TipoTapp was the original brainchild of Murali Siddavatam who soon found like mind leader in Santosh Subbarao. Sharing as they did a common experience in successfully leading people in designing and building software solutions for many different clients and types of organisations.
Murali and Santosh also share a common belief in people. Knowing that if we understand each other and strive to inspire each other, we are better together.
TipoTapp has grown from an initial idea to offices in Australia, India, and New Zealand. As we have grown, we have recruited diverse but equally motivated people.
We celebrate the diverse backgrounds and cultures that we have and the different experiences and thinking they bring. United by our desire to do what we do with excellence.
Bringing to TipoTapp experience and past successes it is tempting to think we need only repeat what we the patterns of success. However, we also believe that life and business is a journey of constant learning and growth.
More practically, the challenge of creating a great software product that will allow our customer to do great things is not easy and is even harder in an ever changing world of technology and business. To do better and be competitive, we need to learn from others. To paraphrase “there are many shoulders to stand on to enable success.”
We also believe that to lean you must teach, and to teach you must also be a student. What follows are the lessons we have learnt and which we strive to apply to our business.
We wish to share these with our customers to help you on your journey to turn your great ideas into great software.
If you wish to share your thoughts or own lessons feel free to contact and teach us.
“If I have seen further it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants"
Sir Isaac Newton
Work With Agility
Research shows, the Agile software development method is one of the most significant innovations in technology of the 21st century, so far.
No doubt cheaper and smaller storage, cloud computing, and the dawn of proper AI will take centre stage as the innovations which the early 2000s brought us. But to any business investing into a software product, what should first matter most is the success of your software.
Conservatively, Agile has doubled the outright success of projects and reduced the outright failure rate to ⅓ of what they are otherwise.
More widely, the Lean method (which is the grandfather or superset of agile methods) is widely understood to be applicable to product creation and startups. Whether you are a small business starting up or an enterprise wanting to behave like a startup - The Lean Startup by Eric Ries is an excellent starting point to learn how to apply agility to you your product journey.
Seeing the success and applicability to our journey TipoTapp has determined not only to apply Agile as a tool but to be Agile as an organisation.
“Managers do things right. Leaders do the right things.”
The luxury of turning up to work and knowing you are adding value because you are doing what you were told to do is not a luxury that exists when you are taking a product to market.
The creation of a great product requires equally good leadership. It is the right results that count; not counting the results right.
Every business operating model has its strengths and weaknesses. And an organisation's culture can enhance what’s good and help overcome what is not so good.
At TipoTapp, we know what our underlying values are as people, but felt that these are equally applicable to most business operating models.
Knowing this, we determined we needed more guidance in how to scale our business. Also, the model needed to recognise our desire, and need, to be an Agile organisation.
For this we turned to Lee G. Bolman and Terrence E. Deal and their work in uncovering and understanding different organisation operating models or, as they call them, organisational frames. Note, no one frame is any better or worse than the other. It is just that they may be more useful in a given organisational and environment (economic and competitive) context.
Drawing from sociology, economics, and management science, this frame depicts a rational world and emphasises organisational architecture, including planning, strategy, goals, structure, technology, specialised roles, coordination, formal relationships, metrics, and rubrics. Structures—commonly depicted by organisation charts—are designed to fit an organisation's environment and technology. Organisations allocate responsibilities (“division of labor”). They then create rules, policies, procedures, systems, and hierarchies to coordinate diverse activities into a unified effort. Objective indicators measure progress. Problems arise when structure doesn't line up well with current circumstances or when performance sags. At that point, some form of reorganisation or redesign is needed to remedy the mismatch.
This perspective, rooted in psychology, sees an organization as an extended family, made up of individuals with needs, feelings, prejudices, skills, and limitations. From a human resource view, the key challenge is to tailor organizations to individuals—finding ways for people to get the job done while feeling good about themselves and their work. When basic needs for security and trust are unfulfilled, people withdraw from an organization, join unions, go on strike, sabotage, or quit. Psychologically healthy organizations provide adequate wages and benefits and make sure employees have the skills, support, and resources to do their jobs.
This view sees organizations as arenas, contests, or jungles. Parochial interests compete for power and scarce resources. Conflict is rampant because of enduring differences in needs, perspectives, and lifestyles among contending individuals and groups. Bargaining, negotiation, coercion, and compromise are a normal part of everyday life. Coalitions form around specific interests and change as issues come and go. Problems arise when power is concentrated in the wrong places or is so widely dispersed that nothing gets done. Solutions arise from political skill and acumen—as Machiavelli suggested 500 years ago in The Prince (1961).
The symbolic lens, drawing on social and cultural anthropology, treats organisations as temples, tribes, theaters, or churches. It tempers the assumptions of rationality prominent in other frames and depicts organisations as cultures, propelled by rituals, ceremonies, stories, heroes, history, and myths rather than by rules, policies, and managerial authority. Organisation is also theater: actors play their roles in an ongoing drama while audiences form impressions from what they see on stage. Problems arise when actors blow their parts, symbols lose their meaning, or ceremonies and rituals lose their potency. We rekindle the expressive or spiritual side of organisations through the use of symbol, myth, and magic.
Choosing the Operating Model or Organisational Frame
Right For Your Product's Growth
Choosing the business operating model is important because left to be organic it will not scale. Plus you lose the opportunity to leverage it for other business characteristics that that you want to grow. For TipoTapp, we wanted a frame that we could leverage to be better at being Agile.
Here is a [very] simple questionnaire that seeks to find which model may work best for you. Choose the frame that matches the most yes or no answers to the questions.
Go to the desk top version of our web site to find a very simple questionnaire that seeks to find which model may work best for you.
Is individual commitment and motivation essential to success?
Is the technical quality of decisions important?
Are there high levels of ambiguity and uncertainty?
Are conflicts and scare resources significant?
Are you working from the bottom up?
At TipoTapp, realising our ambitions and where we are on our journey we found that the Symbolic frame was right for us. At first this surprised us, but knowing that Agile is very disciplined and runs according to daily, weekly and other scheduled rituals we saw the Symbolic frame giving us the greatest leverage to be Agile. And the more we learnt the more we realised this was the best frame to operate under.
We want to acknowledge the work of BOLMAN, Lee G. and DEAL, Terrence E. (2008). Reframing organisations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco, Calif, Jossey-Bass.
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