Contributed by Jeff Fortin, Director of Product Management for Intelligent Platforms at Wind River 

Productivity – it’s something we all strive towards. The number one way I look at productivity and how to influence productivity has to do with information. What I mean by information is this: knowing what you should be doing. Merely doing things is not being productive. You need to be doing the right things in order to promote the business goals. If you don’t know the goals and what that team is trying to get done, your work could be meaningless. One of the things I’m seeing about information in the last thirty years is the radical transformation of how we communicate. We used to share information person-to-person.

If you remember, we used to write memos! This is how we distributed information and communicated what people should work on.

However, today, information needs to be distributed over a very wide team. In my case, our team is worldwide. I’ve got teams in Beijing, Ottawa and India. All of these teams have to have the same information – what I call common knowledge – everyone is on the same page at the same time.

Along that line, make sure information is easily searchable. For instance, if I’m distributing a piece of software that Wind River created and need to know how our legal team licensed that software, I need to be able to quickly track down that information. This actually occurred very recently, in fact! If you don’t have that sort of information indexed and searchable, you’ll end up with a massive hunt for the accurate information. That isn’t productive at all.

Make sure that the information is also audited with date coding and a way of knowing if the information is obsolete.

For example, if I have a document that says we’re delivering a product on March 15th, how do I know if the information was written by someone with appropriate authority to make that decision? Was this an operational decision or an informal comment recorded from a meeting?

This is another instance where date coding is vital because I will know whether or not the information is accurate or current considering the furious pace of the software industry where two-day old information may even be outdated! 

Guess what? Jeff will return next week to spell out all things IoT. Intrigued…check back next Thursday. 

Any questions? Leave them in the comments below! 

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