; it prompted corporate culture to shift within different organizations and led to an evaluation from both leadership and followers alike. Furthermore, it changed people’s ideas about where power truly lies and how one opinion can shape a large organization’s future.

The Great Resignation and the future of corporate cultures: Rebuilding a better software industry for all

After all, its aftermath has done a remarkable job of putting corporate culture in perspective. Gone are the days when tradition and status were the only things that mattered, and staff felt stifled by top-down approaches to decision-making. Today’s corporations devote much more effort to nurturing an atmosphere of collaboration, inclusion, and meaningful work experiences by leveraging modern communication technology and encouraging personal development. The Great Resignation was a major event that undoubtedly left its mark on the corporate world, particularly in terms of expectations for staff morale and development. 

Companies have increased the focus on employee engagement, introducing initiatives like flexible working hours, health benefits, and team-building days to ensure their workforce is both productive and content with their situation. While there’s no denying that working in a big corporation can be challenging, today employees benefit from more attentive management and a much greater appreciation of their efforts.

A new perspective on work

The Great Resignation and the future of corporate cultures: Rebuilding a better software industry for all

The early 2020s in the software development industry will be remembered as a turning point that, arguably, was sorely needed. Many key engineers and developers decided to abruptly leave their companies, sometimes abandoning projects of enormous complexity, with significant economic repercussions that become the foundation for innovation in the cultural side of things. This undoubtedly caused strife for many businesses that had difficulty adapting to this new normality, shifting new technology and approaches that might change the industry for the better. And despite the initial turmoil, the long-term impact of these resignations may bring more stability than harm. By creating environments with a focus on job satisfaction, we can ensure employees are not simply productive but also happy with their positions. 

However, after the shocking impact of the Great Resignation, many companies still have found themselves scrambling to rebuild their corporate culture. Leaders have had to get creative when it comes to rebuilding trust, setting new boundaries, and planning for potential resiliency in the future, with many opting to invest in employee incentive programs that focus on building relationships, regular check-ins to make sure everyone feels heard and supported, and flexible work schedules that prioritize people over productivity.

This can be a daunting task, of course, but it’s also an opportunity to create something innovative and unique. The first step will be evaluating the processes and systems in place that created the need for such a large group of employees to leave, as they could indicate larger systemic problems, so the team should make sure to look at all possible root issues. From there, leadership needs to start discussing ways to incorporate improved communication between management and staff, diversity in hiring practices, feedback loops for employees, and goal alignment across teams into the new culture. And it’s important to bring everyone on board, from executives to frontline staff, to implement these new procedures and standards. Creating buy-in from every level sets companies up for success.

After such a significant departure, it’s important to focus on fostering positive energy and morale in the remaining company staff. The Scio way of doing things has always included creating a welcoming atmosphere, as well as creating clear company protocols for respectful and open communication between superiors and subordinates”, says Helena Matamoros, of Human Capital at Scio. “A sense of trust needs to be established by keeping everyone informed about any changes that might come, and this is best done via regular meetings and feedback sessions where everyone has a voice. A good company culture knows the value of its people, and it gives them tools to create a dynamic where collaboration is at the front and center.” 

Having an open dialogue within the company and getting feedback from everyone on what kind of company culture would best fit the current business needs is a must. This should also include input from members of different levels within the organization — both executives and employees. From there, it is important to set expectations and be transparent when making changes, making sure that all employees understand how their roles fit into the new culture so they feel like their work contributes meaningfully to achieving the organizational goals. In other words, the goal is to create an environment where change is welcomed, not feared, providing a safe space for anyone who may have questions or suggestions as the transition process unfolds. If approached correctly, establishing this new culture can be a positive experience for everyone involved.

What will come next?

The Great Resignation and the future of corporate cultures: Rebuilding a better software industry for all

Ultimately, the effort should be invested in presenting your business as an inviting environment that encourages career growth and puts it front and center. If the staff feels encouraged to grow, it strengthens both themselves and the organization as a whole, because learning new skills can help people feel empowered and give them confidence when tackling new projects or ideas, contributing to a vibrant atmosphere of goodwill that helps drive innovation and business success.

The impact of the Great Resignation on the software development industry has been immense, and tech companies had to rapidly pivot and restructure to manage the mass exodus of talent. As a result, employers have had to get creative with their hiring strategies to find new developers, often having to look far beyond traditional sources like universities or job postings. This sudden shift in the way people approach jobs has allowed the software industry an opportune moment to reinvent itself and its culture, sure to keep evolving even after things settle down.

