Essay: Managing and Motivating Technical Professionals

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Managing and Motivating Technical Professionals

The most complex team-based processes and tasks many companies routinely struggle with is developing and launching new products. The new product development and introduction (NPDI) process however is the most demanding in terms of knowledge management and commitment from technical professionals (Li, Zhu, 2009). This is especially true within the field of Web application development, where the applications being produced are for use throughout enterprises. This paper analyzes the use of team concepts to coordinate the launch of a new Web-based enterprise-wide channel management system that gives companies the ability to sell build-to-order products over their websites, through their resellers and by their direct sales force. Called multichannel management, the Web-based application competes directly with Salesforce.com and relies on the expertise of Web application developers, software testing teams and integration experts. Each of these teams of developers has strong opinions as to how the system should be integrated together, launched, sold and serviced.

Creating Collaboration in Technical Teams

From the team management skills learned, it was clear that using any type of position-based authority would not be as effective as appealing to the technical professional's opinions, insights and guidance. The technical professional in our company is more defined by technological expertise, acumen and insight than by seniority. Giving technical professionals the opportunity to attain a high level of ownership of any project, form the simplest coding change to the largest combined effort, is critical to gaining their commitment (Long, Spurlock, 2008). As part of the team managing the new product introduction of the system, it became clear quickly that the system was quite complex, had many potentially strong competitive features relative to competitors, and was also designed specifically to scale across hundreds of users at once. It was in essence a true enterprise-class multichannel management system. Typically marketing managers and directors would take ownership of systems of this type and size prior to launch and define messaging, competitive differentiation, the unique value proposition or what is unique about the system, and also complete a comparison of features, functions and benefits which would drive much of the messaging.

In discussing how this transition to marketing often created conflicts with the software engineers and quality assurance managers as marketing many times would seek to overstate scalability (how many users the system could support) or stretch the functionality in response to competitors, I recommended that for the firs time, allow engineers to be part of the marketing launch teams. Technology companies including Microsoft (Voss, 1993) and HP, which is renowned for the practice (Jain, 2008), have successfully been able to create shared ownership of product introductions using this strategy. By integrating our development teams with marketing, our engineers for the first time were able to have ownership of the software they had worked… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Managing and Motivating Technical Professionals.  (2009, July 31).  Retrieved September 17, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/managing-motivating-technical-professionals/6971

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"Managing and Motivating Technical Professionals."  Essaytown.com.  July 31, 2009.  Accessed September 17, 2019.
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