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Understanding The Importance Of Technical Excellence In Enterprise Agility

September 28, 2023
Bill Kimball

On the other hand, adding features with reckless abandon and with little regard for the health of the codebase—while potentially lucrative in the short-term—will ultimately wreak havoc on the ability to add new features in the future. One of the common traps that organizations fall into is ignoring the importance of producing high quality software. Not just quality in terms of what the user sees when they use the software, but also the internal quality of the software itself.

  • I feel that a more continuous focus and effort within the technical areas will make a huge impact in agile teams and organizations.
  • While I am no stranger to the demands of the real world and the compromises that come along with them, I am a firm believer in demanding technical excellence in all aspects of software development.
  • In order to achieve technical excellence an organization must be technology-centric.
  • One excellent developer should not embark on a journey of sophisticated architecture, code, and tests, without bringing the rest of the development team along.

He is an expert in creating consistently effective, self-managing teams that deliver high-quality, value-added software in a timely manner. He is particularly passionate about helping certain clients to leverage technology to its fullest.

Keeping up with people’s changing needs and interests in the world of technology requires great skill and time management. One of the ways to achieve this relative to maintaining and advancing software is called technical excellence. “In the recent years, Entuitive have come to be recognised amongst the engineering and architectural fraternity as an innovative practice providing elegant design solutions.

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Technical excellence is a mix of extreme programming, TDD and SOLID principles. These principles improve software quality and allow for efficient response times to both customer and business demands. Technical excellence also includes personal accountability in which developers are committed to learning and improvement, and a commitment to the team and working together to get projects completed. The thing is, that a framework like Scrum is made for continuous improvement.

Creating an active community internally can provide a more focused learning environment, dealing with topics that are relevant to your daily work. This commitment to our technical project delivery process, to our four pillars, and to our One Company culture allowed us to remain resilient during this pandemic and continue serving our clients and meeting their needs. “The quality and efficiency of project delivery documentation is contingent upon the technical support built into the delivery system. Project work supported by in-house technical support leads to efficient structural systems culminating in sharp and economical designs. Our commitment to our four pillars of technical excellence ensure our project delivery process is efficient and that our designs are optimized to client and stakeholder needs. It is the product owner’s responsibility to understand the needs of the business and communicate them effectively with developers, but the weight of meeting those needs falls upon the developers. Low code/no code can help firms achieve the four key performance metrics described in the State of DevOps Reports and Accelerate, to achieve a faster pace of software development.

technical excellence

Continuous delivery is as much a requirement for technical excellence as it is an outcome. For individuals, this means being willing to learn whatever languages, tools, and patterns are needed in order to perform at their maximum potential. Practices like pair-programming, code reviews, and mentoring are all good ways to share knowledge within a team and help others grow. Martin explores how culture, structures, talent, and technology choices help to build organisations that have technical excellence ingrained in them.

Three Benefits Of Technical Excellence

During an Introduction to Agile & Scrum presentation at the North Dallas Women Who Code meetup, Allison Pollard and I showed a slide with the last six principles of the Agile Manifesto. I was hesitant to include this reason as it is a bit of a hard sell to non-developers. But I think that it cannot be understated that excellence for excellency’s sake is a noble pursuit. In order to maintain development speed over the long-term, quality must be at the forefront of everyone’s minds, not just an afterthought. Attend QCon London in-person (April 4-6, 2022) and stay ahead of the tech that matters. Prior to joining Saggezza, Frank was a consultant for high-level companies in Chicago.

Quality standards should not be developed in a vacuum; they should be based on existing standards of quality that exist in the industry. Technical excellence requires its practitioners to constantly be learning and growing, both as individuals and as a team. Breathing a sigh of relief, you glance around at the other developers strewn about the room. QCon London Software Conference Learn from practitioners driving innovation and change in software. Our pillars enable us to engage in deep collaboration, which result in sophisticated and sustainable designs. We are a group of purpose-driven and passion-fuelled engineers, designers, technologists, and city-building experts.

Throughout the years I have worked in and with agile teams, a lot of great progress has been made towards getting value from developing software by agile values and principles. A lot of focus has been on maturing agile teams in terms of collaboration in and between teams. In recent years more focus has also been put on bringing value to the customers with Lean Product Discovery, and DevOps is beginning to bridge the gap between development and deployment. However, you cannot expect to succeed with agile events and frameworks, customer development, and DevOps practices alone. All important and vital areas — but in my experience one area is being neglected. You will learn the mindset, habits, and practices that result in continuously improving both your software and your teamwork.