After the Great Resignation, companies need to focus on honest communication, respect for individual talent, and a conscious effort to foster diversity, taking an intentional stance toward embracing both creativity and collaboration in workplaces while allowing employees to perform their best work. Forward-thinking companies place a priority on creating an environment where everyone’s ideas are heard, everyone’s skills are valued and everyone feels valued, which leads to a stronger outcome each time. If the tools of technology can help propel business success, then it only makes sense that the cultural products of technology – collaboration, creativity, and diversity – must be at the core of that success as well. Only by doing this will the next step for software industry culture be one moving forward.

The Key Takeaways

  • Building a corporate culture that puts people first and foremost is already a complicated (but rewarding) task, as it leads to better outcomes in the development process.
  • However, rebuilding a culture after a massive shift (such as the Great Resignation) can be an even greater challenge because it involves getting back lost trust, and the need to leave certain practices behind.
  • This process should involve everyone in the company, and leadership should make the effort to keep a better balance between people and business.
  • Doing so can lead to a better software industry, with a more people-centric approach, that can only result in better innovations that benefit us all.
Normalization of Deviance: What to do when human nature collides with procedures in the workplace.

Normalization of Deviance: What to do when human nature collides with procedures in the workplace.

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

Let’s think of the following example: imagine a brand-new bridge connecting two highways over a river. This highway sees a lot of traffic, including transport trucks that must pass from one side to the other daily, which tend to have a weight, on average, of about 25 tons. Thus, they mark the bridge accordingly: Limit Weight: 25 tons. However, the engineers know that they need a safety margin to ensure that the bridge doesn’t stress and wear out too quickly, so it’s designed to actually support up to 35 tons. It all seems good until one day, ten years later, the bridge collapses; a 40-ton trailer tried to cross it, and a tragedy occurred.


It’s easy to point a finger at the culprit, right? That truck was way too heavy for this bridge, so we need to build sturdier bridges and think of a system that checks if a truck has the appropriate weight before crossing. Maybe even instill punishments and fines for people going over this limit. Easy stuff. Well, if that’s the case, then nothing was learned from this disaster. It will happen again in the future.

This is normalization of deviance. Simply put, it’s when people become so accustomed to seeing certain things done wrong that they no longer register as problems, but instead as the way “things work”. And they do work, until the day they don’t: catastrophic failures like a bridge collapsing are seldom the result of a single, unavoidable act of God, but instead the accumulation of small problems that one day reach a breaking point.  And normalization of deviance is a huge problem in the software development industry. 

However, how exactly does the normalization of deviance work, how does it affect software development, and what could be the steps to mitigate, or outright eliminate, the risks it presents?

Bending the rules (until they break)

Normalization of deviance

Software and civil engineering are not that different, at least when it comes to the complexity and precision needed to build things. After all, engineering of any kind is the art of finding solutions that work under stress: creating stuff that works reliably, no matter who is using it. So, no matter if you work with code or concrete, the process is roughly the same: you need to take into account every single situation that the design demands. And thus, both disciplines also tend to have very similar problems, with the normalization of deviance being one of them.

Let’s go back to our bridge example: what was the actual problem? The truck was way too heavy to safely cross that bridge, for sure. But why was such a truck trying to cross it in the first place? Because simply put, it was a normal thing to happen, and if that sounds like a contradiction, you would be right. After all, the normalization of deviance is a lesson in human nature.

People like to bend the rules. That’s what we do. Intellectually, we know rules are meant to keep things working properly, but rigidity is not our strong suit as a species. In the words of veteran programmer Foone Turing: “We always want to optimize. We want to do things cheaper, quicker, and more at once. And the thing is, most of the time going a little faster, a little hotter, that’s fine. Nothing goes wrong. Engineers always design with a safety margin, as we’ve learned the hard way that if you don’t, stuff goes wrong very fast. So going 110% as fast as the spec says? probably OK.

So, you may see where this is going. In our bridge example, an interesting wrinkle is that the disaster didn’t happen right away, it was a full decade after the bridge was constructed. That’s the tricky thing with the normalization of deviance: it takes time to build up. It works through subtlety: if your bridge says that it has a limit of 25 tons, but you once drove a 30-ton truck through it and nothing happened, then the actual limit is higher, right? You can do it again. And if you do it enough times?

