Software project needs technical team owner rather than processes and tools to successfully deliver project

From past 15 years (from the days of waterfall methodology to Agile methodology) in software industry, I have been thinking about the processes every project team has to adhere to and does it really worth to invest vital time of technical geeks to adhere to processes?

Being technical freak, I have never been a process oriented guy. Almost in every project, I have to argue with lot many people to take exception for processes defined by bigger tech companies. As it was very hard to get exception in Big tech companies so all technical geeks to compromise to either follow the processes or find some shortcut to make auditor fool (No offense to any auditor however I have done that many times in the past to make them fool successfully). From past 5 years, I have been working with small size company that has attitude like a new startup… So I got the opportunity to showcase senior management how one team can successfully deliver any project in software industry without following any process at least for the team with size of less than 5 members including myself. Only prerequisites are

  1. Have team product owner technically sounds with a mindset to do the coding along with team members.
  2. Team members should be hardworking with mindset to finish the assigned task without even worried about the time spent on any given day

Let me share one the recent assignment I have accomplished without following any processes rather defined very simple mechanism to track down the progress on the project. In nut-shell, No project tracking/management tool or no scrum call or no Jira kind of tool to track the scrum outcome etc. Only 3 tools I have used in the assignment of 5 months for tracking & managing project & those tools are

  1. SLACK is used for continuous communication within all team members.
  2. MS EXCEL is used to just to track down the progress for each requirements
  3. Zoom/Google Hangout to get into video calls to discuss anything that needs team collaboration in interactive mode

I was lucky to choose my own team so I choose all 1–2 years experience folks with curious mindset to know more & ability to learn by implementing. Once I got my team selected then only tasks I was left with is

  1. Collect the precise requirement for all shared high level requirements from respective stack holders
  2. Create Proof Of Concepts with some coding for most difficult requirement to showcase the rest of the team how to tackle the coding part for any given requirement. Even if to implement the requirement for which team is not experienced on required technical stack

Once I was able to do that the above 2 tasks for my team, they stood up in a way that I have to spent very minimum to no time with them to manage the work. As and when they get stuck on any given requirement & before reaching out to me they perform very basic fundamental tasks

  1. Explore the google to get any pointer
  2. Internal brainstorming with other team members to all possible pointers
  3. If needed and less time consuming then document the pros/cons for all probable solution agreed upon in brainstorming
  4. If they do not get any pointers then share all possible known approaches with outcome of each trials

I was fortunate enough in the assignment that we did not run in to any requirement where team could not find the solution. All they got stuck sometime in designing high level flow for the complicated requirements due to their less experience in the industry. All I need to do in that situation is to provide them high level design on how the logic should look like for any given requirement.

We delivered project within defined deadline without any major issue reported by our customer as we kept our customer engaged by providing demo for each requirement twice a week or whenever customer has time as we target to make significant progress each day to do coding in way that we can showcase working piece of code each day to anyone who ask us.

I know lot of you people will argue that it is not very feasible with bigger team size but I do not agree that it can not be done… It is just that I did not get the opportunity to try the same experiment with bigger team of more than 10 members. If I do get the opportunity to handle any assignment with bigger size I will love to do so to show the world that technical geeks only need some guidance to make successful product not the processes.

Stay Curious & keep learning by implementing your small learning…

BlockChain Evangelist & Enthusiast with 13 years of experience as Software Test Automation Architect - https://www.linkedin.com/in/abhishek-jain-31a72133/