Building Know-How from the ITX Team Blog

How To Conduct Effective Virtual Design Sprints

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Coronavirus Adds New Opportunity For Distributed Design Teams To Go Virtual
Even before coronavirus isolated us from our software product team members, UX designers at ITX Corp. created a guide for translating the design sprint process to a virtual environment. Our already-distributed workforce has enjoyed using the virtual design sprint for months. And they’re confident its value will outlive the pandemic that inspired its expanded use.

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Business Leaders Must Navigate Digital Transformation To Survive

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Coronavirus Signals Need for Rapid, Lasting Societal Change
As I write this, I am closing out week three of the coronavirus lockdown across New York State. We’re all focused on the immediate impacts, and rightly so. But business leaders can ill afford to overlook the more profound, longer-lasting systemic changes.
Among them is our society’s readiness to accept, let alone embrace, the speed of technological evolution. Throughout human history, our resistance to change has delayed technological expansion and adoption.

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Software Product Development Best Practices In The Age of Social Distancing

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ITX Corp.’s Remote-First Culture Eases Transition To A New Normal
“ITX is a remote-first workplace,” marked the first words uttered by my HR contact during our initial screening interview. If they’re going to start the conversation with that, I thought, it must be pretty important.
Over that past couple years – but especially the past couple weeks – I’ve learned exactly how important these words truly are.

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The Agile Product Team’s “Work From Home” Checklist

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Social distancing is forcing Agile product teams to become truly (small ‘a’) agile. At ITX, adapting and collaborating virtually are part of our culture. With our long-standing remote first philosophy, we’re prepared to seamlessly transition from co-location to remote work. Let our architects, designers, and developers help ease the transition to your new normal.
Review our remote work checklist for everyday best practices. You can also catch some of their personal anecdotes and insights to help you and your product development teams become truly agile. We hope these tips enhance your productivity, effectiveness, and morale.

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ITX Product Momentum Podcast – A Pragmatic Approach to Product Management

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Imagine a colleague asks you to describe the software product manager role. Where would you begin? So few of us actually studied this stuff in college. How can we hope to explain it when we’re not even sure we’re doing it right? We deliver MVPs for MVAs. We set goals using OKRs and KPIs. And we apply a host of methodologies to build all this incredible software. But in the midst of all the jargon, it’s easy to lose sight of our greater purpose.
In this episode of the Product Momentum Podcast, Sean and Paul chat with Johanna Rothman. Also known as the “Pragmatic Manager,” Johanna helps product leaders identify problems, recognize opportunities, and remove obstacles in their development process. Though she has authored more than a dozen books on digital product management, Johanna sees software not as the end goal – but as the means by which we achieve that greater purpose – inspiring our teams to improve the world around us.

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ITX Product Momentum Podcast – Episode 19: The Significance of Contributive Design

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As organizations move inexorably to a team-based, agile methodology, how do individual contributors effectively demonstrate what they’re working on or what they’ve accomplished? If performance is measured based solely on the team’s deliverables, how do team leaders appropriately acknowledge each member’s contribution or target their professional development? Enter the concept of contributive design, in which involvement of the individual is made clear. Contributive design fosters an environment in which team members collaborate as one, but also where they’re not necessarily dependent on others for their own outcomes.
In this episode of ITX’s Product Momentum Podcast, hosts Sean and Paul welcome Miguel Cardona, professor of design, artist, and keynote speaker at ITX’s 2nd annual ITX UX 2019: Beyond the Pixels design conference. Miguel introduces us to contributive design and its far-reaching impact – not only in the classroom, where contributive tools help him evaluate the performance of project teams and isolate the contributions of each student. Contributive design applies with equal significance in the workplace as we consider the modular nature of teams, design systems, and the user experience.

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People Skills: The Foundation of Effective Software Development

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The culture of the software development world has sometimes valued technical know-how above all else. Developers may see cultivating the “soft” skills of social interaction, teamwork, and communication as a distraction from the work of writing beautiful code. In reality, we need these skills in order to do our jobs properly.

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IT Incident Response: Avoiding the New Normal

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Imagine being audited by the IRS. Every minute, every day, 365 days a year. Stress builds and anxiety deepens, relieved (but only momentarily) when daily reports come back free of incident. For now.

That’s what it is like to work in Production Support. Audits of one sort or another (formal and otherwise) and the incident reports that sprout from them have become the new normal in the age of “everything tech.” In our world, incidents mean smart phone apps that don’t work, super-slow websites, social media platforms that are down, and more. And our “auditors” number in the thousands, maybe even millions (if we’re “lucky”).

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