You’ve been going 110% all the time. It’s worked out just fine. You’re doing great, no problems. You start to think of 110% as the new normal, and you think of it as just 100%. […] Then one day you’re running into 5 other problems and need to push something, well, maybe you do 120% today? After all, it’s basically just 10% of normal…”. That’s how you get a 40-ton trailer trying to cross a bridge rated way lower than that: someone drove through it with 35 tons of cargo, and nothing happened. 36 should be fine, right? Or 37, or 38, and so on. Bending the rules became so normal, without any immediate consequence, that it ceased to be wrong. Slowly, it became the standard, and a standard supported by bent rules is always a time bomb.

But how to avoid deviance?

Normalization of deviance

In software development, the normalization of deviance can happen at every level. For example, at a product level, it’s not exactly unheard of to release software that is not fully tested, on the assumption that the bugs will be fixed in future releases, which can lead to serious problems, such as data loss or security vulnerabilities. At the development level, programmers can start to disregard code style conventions if they feel slowed down by them (there’s a deadline to meet after all), resulting in a codebase that is difficult to read and maintain. And at the security level, it’s often easier to just write down a password than wait half an hour for IT to reset your account if you forget it. In either case, the result is the same: an organization will start accumulating issues until something serious breaks one day.

However, diagnosing the normalization of deviance can be difficult because there’s no immediate feedback loop to it. The bridge probably doesn’t produce a loud cracking sound if you go a couple of pounds above the limit, or the code doesn’t stop working immediately if you deviate a little from a style convention, so implementing effective ways to detect when it’s happening, or to deter this kind of behavior, can be tricky.   

The aforementioned Twitter thread gives a great example of why: “Susan gets in trouble because she put a post-it note with her password on her monitor, and we had to sit through a boring security meeting about password security. So, people learned to put their passwords in their wallets and their phones.” Or in other words, maybe the systems we have in place provide the incentive to deviate from the rules in the first place, and having after-the-fact measures don’t do enough to stop the buildup of problems. In that case, it falls on the culture of an organization to take into account these possible challenges and take the steps necessary to avoid lowering standards as a normal practice. These four key points might help:

  1. Rules are not forever. When it comes to technology, a year might as well be a decade in terms of advancement and innovation, so every procedure and workflow must be constantly reviewed to ensure “rule-bending” is not encouraged when certain parts lag behind, becoming obsolete or just ineffective. Revising and streamlining are always valuable skills for the leadership of any company to have, and giving people the power to always ask “why” could help avoid problems down the line.
  2. Open communication is critical. In that same sense, the main danger of deviance is that it develops in secret. Effective project management means communicating effectively with people, making clear the purpose of every rule, and being open to opinions, suggestions, and discussions to ensure those rules are effective and followed. Also, promoting an environment where a developer can communicate when a rule must be broken for the good of a project is crucial, as it allows management to respond and control such changes. “This situation has happened to us in the past”, says Jesús Magaña, Senior Project Manager at Scio. “And this decision has never been taken lightly. The objective, after all, is reaching the finish line without compromising quality or performance. This ‘shortcut’ has to be done with the consent of the Project Manager and the client, keeping in mind the possible consequences of doing so.”  
  3. Any change has to be clear and well-thought. The software sector is also ripe for new technologies, frameworks, languages, and tools to be implemented during development, but these changes are not trivial. If a new element is adopted within the development environment without proper measures (like clearly explaining the benefits and drawbacks of the new tool, giving people enough time to acclimate to change, being open to concerns, etc.), the risk of deviance grows.
  4. A culture of collaboration, not politics. Probably the most common cause of normalization of deviance, many of these examples don’t happen in isolation. Humans are social beings that tend to form cliques and in-groups that cover for each other, which can happen at every level of the organization, and thus be the perfect place to brew deviance that could snowball into disaster. So, promoting collaboration, being lenient enough with consequences so people feel comfortable about speaking up, but not to the point that developers feel they can get away with anything, and frequently promoting people to mix and work together in different configurations might be the key. It all comes down to skilled leadership.

