Tech Insights

Leadership & Management

How Innovative Chicago Businesses are Addressing COVID-19

 Lisa Koci  Apr 22, 2020 9:30:00 AM  0 Comments

Last week, the Chicago Innovation Roundtable met virtually for the first time, using Zoom and a remote collaboration tool called Mural. A group of business leaders came together to discuss the current state, process issues, and challenges organizations are faced with during this uncertain time. Here are some of the key insights they shared about how they plan to move forward safely and successfully.

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Here’s What We’ve Learned from Building a Remote Work Culture

 Robert Perrin  Apr 9, 2020 9:00:00 AM  0 Comments

Many companies have long had some proportion of remote employees, but relatively few have taken the capability of managing remote employees to its logical conclusion of being entirely office-optional. In 2020, we’re all jumping into the remote-first experiment with both feet. There will be some awkwardness and issues, but this can and should be seen as a learning opportunity as well. Issues that once affected only a distant minority will now affect everyone, top to bottom. That temporary discomfort will be the impetus for rapid improvements in remote work that could otherwise have taken years.

As remote work becomes the new norm, leaders need to ensure the right structures and tools are in place for their teams to be successful. The DragonSpears team has been working remotely for years, so we put together various perspectives and insights to shed light on productive remote work and successful remote team relationships.

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3 Essential Steps for Onboarding Developers Successfully

 Richard Popola  Feb 12, 2020 9:30:00 AM  0 Comments

Onboarding software development teams to a new project can be tough. To have a smooth project initiation or transition, a tried and true onboarding process needs to be in place. Here are the three most important things you can do to get developers off to a great start and help them be a successful and valuable resource to the project and organization.

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How to Run an Effective 1-Day Design Thinking Workshop

 Lisa Koci  Feb 5, 2020 9:00:00 AM  0 Comments

The design thinking approach has gained popularity across all areas of business as an innovative problem-solving strategy. It brings cross-functional teams together to break out of their natural day-to-day patterns and unpack business challenges with a customer-centric mindset. The ability to work and think differently to flesh out early-stage solutions in a short timeframe has given design thinking its positive reputation. It's useful for innovation, strategy development, process improvement, and more.

Depending on the goals and context, design thinking can take many forms. For example, you can add small exercises to weekly meetings, conduct 1-day workshops, or run full 5-day design sprints. In this article, we walk through how to run a 1-day design thinking workshop to create strategic solutions and solve problems that might be holding you – or your customers – back.

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3 Benefits of Hiring an Outside Software Consultant To Do a Code Audit

 Robert Perrin  Oct 23, 2019 9:30:00 AM  0 Comments

There’s an old saying among business leaders that also applies to software development teams: you need to work on your business, not in your business. The grind of daily work often leaves developers with little time to create more strategic and structural plans required to accomplish core business objectives. Without a focus on the foundation of your processes and practices, there is the risk of making all of that day-to-day work less effective than it could and should be.

Some dev teams have the flexibility to hire a specific person to focus on those structural, strategic issues. A small portion of them are able to stick to that division of labor, even in the face of immediate business needs, which is great. However, many teams benefit greatly from partnering with an outside software consultant to help them with the strategic analysis of the codebase, systems, and development practices. A consultant’s role is to help you find the best practices that make your processes and jobs more efficient and effective going forward.

Here are three ways a third-party code audit from an experienced software consultant can benefit your team in the long run.

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