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A few years ago my office was situated next to the door to the stairs, and anyone going to lunch used them. At that time, we had a couple of particularly large accounts, and both account teams were working on the same floor as I.

Back in 2002-2003 my office was next to the door to the stairs, and anyone going to lunch used them. At that time, we had a couple of particularly large accounts, and both account teams were working on the same floor as I. At some point I realized that I could perform a sort of a magic trick, and I did so many times to surprise and entertain employees and customers alike. 

The trick was that I could tell which of these two accounts a group of engineers – sight unseen – walking past my door on their way to lunch belonged to.

How did I do that?

(No, I don’t have X-ray vision.)

Very simple. As they walked down the hallway, one group (let’s call them Account A) typically sounded like this:

Tap.
Tap.
Tap.
Tap.

Or even like this:

Shuffle.
Shuffle.
Shuffle.

The other group (Account B) sounded like this:

Tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap-tap.

Account A guys sounded like they were in no hurry. Which was true – they typically weren’t. Account B guys, on the other hand, sounded like they always had somewhere to be, right now. Focused. On a mission.

Why such a drastic difference?

Account A was a very large, multi-year project we were doing for a large global system integrator, completely waterfall to the core. With the other customer, Account B, we were actually practicing distributed XP – up to 10 offshore teams at a time working on as many projects in parallel, all using Extreme Programming, most running on 1-week iterations.

You can probably guess which of the two accounts had more delays, scheduling, budgeting and scope related issues, and which had more excited, happy, motivated teams. Not only did the Agility of the XP guys keep them happier, more focused, motivated and productive, it even translated into how they moved about the office.

At a certain point, when faced with a serious challenge on the Account A’s project, we actually brought in some of the more experienced XP guys from Account B to replicate some of the Agile best practices, and that produced the most memorable project turnaround that I can remember.

But that’s a story for another day.

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David Tedford

Vice President

David Tedford has over 20 years of sales experience within the IT/software industry. He excels at sales, business development, channel development, sales cycle management, negotiations, and sales team management.

Vladimir Litoshenko

Senior Vice President

As the head of business development for First Line Software, Vladimir heads up business development in Western Europe and Russia.


Vladimir began his career in IT in 2002, when, as a student of Faculty of Automation of Computer Science of the First Electrotechnical University (ETU “LETI”), he began his work at The Morfizpribor Central Research Institute (CRI). Vladimir joined the StarSoft team (predecessor of First Line Software) in 2004 as a Junior Software Developer. As he gained experience with more and more projects, he was promoted to leadership roles.

Richard Leslie

UK Business Development

Richard has over 15 years of sales and account management expertise in the IT and Tech sector. He has worked on many outsourcing engagements with global companies.

David Fien

Director

David is a business development professional with more than 20 years’ experience as a specialist in the acquisition of partnerships and IT/software services for associations, not-for profits and corporations in Australia, New Zealand and USA. He has specific expertise in the healthcare, legal and hospitality industries.