And knowing is half the battle

Normalization of deiance

However, let’s not assume that these steps, although useful, are completely infallible when it comes to mitigating the normalization of deviance because this kind of behavior is simply human. We bend the rules when we know we shouldn’t, even at a personal level sometimes (“I’m on a diet, but this piece of cake shouldn’t be a problem, right?”), but that doesn’t mean that we cannot anticipate, learn, and improve at every opportunity. Understanding this is what separates good software organizations from the rest of them. After all, as Jesus Magaña tells us, “one of the values of the Agile Manifesto establishes that ‘people and interactions are above tools and processes’, which implies that a process doesn’t have to be a rigid path. Sometimes you need to veer off-course, and that’s not cheating. Let’s just keep in mind that, if everything is going well during development, a process is meant to help us to be consistent with the quality of our work.

The Key Takeaways

  • Normalization of deviance, of lowering standards over time, is always a risk in any industry, especially software development.
  • Simply put, people are going to bend the rules when that benefits them because that’s simply human nature.
  • The main danger is that this normalization is almost always invisible until too late, helping the build-up of issues and problems until a disaster occurs.
  • It’s up to the management and culture of an organization to mitigate this deviance, which is virtually impossible to eliminate but can be avoided with the right approach to communication and collaboration.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!

The Toyota Production System in software development: Lean, Agile, and Effective.

The Toyota Production System in software development: Lean, Agile, and Effective.

Curated by: Sergio A. Martínez

Software development is a notoriously unpredictable process. Even the most experienced developers can find themselves facing unexpected challenges and surprises which can lead to frustration, as new requirements pop up, deadlines change, and unanticipated bugs can throw everything off course, especially as projects grow in size and scope, and a tighter collaboration and approach is needed.


As a result, in such a volatile industry, it’s important to avoid waste whenever possible; anything that doesn’t add value to the end product, from inefficient code to unused features, should be left off, as it helps to keep development costs down and ensures that the final product is as high-quality as possible. 

However, due to how unpredictable software development can sometimes be, a good approach is to use lean practices. Lean practices in software development aim to create more value for the customer while minimizing waste. This is achieved by constantly improving the process and eliminating anything that doesn’t add value, helping to reduce the risk of errors and defects by catching them early on.

Our current model of lean development comes from the Toyota Production System, a manufacturing approach that seeks to make the whole process as efficient as possible in seven key areas: overproduction, inventory, motion, defects, over-processing, waiting, and transport. And although the material processes involved in manufacturing cars and developing software look very different from a distance, applying this same logic brings even better outcomes; common lean practices include things like continuous integration, continuous delivery, and test-driven development, in addition to reductions in the cycle time and batch size, so developers can ship working software more frequently and get feedback earlier, allowing them to make course corrections sooner, leading to a more efficient process overall. 

As a result, lean practices can lead to significant improvements in software quality and developer productivity by promoting continuous improvement and efficient use of resources. By identifying and removing unnecessary steps, lean practices help to improve quality and speed while reducing costs. In an industry where time is always of the essence, lean practices can play a vital role in helping developers deliver high-quality software on time and within budget.

Lean Manufacturing and Agile Methodologies, hand in hand

The Toyota Production System in software development Lean, Agile, and Effective. 3

Both approaches have their strengths that complement each other very well. On one hand, lean manufacturing is all about efficiency and minimizing waste, and on the other, Agile focuses on flexibility and responding quickly to changes”, says Luis Aburto, CEO, and Co-Founder of Scio. “Together, these two methodologies can help to create a process that is both efficient and adaptable; for example, Agile can help to identify areas where lean manufacturing could be improved. And lean manufacturing can help to streamline the Agile process and make it more efficient, enabling developers to create a process that is both responsive and efficient – the perfect combination for today’s ever-changing landscape.

But what do these lean practices look like in an Agile environment? By adapting the Toyota System into a software development process, we can come up with a series of key areas or steps where it’s possible to avoid waste, and thus create products that accomplish the goals of the client, the team, and the project in the least wasteful way possible. Such key areas are:

1. Unnecessary Features.

There is an oft-cited study by the Standish Group that famously says that “45% of the features in a given application are never used”. If that number seems too high, you may be right (it was based on four internal applications, which is a small sample), but trying to keep requirements in check is a key point of lean development. If your requirements team tries to anticipate everything a client might want in their product, it’s easy to add features that will not matter to the final user. An Agile methodology, then, which prioritizes the most critical features, is the best strategy to save resources otherwise wasted on elements nobody needs or wants.

2. Unnecessary Value.

Following the last point, there is such a thing as unnecessary value, also known as “gold plating”, which is devoting too many resources to polish a product in places where it’s not necessary, risking the cost-effectiveness of a project. “Good enough” is not a bad approach, especially in software where a finishing point tends to be nebulous at best, and continuous support, debugging, and updating is a normal part of the job.

