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7 Things About Microsoft You Might Not Know

Microsoft is a tech giant and one of the most influential companies in the market. While competitors like Apple or Google may seem more popular, Microsoft continues to have a strong presence. It is the third-largest tech company in the world, just a couple of steps below Apple and a step over Google’s parent company Alphabet. While Microsoft has been around since 1975, there are still some things most people don’t know about the influential company. Follow along for more details.

  1. It was First Micro-Soft

Before the founders registered its brand name, they used Micro-Soft (a combination of microcomputer and software) in their company communications. Fortunately, they decided to drop the hyphen during registration and settled on an admittedly cooler brand name.

While the name has remained unchanged, the logo has undergone several transformations. Microsoft’s first logo had a stylized ‘O’ called a ‘blibbet’, which was also the name of a burger served in the company’s cafeteria.

  1. Microsoft Made a Lot of People Rich

Microsoft founder Bill Gates was the youngest billionaire of his time and spent a lot of time sitting at the top of the richest people list. But Microsoft’s stellar success didn’t just make Gates rich.  Thousands of millionaires can trace their success back to this technological juggernaut.

People who bought this company’s stock in the 1980s and retained it until the 2000s made a remarkable profit as well. Its stock price has increased by approximately 71,283% over the past three decades.

  1. Microsoft Saved Apple from Bankruptcy

Microsoft and Apple are some of the fiercest rivals in the industry. They have been competing against one another since their very inception. However, when Apple landed in financial trouble back in 1997, its rival stepped up to save it. Microsoft invested around $150 million to get Apple back on its feet. Not surprisingly, many people were not thrilled by this news, but if that support hadn’t come in, Apple may no longer exist.

  1. A Long List of Code Names

Tech companies are notoriously secretive when their products are under development; Microsoft is no exception to this rule. The company always assigns code names to its projects, which keeps competitors from knowing much about it. The code names are also placeholders because developers often come up with a product name after it is fully realized

Some of the more famous names include Chicago (Windows 95), Whistler (Windows XP), Yukon (SQL Server 2005), Longhorn (Windows Vista), and Milan (Surface). The list of codenames is extensive, probably containing dozens of code names.

  1. Microsoft is Serious About Art

The company has one of the most significant corporate art collections in the world, with more than 5,000 pieces from contemporary artists. Its collection includes works from relatively unknown artists as well as industry heavyweights like Takashi Murakami, Chuck Close, and Cindy Sherman. The art is scattered around Microsoft’s 150 campuses and includes paintings, sculptures, photographs, multimedia works, etc.

  1. Microsoft Entered the Smartphone Game First

Apple launched its first smartphone in 2007, but Microsoft had been in the industry since 2000. Unfortunately, they didn’t find much success and their software performance on smaller hand-held devices wasn’t stellar. Apple’s technologically sophisticated product revolutionized the industry.

  1. The Company Has Pet Rabbits

A few years ago, someone abandoned a few rabbits on the Microsoft campus grounds. This small group of rabbits bred at a rapid pace and grew in size; before long, the campus was swamped with these adorable but fast-breeding pests. To this day, they still have a thriving population.

These are just a few of the many unknown facts about Microsoft. There are several fascinating stories associated with this company that you can explore in your spare time.

What the Fastest Growing Companies Have in Common

Starting or running a business is a complicated process. It requires commitment, dedication, planning, and a bit of luck. Many businesses fail within the first one or two years, which can cause severe financial loss along with emotional distress. All entrepreneurs dream of having a thriving company, and many reach this goal. Here’s a look at six common characteristics that all fast-growing companies share for some inspiration:

  1. Product/Market Fit

Entrepreneurs are always hardworking and driven, but they need a strong product to succeed. Thriving start-ups always have a revolutionary product that fills a vacuum, providing exactly what customers need. They provide must-have products or experience to clients. Sometimes the niche already exists, while at others, a product can create a need. For example, social media giants like Facebook and Twitter existed, but LinkedIn created a niche by being a network for professionals.

  1. Focusing on the Niche

Start-ups must be laser-focused on a niche for success and growth. They don’t have the manpower or resources to tackle a large market. Focusing on a niche allows companies to specialize in a specific category and fine-tune their products or services. For example, a web development company for small businesses can use a highly customized approach after comprehensive research. This might keep their customer pool small, but it helps companies develop a distinctive identity.