Please see /about to learn more about our global network of member firms. We are happy to customize the workshop duration and content to best meet your needs. If you have your own thoughts on technical excellence I would love to hear them, so give me a shout on Twitter. Being able to continuously deliver value to the user and gather feedback in short, iterative cycles is what allows software to evolve to meet the needs of the market. Not quite; but you do have a software deadline closing in, and you are nowhere near done with your assigned feature.

In this scenario, everyone must know every piece of it so they can work cohesively together at all times. Remember that agile/Scrum events do not only exist to improve team collaboration and process. “We view close collaboration between the disciplines as essential to the design process and are enthusiastic supporters of cross-fertilisation between all design fields. Such a philosophy has quickly proved successful and projects by our engineers that demonstrate this thinking have recently won major architectural and industry awards. Finally, achieving technical excellence requires defined standards for quality. Without predefined standards for quality it becomes impossible to gauge where your organization stands on the path to technical excellence.

Quality Begets Quality

Implementing technical excellence at the enterprise level is crucial to stay ahead of the curve and create the products people really want. With time saved and minimal room for error, it can only be beneficial to do so. Extreme programming, TDD and SOLID principles all equate to more testable and understandable development. Test-driven development, in particular, calls for code to be written in stages; complete one small piece of it, test it, modify it, and then move on to the next small piece of it. Involve yourself in the developer community in the area in which you live and work. You can get a lot of inspiration and learn from listening and talking to developers from other companies. Try to join or create guilds, book clubs, geek nights, and the like, within your organization.

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Martin Fowler also sheds some light on what technical excellence means in his talk “What Does Technical Excellence Look Like?”. The ultimate form of technical excellence that Fowler describes is shortened delivery and feedback cycles. The achievement of this relies on the culmination of the business side of the organization valuing tech and the software development side understanding the needs of the business. Martin, renowned author, software consultant and speaker, brings two decades of experience helping corporations utilise object technology for mission-critical information systems. He was one of the authors of the Manifesto for Agile Software Development, and has written seven books on software development and collected awards for them. He’s also a highly regarded speaker at international conferences, although these days he prefers to stay off the stage. Technical excellence evolves around the culture in which continuous improvement is key, both in terms of hard developer skills, and soft skills such as team collaboration and the ability to help and coach others.

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One excellent developer should not embark on a journey of sophisticated architecture, code, and tests, without bringing the rest of the development team along. It is a team responsibility to include each other, and raise the overall bar for the technical competencies in the team, by teaching, coaching, and helping each other continuously. “Entuitive technical excellence encompasses the full spectrum of the design life of a project. The projects are supported by the design support systems developed by the Technical Committee, overseen by the Production Process Group, and finally subjected to a thorough QA process implemented by the Quality Control Committee. In order to achieve technical excellence an organization must be technology-centric. It is important to not confuse being technology-oriented and being technology-centric. After all, all software companies are technology-oriented by nature, but not all software companies are technology-centric.

By implementing technical excellence, companies maximize the amount of code they don’t write and only solve problems they actually have. There are no anticipated problems here; code is written strictly for what it needs to be written for. In addition, with all the testing done, there shouldn’t be any surprise problems coming up. Introduce new patterns, tools, frameworks, and architecture, and utilize the agile events and iterations to reflect and improve in short cycles. Technical excellence is curiosity towards continuously learning new skills, trying out new approaches, and strive to enhance the quality of products and code. This annual award recognizes major contributions to the development of Accellera standards.

Staying Ahead To Keep Our Clients Ahead

Developing software is a craft, no different than carpentry or masonry, and developers should desire to be skilled practitioners of the craft. Much like with speed, quality also reduces the number of bugs, which makes it easier to deliver working software to our users.

Achieving continuous delivery requires technical underpinnings as well. Things like version control, automated builds and tests, continuous integration, and automated deployments all work together to make releasing software to users as quick, painless, and hands-off as possible. Things like simplicity, modularity, and loose-coupling are just some of the many ways that developers can keep their code clean. Entire books have been written on this subject, so I would suggest you go and read them to learn how to write clean, high-quality code.