3. Unrealistic Expectations.

Most of the problems of these last two points stem from overestimating the resources, time, and effort needed to accomplish a project, and thus overpromising on a result. Trimming down requirements to their most basic and critical not only helps a team to get going with development but also ensures they can make the necessary progress on each sprint, focusing on a narrow set of variables easy to control and correct. Going beyond that only ensures problems down the road.

4. Unnecessary Innovation.

Ready-made solutions to challenges and obstacles in development are not forbidden; getting stuck “reinventing the wheel” is an easy way to waste resources and delay a product in search of a completely new approach that might or might not have benefits in the long run. No-code solutions to prototype applications, AI-based tools to look into coding solutions, and the like are tools that can have a marked positive outcome when striving for timely delivery each sprint.

5. Unnecessary Downtime.

Waiting for a team, or even a single developer, to deliver to another to continue development is seldomly a process that results in efficiency. One of the key points in Agile methodology is to structure development to avoid this downtime, with short overlapping steps that ensure no one gets stuck and delays the contributions of the rest of the team and splitting development into blocks where “the business owners can identify the next set of features while the development and QA teams can implement the last requirements.

6. Over-relying on QA.

Going back to our “good enough” philosophy, achieving this result doesn’t mean that developers can let their guard down concerning bugs and errors in the codebase of the product; good lean development has quality implementation at each step of the process, with QA as a continuous process that audits development at each step. Code reviews, unit testing, and constant communication are key to reducing the time and resources necessary in QA to achieve the best possible product.

7. Underused Creativity.

The Agile methodology knows the value of creativity and problem-solving as a tool during development, letting each member of the team add their knowledge, experience, and insight into the perfect solution for any programming challenge. Treating development as a machine where every cog has a specific function, without context, collaboration, or communication, is a sure recipe for negative outcomes if the individual developer doesn’t have the flexibility to bring any useful input they might have.

Bringing Agile talent to your team

The Toyota Production System in software development Lean, Agile, and Effective.

When it comes to software development, the lean approach is all about doing more with less, having the goal is to reduce waste and increase efficiency by streamlining the development process and choosing the right talent and collaborative environment that can be conducive to that, with Nearshore augmentation offering an alternative that brings the best of both approaches.

One of the benefits of Nearshore development is that it is easier to implement a lean software development process. This is because the team is already in place and there is no need to go through the hassle and expense of setting up a new office or hiring additional staff, saving on time and resources when starting a new project. In addition, nearshore teams are typically more flexible and responsive than offshore teams, making it easier to implement changes rapidly. 

As the software development landscape evolves, more organizations are turning to lean and agile methodologies to streamline their processes and deliver better results. And while these approaches can offer a number of benefits, they tend to work best when teams are nearshore”, explains Luis Aburto. “Nearshore teams tend to have a better understanding of the local market and what customers are looking for. This knowledge can be invaluable when it comes to developing software that meets the needs of the target audience. Additionally, nearshore teams are typically more responsive to changes and feedback, which is essential in an agile environment.

As a result, lean software development processes can be more effectively implemented with a Nearshore team in place. This can lead to quicker turnaround times and reduced costs, making it an attractive option for businesses that are looking to improve their bottom line. In addition, it is important to build flexibility into the development process, being willing to adjust plans on the fly and make changes when necessary. By remaining flexible, developers can ensure that their projects stay on track, even when faced with unexpected challenges.

The Key Takeaways

  • The unpredictability of software development can create situations where avoiding “waste” (of time or resources) is the main obstacle to productivity and the effectiveness of a development cycle.
  • The “Toyota Production System” can offer some guidance for a lean development approach that can help alleviate these challenges.
  • Lean development is as its most effective when paired with an Agile methodology, feeding each other to achieve peak effectiveness and the least waste during any given project.
  • Working with Nearshore talent to augment your staff is also a great option to avoid waste, as an organization doesn’t need to commit time or resources to build a team and start development right away.

Scio is an established Nearshore software development company based in Mexico that specializes in providing high-quality, cost-effective technologies for pioneering tech companies. We have been building and mentoring teams of engineers since 2003 and our experience gives us access not only to the knowledge but also the expertise needed when tackling any project. Get started today by contacting us about your project needs – We have teams available to help you achieve your business goals. Get in contact today!