Business Platform Team

Anant Corporation Blog: Our research, knowledge, thoughts, and recommendations about building and managing online business platforms.

Tag Archives: management


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Top 10 CRMs – Ditching Custom Legacy Software

Why it’s an easy decision to move away from a Legacy CRM system

Legacy Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, usually based on an in-house client-server model or an early generation browser-based system, are just not efficient or integrated enough for today’s organizational uses. Continued use of these systems also comes with an ever-growing cost and a high possibility of your company falling behind the marketing and lead generating train.

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Dilbert comic about project managers

Top 10 Links For The Indispensable Project Manager

Dear, Project Managers

Is this article going to be something like this? Sorry to disappoint if you came for that, because it’s going to be far less firehose and much more succinct, and to the point. Here are the top 10 links that are going to make you a project manager (PM)  that anyone would love to have on their team. Use the anecdotes, tips, and guidelines found in these 10 links and you and your team are going to get things done.

The Keys 🗝

re:Work – The five keys to a successful Google team

Results of a study performed by Google’s People Operations on what makes a successful team.

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Getting your team started on Agile Scrum

Overview of Agile Scrum

For project management and software development there are numerous approaches that help your support teams get the job done. However, if these methods are not familiar, well understood, or properly used; their misapplication and the related miscommunications can lead to exercises in futility. When engaging with our clients and prospects we outline our approach to project management to let them know what to expect. We primarily draw from a common methodology for software development, called Agile, and use a process framework called Agile Scrum. Today, we would like to share with you how we pair this methodology with project management tools to deliver solutions to our clients. Below, we will introduce some of the more common software development methodologies, how they work, and how you might interact with them. After reading this post you should, at a minimum, be able to better understand what your developer team is doing, why they are doing it, and relate to some of the unfamiliar words they use.

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Discover leadership principles your company can abide by

Empowering Teams by Sharing Amazon’s Leadership Principles

Being a core member of the Anant team means sharing the same leadership principles. But even though we may share the same principles, we needed to be able to define what they are, and decide what they mean to us. We have discussed what our core values are, and over time we clarified them. We’ve watched videos, reviewed blogs, looked at other successful company stories, and read books on leadership and entrepreneurship (a recent favorite was Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business). You’ll find that many of these resources share  similar thoughts and themes, and in the end we discovered a series of well-defined principles that we recently decided we wanted to adopt.

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Modern Enterprise – Systems – People First, Systems Last

Teams of people, whether they are independent or part of a larger whole, rely on “Systems” to help them achieve their goals. The Systems that run these teams need not be Information Systems but it’s more than likely that unless the start-up is started in Amish country, it probably uses the Internet as a base “System,” upon which they integrate their smart phones, laptops, and maybe desktops at the very least. As a team’s complex goals become more clear and crystallized, specialized Information Systems or Software can help them scale to great heights.

A system is a set of interacting or interdependent components forming an integrated whole[1] or a set of elements (often called ‘components’ ) and relationships which are different from relationships of the set or its elements to other elements or sets. (Wikipedia)

In our research on “startups,” or companies with five or fewer people, to rampups,  or companies with five to fifty people, there are two major polar groups of companies: those that use too many systems and don’t know how to organize them; and those that use too few because they don’t know enough about them. And although my continued evaluation and interviews with companies may place them into four quadrants, we still believe that there will two major groups. Much of this really depends on who you hire. Do you hire someone who knows Computer Science, or Information Systems?

 

800px-IS-Relationships-Chart

 

The decisions that small teams make on technology for the development of their product ( CTO‘s responsibility ) and the technology that runs their company ( CIO’s responsibility ) are dependent on a variety of factors but there are some symptoms of choosing technology on an ad-hoc basis rather than from an entrepreneurial or strategic stand point.

  • Some of the decisions are “crowd sourced” as people join the team, they bring their baggage into the mix. Someone may like using Basecamp, while someone else may like using Asana. Keeping it “democratic” is generally a good practice until there are too many places where a company’s information resides.
  • Other decisions will be made by the first technologist in the startup team who is more inclined to chose, for better or for worse, one of the major categories of systems: open source, software as a service, commercial, or custom. Each of these types of software is good for what it’s good for, but not everything.
  • Decisions made on cost can be another way to limit potential candidates to a company’s system pool. This may end up saving money and time in the long run, but may stunt growth.

What does a new modern entrepreneur do? It may seem that they are damned if they don’t use the right technologies, and damned if they use too much. What’s an approach that can help them? Large organizations have evolved to understand the concepts of “Enterprise Architecture.” It is a real thing even if there are several civil and building architects that say otherwise. The complexities of large organizations require dedicated experts that marry the needs of the business’s processes to the current technology to help the organization thrive and grow. Entrepreneurial and Strategic thinking aren’t mutually exclusive, but it’s important to understand the difference.

  • Entrepreneurs tend to be “effectual” and create solutions to be effective from where they are to the possibilities of where they could be with what they have.
  • Strategists tend to be goal oriented and find the different ways to get to a solution that is predetermined. They focus on the outcome.

Contexts of Modern EnterpriseWhile wearing the entrepreneurial hat, it may be just right to get the company’s Products & Services started on a combination of Linode VMs, running Ruby on Rails with Couchbase with the source code on GitHub. What happens when employee number 20 joins? Are you going to be starting up VMs on a cloud service provider to run the latest copy of OrangeHRM to manage their employee records or are you going to bite the bullet and pay for the hosted version? Technology, and Information Systems are just tools. They are not the end-all-be-all of a company.

Companies are People. They share the workload or a set of Processes. These Processes can be coordinated better with Information or records. Information can efficiently gathered, moved, manipulated, and transformed with Systems. People First, Systems Last. Not the other way around. Being entrepreneurial and strategic about why you introduce a new Technology or System to your company will help save the clutter, the trouble, and the anxiety of dealing with information problems in the future. Most importantly, it’ll help you grow faster if you don’t have the baggage of 20 employees wanting to use 200 different systems.