When was the last time your company dragged you to something described as a “team-builder”? Maybe it was a simple happy hour, or perhaps even a full-day emotions course with trust-falls and crying. Heck, maybe it was an executive retreat in the Himalayas! But did you enjoy it? And more importantly since your company paid for it, did your team get built or at least improve? How are team-builders supposed… Read More
We recently published a Medium story about the 13 traits of software operational excellence. Our number one trait of operational excellence was: Above all, the best run companies are dedicated to continuous improvement. The word “dedicated” is more than a platitude: there has to be a process. “Running the company” is not only the responsibility of the COO and CEO, it’s everyone’s. The best companies execute better today than they… Read More
In our latest Medium story, we tackle the almost-universal phenomenon of overconfidence. It’s easy to think that it’s a minor issue, or one we can mostly tolerate. But in fact, many business and project failures can be traced back to overconfidence about either the probability of success or the estimated value of the project.
In our Medium story Dollarize your way to better decisions, we discussed the importance of: Estimating hard numbers for the parameters that are important in your decisions. Those hard numbers need to be in common terms: dollars. Avoiding point estimates in favor of ranges and distributions. Using those distributions to get realistic estimates about the variety of possible outcomes. That all sounds good, but how do you actually do it?… Read More
One challenging decision we often see with software companies is whether to invest in fixing a legacy code base or to invest in adding new features. Usually a company’s business or product management team is eager to keep adding features (because they add value), but frequently engineering teams claim to need time to “make repairs” on existing software. What to do? One client who approached Essilen Research was a technical… Read More
A software development firm with 80 people (40 of whom where developers) contacted us for help with their technical hiring process. The last few hires had been contentious: the hiring team had polarized opinions on a few candidates, which led them to question what sorts of characteristics they were hiring for in the first place. After discussing with their CTO and head of HR, together we decided on a plan:… Read More
One of the questions we often get asked at Essilen Research is “How do I know if my staff is the right size?”. Companies of all sizes struggle with this. Young companies need guidance on when to slow their rapid early growth. Mature companies wonder if a reduction in workforce would be warranted, and if so, how much is right? One client in particular was an executive at a ~100… Read More