Building your projects (Photo by Bekir Dönmez on Unsplash)

Whatever your job is, use the platforms that make developers so effective.

Every profession knows how ineffective the Office Suit has become. Great teams don’t use documents anymore. Try the new way of working, the ones that software creator use to achieve their project.

Redondancy and collaboration

Most of our day to day tasks are repetitions, with just changing small variables: the name of a client, the amount of an invoice, the name of the team working on the project…

Our work is evaluated continuously by quantitative indicators. We spend more time building the reports by adding 1 client + 1 client + 1 client = 3 clients than really working.

We are mostly one just one part of a big machine, sending and receiving information from and to multiple partners. This exchange is usually done in a very unorganized way (mails): I receive lots of information that I don’t need, when I don’t need them. I never find the information I want when it is useful.

How does software team work?

Instead of using mail, and documents, they use online platform to monitor their activity. Problems (bugs), objectives and tasks are shared on one single place. Dashboards display any work added or done for each project.

Instead of redoing something, you can use a serie of actions as a template and reuse it on another project or for another sequence of your activity.

Which platform should I use?

Microsoft is owning most of the office industry: mail with Outlook, documents with Word and spreadsheets with Excel, presentations with powerpoint.

But you might have missed their very nice platform for developers. If you own an Office 365 account, you can have a go: https://www.visualstudio.com/team-services/

Visual Studio Team Services: why are those software only for developers? Every team should have one, whatever their activity is!

Agile adaptation

Of course, if you want to adapt the developer tools for your activity (salesperson, house builder, university, bakery…) you need to grasp some of the vocabulary first.

The main language is called “Agile”. You will find online a lot about this “culture of project management”. Let’s say here that activities are divided into :

  • features: the main target you want to reach. Usually expressed with a verb. Ex: find new clients.
  • Stories: what people want to do. As a salesperson I want to send our new products catalogue to midwest garages so that they contact me. Most important, it is not the story which matters. It is the discussion with the team that goes with it. Because most of the time, through this discussion your team finally rejects the first idea and choses another one, a lot fitter to get to the result (find new clients)
  • Tasks: this is the small bits of what needs to be done.
  • Bugs: problems

You will find different other way to use the platform, with languages going beyond this first vocabulary. Check online for Kanban, Scrum and XP…