Specializing in a niche has long-term benefits as you generate enough funds for expansion later. The cosmetics company Huda Beauty is a good example of this. It started out selling high-quality fake lashes and established such a strong niche presence that their products set a standard for everyone else. Today, this company has expanded, including other cosmetic items like eye shadows, foundations, lipsticks, etc.

  1. Don’t Disregard Processes that Aren’t Scalable

Modern entrepreneurs can get advice from multiple sources. One of the most common bits of advice is, “keep things scalable.” While this is sound advice, you still need to focus on specific processes that may not be scalable as companies sometimes need to invest in these too. It helps establish a strong presence while having a lasting impression on a customer’s mind.

For example, some start-ups will coddle customers at first with a lot of personal attention. They will offer one-on-one consultations, discounts, accelerated project timelines, etc. None of this is scalable, but it can help companies develop a reputation for excellent customer care. You can roll back these processes slowly while maintaining sound basic customer care systems for long-term benefits.

  1. Constant Focus on Growth – Timely Growth

It isn’t surprising that fast-growing companies are focused on growth, but not all of it can cause large-scale disruption. Most successful start-ups have a meticulous process in place for expansion. These companies plan a slow, relentless march towards growth until it becomes almost inevitable.

For example, Uber has a precise expansion plan for opening up in new cities. They send feelers out, get to know the new market, connect with drivers as well as customers, before developing a unique plan for new markets. They make sure it is primed for Uber’s network before launching operations. This constant, unrelenting march drives long-term success.

  1. Do Things Differently

Sometimes fast-growing companies succeed by shunning traditional practices. They don’t do this arbitrarily but put some thought and research behind it. They look at established practices carefully, identifying their weaknesses before finding more efficient alternatives.

For example, Yelp is such a success because it stayed away from paid reviews or expert testimonies. It relied on 100% community feedback, which worked spectacularly. Yelp became more trustworthy than any other review platform just a few years after its launch.

Establishing a fast-growing company isn’t easy, but it can be done. Just maintain focus and ensure you have the right product.

  1. Don’t Be Afraid to Outsource

Fast growing companies tend to have a clear sense of their core competencies. Knowing their strengths and weaknesses gives them an edge to take advantage of outsourcing options while they grow.

There are many business functions that may be better handled by a third party, especially during the early phase of a company’s growth. For example, accounting, billing, software development and IT support are all common functions that fast growing company’s may choose to outsource to free up time and resources so they can best focus on the priorities at hand.

As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.

 

6 Common Traits Shared By Successful Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs are some of the most dedicated and determined people around. They have innovative business ideas and are committed to seeing their ideas succeed. Different entrepreneurs have different approaches, but everyone has something to teach newcomers. Many effective people share specific characteristics and habits. Developing these qualities may help on your journey towards success. Follow along for a look at some common traits shared by entrepreneurs who are successful.

  1. Have a Clear Set of Goals and the Determination to Achieve Them

How can you find success without knowing what you’re chasing? Clear goals give people direction and a destination. It helps business owners create a tangible roadmap. There’s a difference between “I want to be an entrepreneur” and “I want to start a marketing company in two years.” One is a vague, undefined dream, while the other is a definite goal with a timeline.

Of course, just setting a goal isn’t enough; you must also follow it through. Create a plan, consult with other experts, get a mentor, do some research, etc. Work towards your goal with determination, as that’s what helps entrepreneurs flourish.

  1. Don’t Shy Away From Risks

Leaving a secure 9-5 job for a shot at entrepreneurship isn’t easy, but that’s not even close to the most significant risks business owners take. Establishing a new venture requires a lot of risks, commitment, and courage. People invest their entire life savings, work tirelessly for years, put their life on hold, make innumerable personal sacrifices, etc., on the path to success.

Entrepreneurs that make it typically take many risks along the way. Failed business owners face bankruptcy, loss of reputation, loss of credibility, and so much more. Overcoming these fears isn’t easy, but every entrepreneur must do it to move forward.

  1. High Level of Confidence and Decisiveness

Many people struggle to make concrete decisions. They dwell over small points, try to find perfect solutions, worry about making wrong choices, etc. All of this indecision may be a sign of low confidence. Mistakes are common, but the fear of making mistakes is more common.  Effective entrepreneurs tend to be decisive and confident. They look at facts, and consider solutions for a short time before making snap decisions and moving forward towards their goals.

There’s a difference between being decisive and being overconfident. A successful entrepreneur strikes the right balance, which helps them reach higher.

  1. Desire to Learn

This sounds like a cliché, but most successful entrepreneurs are avid readers. High-flying individuals never stop trying to learn. Many read books, take up new sports activities, learn new skills, and keep their minds engaged.

