Not a Team but a Self-Organising Team

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We need to realise that although many groups are called “teams”, not every work group is a team. In Titansoft, through the adoption of the Agile mindset, our people work in self-organising teams to make their own commitments, organise and assign their own work. Working together, our people craft appropriate strategies to accomplish their goals, and make decisions with (again bounded) economic and organisational impact, producing a product or service that is valuable to the organisation and to our customers. But one should know that despite being in a self-organising team, they are not out there on their own, disconnected from the organisation. Continue reading

3 Ways to Apply the ‘Winning Mindset’ at Work

“Most people have the will to win, few have the will to prepare to win”

– Bobby Knight, retired Basketball Coach

Success stories are beautiful, especially when an individual begins from scratch with absolutely nothing and turns his/her fortunes around. However, what we tend not to see would be the amount of preparation required behind the scenes. And for those that do see, preparation tends to be an incredibly immense and massively gargantuan amount of work required. (Yes, I do enjoy being quite redundant). With a winning mindset however, you will be one step closer to success.

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Success is where we want to be. (Image credit: Pixabay.com)

A recent experience left quite an impact on us as an entire organization. From there, we began to dissect and analyze our actions to better prepare us for unexpected events.

From our inner reflections, we realized that we were so caught up in our learning that we have slowly forgotten about winning. We kept ourselves within a comfortable level and sat there pretty contented with the status quo. We were not winning.

So we decided to ask ourselves, “What does it take to win?”

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UX Research meets Scrum

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Photo Credits: Barbarian Meets Coding

I am a UX Researcher. While I’m pretty new to the scene, I’ve heard of Scrum and have friends who work in companies that employ the methodology. Prior to the sharing by the Scrum Masters, my understanding of Scrum teams have been through stories shared by my friends or through observing the engineers work in my previous place of employment. Much like how “UX” is a hot term these days, “Agile” and “Scrum” have also joined in the crowd and their influence over companies’ operations cannot be ignored.

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The Titansoft Mentorship Program

We have embarked on a new journey with a lofty dream to have all (yes, all) of our staff to be able to have a mentor to guide them through the ups and downs of work life in Titansoft. The mentor would act as a consultant, advisor, mirror and friend to his/her mentee, providing additional perspective and help bring out ideas to form resolutions to problems faced at work. To be able to do so, we have rolled out a mentorship program.

We call this program “Pathfinder“. You’ll see why.

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When both paths look the same… (Image credit: thecoinfront.com)

The Discovery of Pathfinder

Pathfinder came about upon identifying certain trends in our Titaners through our T.Exchange program. We have come to realize that some of our Titaners are feeling a loss of direction with their role in the organization back in the second-half of 2016.

Realizing the potential magnitude of this issue, a task force was formed to work on it. Interestingly, while this could be easily passed on as a HR project to work on, we had a senior Product Developer on board with clear intentions to help his colleagues to grow.

The task force began by identifying the objective and milestones of the program over a 2 year time period. The overall goal was to instill a sense of direction in 70% of our staff within 2 years (Yes, it does seem hard to measure, but I will get to it later). And from here, Pathfinder has begun…

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Pair Programming in Recruitment – The Titansoft Way

 

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As James Shore says of pair programming in his eponymous blog, “It’s more fun than it sounds: two programmers at one computer. One drives; the other navigates. Switching roles fluidly, they constantly communicate. Together, they accomplish better work more quickly than either could alone.” Teamwork never sounded so poetic.

Titansoft is an Agile organisation and we have been practicing pair programming since 2014. And having experienced the benefits of this practice, we are extending it to out Recruitment process. Having a programming session with a potential candidate is only one part of the hiring puzzle, but it’s often the most important one. Rather than looking at the CV and asking a long list of questions, which may not be as effective, we get around recruitment for our Senior Software Developers by holding a pair programming session. We believe that the pair programming process creates a better opportunity to showcase a coder’s skill.

“Through pair programming, our developer can know more about how the candidate behaves during real work such as his working style, coding preference, discussion etc. In addition, we are also able to show the candidate the way our company people code.”

Ji Zhoubo – Senior Software Developer in Titansoft

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