Software Executive Magazine

December 2017

Software Executive magazine helps software executives grow their businesses by showcasing the business best practices of our readers, executives from established and innovative software companies.

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Editorial Advisory Board ALESSANDRA LEZAMA CEO Abacus Data Systems MARNE MARTIN CEO ServicePower MICHAEL MITTEL President RapidFire Tools JOE MEYER Founder & CEO CentralBOS KATIE ROGERS VP, Customer Success SalesLoft STU SJOUWERMAN CEO KnowBe4 JOHN TATA VP, Partner Sales Toast DAVID WIBLE President & CEO Industry Weapon TOM BRONSON President & CEO Granbury Solutions DAN CHANDRE SVP, Strategic Partnerships Booker Software JIM CLOUGHLEY VP, Software Engineering Microdea DAVID DUNCAN VP, Sales Epos Now TIM GODDARD Senior VP, Marketing Courm Group BABAK HEDAYATI Co-Founder & CEO TapClicks SCOTT HOLDEN CMO ThoughtSpot KEVIN KOGLER Founder & President MicroBiz EAB Q What advice do you have for other software companies who are struggling to communicate across different teams working on the same project? A ONCE THE PROJECT SCOPE HAS BEEN CLEARLY DEFINED UP FRONT, the key component is clear and immediate feedback. This can be accomplished across multiple locations and time zones in a daily meeting or call. No BS on this call. Key questions to address are: What were we supposed to get done for today? Did it get done? If not, why, and what do you need to get it done? How are we on other tasks? Our job as leaders is to set objectives, to help provide solutions, and to challenge our teams, all of which can be aided by daily meetings. Anything else is doing the job of a team member. JOE MEYER is the founder and CEO of CentralBOS, a cloud ERP software company based in Atlanta, GA. He is a serial entrepreneur and a retired U.S. Army major who has worked with large and startup enterprises in the telecom and financial technology sector since 1992. A I THINK REGARDLESS OF A COMPANY'S STRUGGLES TODAY, we all need to focus on clarity and consistency. Building the tools necessary to facilitate clarity and consistency is easy. Keeping your team utilizing those tools is where the real challenge lies. I have found in my businesses it's not creativity that provides the best ROI, but the ability to execute simple processes with consistency. I utilize daily employee dashboards that require employees to pinpoint what is accelerating their productivity and effectiveness within the company, as well as what is holding them back. (Employees' dashboards are reviewed daily by their manager and upper management.) When necessary, comments in the dashboards are shared with other resources across the organization to enable communication flow for optimal performance. Additionally, each department utilizes assessment reports that capture all aspects of their department's projects and functions. These assessments are prioritized weekly to make certain that the department is dedicating resources only to the most important projects. If a business is struggling, it has been my experience that clarity and consistency are lacking. DAVID WIBLE is the president and CEO of Industry Weapon, a digital signage SaaS provider based in Pittsburgh, PA. Founded in 2003, the company has a global reseller program and has customers in more than 60 countries. Software Executive has yet to talk to a software company that claims to have 100 percent effective internal communication 100 percent of the time (if you are that company, please shoot us an email and tell us how you're pulling it off!). We asked our editorial advisory board to sound off on how they communicate across teams to streamline processes and ensure projects are completed on time. A A MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH to projects works well in a software company. Put someone in charge of overseeing the project across units, with target dates for each task assigned to those who need to get it done, and a date for completion. Utilizing an agile approach and regular standups with those assigned targets to review progress allows for open communication and briefing. Everyone involved then knows what each other is doing and any targets that are behind can be debugged quickly. Each area is assigned its own targets and any necessary coordination is done on the spot, without lost time or added complexity. This method works exceptionally well with managers overseeing different departments or divisions. It also allows for an easy way for those on the project to stay briefed on any trouble spots bubbling up for quick resolution by the overall project leader. The quality of communication improves as does the overall outcome of the project. STU SJOUWERMAN is the founder and CEO of the integrated security awareness training and simulated phishing platform KnowBe4, Inc. Sjouwerman's fifth startup, KnowBe4, debuted on the 2016 Inc. 500 list at #139, the Deloitte Technology Fast 500 at #50, and #1 on the Tampa Bay Best Places to Work for 2017. Software Executive is happy to welcome Jim Cloughley, David Duncan, and Michael Mittel to our editorial advisory board! ASK THE BOARD SoftEx SOFTWAREEXECUTIVEMAG.COM DECEMBER 2017 7 Have a response to our experts' answers? Send us an email to atb@SoftwareExecutiveMag.com .

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