A desire for learning serves two purposes; it helps business owners expand their skills and helps keep monotony at bay. Daily work can become boring after a while, even for a self-employed business person. Learning new skills can help keep things interesting while stimulating your mind.

  1. Ability to Accept Failure

Failure is a natural part of life. You will likely face it every day while running a business. A sales pitch might not go through; a client may leave a negative review; a new product launch may go awry, etc. Successful entrepreneurs don’t spend time lamenting over failures. They collect data, look for causes of failure, and then find ways to prevent it from happening again.

This ability to accept a setback separates entrepreneurs who eventually accomplish their goals from those who will ultimately burn out.

  1. Smart with Money

Successful entrepreneurs are smart with money. They are careful when spending, tracking all expenses down to the last cent. Business owners are good at getting financial aid from venture capitalists or investors. They know how to deliver an impressive sales pitch, which gets people interested in investing in their venture.

Being smart with money is essential for entrepreneurial achievement, especially during the early stages of a business. Many ventures go bankrupt even before they have a chance at success.

Fortunately, it is possible to cultivate all of these skills over time and increase your chances of success, as well.  Personal growth is always valuable, regardless of your field. These characteristics can help whether you’re an entrepreneur, student, artist, teacher, or a corporate executive.

As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.

1 out of 5 New Businesses Don’t Make it Past 12 Months – Why?

Failure is a part of being an entrepreneur. People try new business ideas and experiment with different strategies. Sometimes plans pan out, leading to a successful business that can stand the test of time. Other plans fail, and the startup fizzles out within a year of launch. According to statistics, one in five new businesses is unable to survive a year.

The Small Business Association says that around 30% of businesses fail within two years. While these statistics may seem discouraging, don’t let them bring you down. Here are some common reasons why some businesses don’t make it very long:

  1. Little Demand for the Product

A product is only successful if there’s some legitimate demand for it, and the market conditions are suitable. According to a recent survey, around 42% of startups fail simply because there just isn’t enough demand in the market. When you come up with an idea, it is important to spend some time thinking about whether it fills a vacuum.

For example, when Uber was launched, people were frustrated by taxis denying rides or overcharging. There was a market opportunity, which provided a fruitful environment for companies like Uber and Lyft. That’s why these apps became such a notable success.

Think about how a product might impact your target market, conduct comprehensive market research, and surveys. The data will help you determine whether a product idea is worth your time or investment.

  1. Less Integrated Team

Startups typically don’t function like traditional, more established companies. They usually have smaller teams and limited resources, which means every team member wears many hats. Unfortunately, some people have a difficult time taking on a variety of roles. CEOs may stay in one lane, only focused on leading their company. CMOs may consider marketing their responsibility but they may not contribute anywhere else.

Startups have a more organic environment that requires a lot more collaboration. It’s common for CEOs to get their hands dirty on basic tasks just to get the job done. CMOs sometimes take over customer care or human resources as well. A successful startup is an excellent example of how collaboration can yield beneficial results.

  1. Burning Through Resources Quickly

New businesses have limited resources, even if they manage to get significant funding early on. Unless a business venture generates substantial, self-sustaining income, it is vulnerable to failure. Many startups fail because they burn through these initial funds quickly, often because they hire more staff than they need.

New companies must be conservative in their spending, making sure they invest every penny wisely. Sometimes ventures expand a little too rapidly, which spreads the resources thin. Make sure you have a solid foundation, a robust and streamlined team, and reasonable revenue before you focus on expanding. Let a business settle by getting its roots deep in the market first. That’s how business entities stick around for years and even decades or more.

  1. Low Finances

You need money to start a business. Begin looking for financial aid even before starting a business. Make sure you have a pool that will last until you have a steady cashflow. Cut corners and save wherever you can at first as stretching every dollar can help a business last longer.

If a venture can get through financially challenging times in the early months, it has a better chance of surviving.

  1. Bad Location and Internet Presence

Location and internet presence are some of the most influential aspects of most businesses. A shop located in the wrong place isn’t going to attract a lot of traffic. Companies must conduct a thorough location analysis to find a suitable location. They also need a robust online presence with well-developed websites, online reputations, and social media accounts, since a negative online reputation can break a business entirely.

These are some of the most common problems that challenge new businesses. It’s advisable to create strategies to avoid them and stay wary of falling into common traps. This can help improve your chances of success, especially in the early months of starting a business.

