Social business for software development teams
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Bringing the power of social software to software development teams provides many new collaboration opportunities that allow you to identify, connect and exchange ideas with a wide community of business and technical stakeholders, partners and end users. IBM has seen that social business allows people to embrace networks and find new ways to connect and collaborate both with their colleagues as well as with their partners and customers. Through using social software, working transparently and collaborating together, we've seen a better approach to being smarter about how people are working.
Businesses who adopt a social model have seen substantial results. We've seen social businesses start to deliver unprecedented return on time invested and improvement in how work gets done. The teams are more engaged, deeply connecting and productive in more efficient ways. They are more transparent, allowing a break down of traditional barriers or boundaries that often cloud the work that's being done. And they're more nimble. They're able to anticipate and address evolving opportunities and are overall more innovative in coming up with solutions to everyday problems.
Software development teams that take advantage of social networking capabilities realize a broad set of benefits that are foreign to traditional teams. Connected teams collaborate about the development process and artifacts that they're working on. Rational Team Concert provides an unprecedented capability to not only see all the artifacts that are in the development process, but also to handle collaboration as events, with a feed that can easily be filtered, scanned and customized. Through in program collaboration, we see less e-mail notifications, more transparency, more access to what's going on in the system and more access to project status without having to actually search. As a developer, tester, project lead or support person, you are interested in a particular view of the system and how you can customize your collaboration to make that work -- it provides control over what’s important to you.
Another business value that we're seeing is increased engagement with customers as more teams adopt agile development techniques. They're engaging external stakeholders outside the development organization through Web-based interfaces and Web-based communication tooling to engage development and operations, and share progress about each iteration.
But what it really comes down to is how do you capture the intellectual capital of the extended team and link that back to development? What you are really seeing with social development tools is an ability to capture this intellectual capital of the extended team by extending the task boards and dashboards to include communities and the information from the organization.
At IBM, using Connections and Rational Team Concert, we’ve seen teams able to tap into the expertise outside the development organization and also give visibility to what's going on in development. Integrating social collaboration tools, like Connections, into software development is opening up a lot of innovation that can be captured within the development process. Now your development teams are working together with your business teams and new solutions can come together more quickly with different angles and perspectives. It is very interesting to see how we have been able to incorporate more people from the organization and move more quickly to further the agile software development process while everyone is engaged and connected.
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About the authors
Mac Guidera is a Product Manager on IBM's Social Software team . He has been working with social and collaborative technology for the past 15 years as a developer, architect and strategist. Mac is passionate about connecting people and information and finding the best solutions to engage people in creating and sharing their work.
Rolf Nelson is the product manager for Rational Team Concert.