As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.

 

5 Inspiring Things You Should Know About Elon Musk

Elon Musk is a fascinating person. He is the man behind Tesla, the company that introduced revolutionary electric cars into the market. He’s also the force behind SpaceX, which is a private organization that launches rockets into space and frequently collaborates with NASA.

Recently, Musk created special flamethrowers and sent a Tesla car into space. He’s a man who doesn’t hesitate to experiment and pushes the boundaries of tech innovation fearlessly. Here are some of the most inspiring things you should know about Elon Musk:

  1. He Amassed His Fortune Before the Age of 30

Elon Musk became a millionaire when he sold one of the first companies, an online media-services establishment, to Compaq for $307 million. He was 27 years old at the time and ready to keep moving. He founded X.com, which eventually became the highly successful PayPal. Musk sold that company to eBay for $1.5 billion and earned a profit of around $180 million from that sale. He was already a success story before he established his two most significant projects; Tesla and SpaceX.

  1. Both Tesla and SpaceX Were On The Verge of Failure

SpaceX and Tesla are both successful companies now, but they came close to failure just a few years ago. SpaceX tried to launch its flagship rocket three times and failed. He lost a considerable fortune during those six years and was down to his last $75 million.

It took around $90 million to build a rocket at that time, which means Musk could barely afford another launch. He was the sole owner of the company, so he didn’t have much support. Tesla was also in a rocky boat. Their first product, the $100,000 Roadster, had several quality issues and faced many recalls.

Fortunately, both companies recovered. The fourth SpaceX launch was a success, which impressed NASA enough to give the company a multibillion-dollar contract. Tesla also managed to brave public distrust and launch successful products. The third-generation Tesla cars are a big hit. This goes to show that everyone faces ups and downs and need to be persistent.

  1. Musk Wants to Make Tesla Cars for the Masses

Tesla started with a premium product that most people couldn’t even dream of owning. They launched a fast Roadster with a price tag of $100,000, which put it firmly out of reach for most people. But Musk has a plan to create one luxury line, one mid-range line, and one mass consumption line. In 2016, Musk introduced the third generation Tesla vehicles with one model priced at $35,000.

Tesla has already made an impact on the automobile industry and has been a disruptive influence. Many other manufacturers are trying to follow in their footsteps and release their electric car models.

  1. His Work Ethic Is Not One To Be Rivaled

Musk works hard and has an unbelievably busy schedule. According to an interview, he has only taken two weeks off in almost 12 years. He also has 100-hour workweeks and only sleeps around 6 hours every night.

Of course, not everyone can or should follow this example, but people can get inspired by his commitment to his dreams. Musk has many goals in mind, and his current success is just a starting point.

  1. His Entrepreneurial Spirit Manifested Early

Elon Musk had a mind for business even before he was a teenager. At the age of 12, he developed and sold a game to a computer magazine for $500. That was big money for a child living in Africa back in 1984. It was a simple enough game named Blastar, and it wouldn’t get much attention now, but it shows that it is never too early to start. Ideas can come to you at any age.

 

4 Powerful Tips to Improve Communication at Work

Communication is one of key pillars for any relationship. It could be a personal relationship, a friendship or a business relationship. People sometimes think that rules for personal communication don´t apply to a work environment but this is not true.  Every human has needs, emotions, hopes, values and dreams. And each person faces situations in their personal life that may sometimes impact job performance.

Staff turnover is one of the main challenges many companies face.  While employees come and go, many are less likely to leave if they are in an environment where they feel respected, rewarded, safe and comfortable.  People tend to be happier in work environments where they are confident enough to speak to coworkers and managers about their lives – this includes work related topics and personal ones too.

This is why communication is so important in the work environment, both among employees in the office and for those that work remotely. While maintaining good communication with employees who work together in the same place each day may seem straightforward, it is sometimes less obvious how to improve communication with those working off site. As an agency that specializes in connecting nearshore technical talent with U.S. companies, we’ve got some worthwhile insights into this challenge. Follow along for helpful tips to improve work communication, including communication between onshore and offshore workers.

Four Helpful Tips To Help You Improve Communication At Work

1. Employees are human beings, not numbers or metrics.

Many companies focus on growth, revenue and developing new products/services or improving existing ones. Sometimes by doing this, employees start to feel more like numbers, or pawns in a game of chess. When dealing with human resources, emotions play an important role. Employees are much less likely to make sacrifices for companies that make them feel like a cog in a wheel. It is tough to go the extra mile for a boss that doesn’t seem to take interest or care about anything but the bottom line.

According to Dale Carnegie, author of the award-winning classic: “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” the main thing people care about in life is themselves. Every person wants to feel important, valued and appreciated.

Henry Ford surely recognized this back in 1914 when he started paying his employees $5 a day. (This was a big salary increase.) He also reduced shifts from 9 hours a day to 8. By doing this Ford quickly solved a high staff turnover problem that his company was experiencing. This led to notable increases in production.

If a company can make its employees feel important, feel that their job matters and that they are important assets for the company, they are far more likely to do the extra work needed to go from good to great, and to take care of the company as if it was their own. While a motivated employee will communicate better, it is an employer’s responsibility to make sure employees know they are free to express what is on their mind.

2. Body Language Matters.

Over 50% of the things we say are non-verbal. Given this, learning body language is an important part of developing more effective communication.

If you are a manager, it is essential that you practice your body language skills so that when you speak with your employees you can transmit your ideas in the best possible way and avoid any misunderstandings of what you are trying to convey.

Things like maintaining an upright posture, making eye contact during conversation and keeping your chin up will radiate confidence and those around you will see you with respect.

Besides using body language to communicate well at work, it’s also important to understand body language signals in others. This might be especially important when dealing with offshore employees that normally communicate through apps like Skype or Zoom.  Knowing how to identify body language signals like face and eye gestures and tone of voice will enable you to read between the lines of the message that a coworker wants to transmit.

3. Make Yourself Available to your Co-Workers.

One of the easiest ways to make yourself accessible to coworkers is to simply tell them that you are available. People want to know they can count on you and the only way they will know this is if you communicate it. People want to know that their colleagues are people that can listen to them and understand what is going on.

Sometimes it may be difficult for people to communicate issues directly, especially with a manager. In these times, it can be useful to have a way for people to anonymously ask questions or even express complaints. Having a channel of communication that enables people who are too uncomfortable or shy to speak directly to leaders is a great way for a company to stay informed about situations they may otherwise not know about.

4. Share Something in Common.

Many of the best managers are comfortable sharing something about their personal lives with their coworkers. They might participate in a fun office outing or simply take an interest in the lives of their employees. Something as simple as remembering a birthday can make an enormous difference to a person’s morale at work.

This type of leader tends to be one that can talk about any topic with employees, not just work-related things. Often these more informal conversations help to build trust and work satisfaction. They also improve overall communication by making people feel more comfortable and secure.

Take the time to develop relationships with your coworkers and create a trusting environment for people to open up to you. You will likely be pleasantly surprised by the results.

3 Secrets that Super Successful Companies Use for Fast Growth

What differentiates rich entrepreneurs from the average ones? Why do some businesses make their founders very wealthy while others make their founders struggle each month to make ends meet? Some people say its sheer luck — trying something at the right moment in the right place with the right people. And in part, there’s some truth to that.

However, there are some important things that average entrepreneurs ignore, and in the end this not only causes them stress but sometimes even their entire career trying to make a business successful.

As an agile software development company with decades of experience, we’ve had the opportunity to learn a lot by working with successful entrepreneurs. Here are three things we’ve noticed that successful companies tend to have in common.

3 Things Many Successful Companies Share

  1. A focus on the right type of growth.

According to Robert Kiyosaki there is a difference between being a self-employed business owner and super successful entrepreneur business owner. Kiyosaki explains that a self-employed business owner owns a job not a business.

Some examples are: the mechanic that opens at 9 am and some days has to stay until 10 or 11 pm working because he has many cars in line. Another example is the entrepreneur who starts a neighborhood market and becomes a slave to the business working 12 or more hours a day because he or she has to have everything under control. These types of entrepreneurs often end up getting burned out by their business.

These entrepreneurs tend to focus on internal growth. You hear these types of business owners saying: “this year our company grew 5%”. Their growth strategies focus on things like cost control, finding cheaper suppliers, or selling a little bit more.

Successful business owners with superfast growing companies tend to focus on external growth.

American businessman and author of “Your First 100 Million” Dan Peña is an expert in growing companies geometrically. According to Peña, there is no way that you can grow a company internally as fast as you can externally, and the only way to grow a company externally is through acquisitions.

Peña started Great Western Resources with a leased fax machine and an $820 investment in his newborn son’s bedroom. He quickly began making acquisition deals, buying other businesses in his same industry. After purchasing several smaller businesses and making a conglomerate he went public eventually making $450 million.

Look around at many of the big companies today. You’ll notice that initially many were start-ups that gained early traction by purchasing other businesses, finally becoming successful conglomerates.

Have your heard of Virgin Group? It’s a conglomerate with more than 38 companies inside. Owner Richard Branson clearly knows a thing or two about external growth.

Have you heard of Warren Buffett? One of the richest men in the world started buying stocks from different companies and now his own company Berkshire Hathaway is involved with nearly 100 companies.

Why would an entrepreneur want to grow 10% or 15% internally when it is possible to grow 100% or more externally?

  1. An Understanding of Compound Interest.

Jeff Bezos, the owner of Amazon and the richest man in the world with a net worth of over $100 billion collects a normal salary just like any other CEO.

Why would a person with $100 billion receive an annual salary of less than $100K? Because he understands the power of compound interest. High speed growth is often the outcome of reinvesting profits into a business. This reinvestment can include: developing new products or services, technological innovation, expanding operations to different countries, and focusing on growth.

Warren Buffett lives a similar simple and frugal life, with a focus on reinvesting his dividends in new stocks, acquiring more stocks from many different companies and developing the large conglomerate mentioned previously.

  1. An Ability to Harness the Power of Technology.

Remember the old cab companies that you had to either call or hail on the street? That is a thing of the past with technology companies like Uber transforming everything. Technology enables people across the world to request transportation in a convenient way, knowing who will come, what license plate and vehicle color/make/model to expect, etc.

How was Uber able to grow from being a simple cab concept to a $70+ billion company? The company leveraged the power of technology. Every business, regardless of the industry, should consider how to grow leveraging technology as an advantage.

As an information technology company with many years of experience, we’ve helped hundreds of clients leverage technology to become more efficient and increase profits. Interested in learning more? Let’s connect. Send us an email or give us a call and we can get the conversation started.

 

10 Agile Project Management Terms You Should Know

Whether you’re planning on managing a project the agile way, or just want to stay up to date on the latest developments in the field, here are 10 agile project management terms you should know:

1. Agile Manifesto

The agile manifesto is a great starting point for anyone looking to familiarize themselves with the agile methodology. The manifesto outlines the 4 values and 12 principles of agile software development and was actually created by a group of software developers in an effort to provide a clear and alternative set of processes for developing software. The agile way of doing things prioritizes individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation, and responding to change over following a plan. 

2. Scrum

A scrum is a daily stand up meeting with the sole focus being to review each team member’s progress on any given project. Scrums help to keep everyone accountable and on the same page, ensuring no one falls too behind or gets too far ahead in the development of a project.

3. Scrum Master

A scrum master oversees the development process and acts as a problem solver for the team; preventing roadblocks and enforcing the agile way of doing things.

4. Stakeholder

A stakeholder refers to anyone with a vested interest in the product. This can be the client, the end user, sales people, legal representatives etc. Stakeholders have an informative role in the development phase, and are critical in defining the project’s requirements.

5. Backlog

The backlog is the ever changing list of the software’s requirements. It’s not to be seen as a to do list so much as a prioritized list of desired features of the product provided by the stakeholders.

6. Story

The story tells the software system’s requirements from the consumer’s point of view. For example, as “a <type of user>, I want to <perform some task> so I can <achieve some goal.>”

7. Burndown & Burnup Charts

A burndown chart visually measures the progress of a project over time (the vertical axis is made up of the backlog while the horizontal axis represents time). A burnup chart displays completed work (the vertical axis shows the amount done over the horizontal axis, time). These charts are essential to inspiring the team as they work and help provide a realistic time frame for the project’s completion as well as a working scale of the project.

8. Feature Creep

While changes are expected, and certainly embraced in the agile way of doing things, the phrase “feature creep” refers to features that are added after development has begun. Adding too many features during the development phase can result in feature creep and software that is too complicated or difficult to use.

9. Timeboxing

Timeboxing is kind of like time blocking in that it assigns a specific time frame to accomplish a goal. The definitive feature of timeboxing however, is that the work stops at the end of the timebox, instead of when the work is complete. This is extremely helpful in terms of productivity, and controlling the scale of a project.

10. Sprint

A sprint is a short development phase usually lasting anywhere from 1 week to a month. Sprints help prevent projects from feeling overwhelming and allows feedback to be given at appropriate junctures.

At Number8, we help project managers connect with highly trained and efficient IT support to help reach company goals. If you’re interested in learning more about Number8 and what we do, give us a call at(502) 890-7665, or check out our information page!