The Generalizing Specialist: The Key To Success

Generalizing specialist

A generalizing specialist is simply someone who is multi-skilled. Such an individual can be a specialist in one or more technical disciplines while at the same time actively seeks to expand their skill set, which spans across different areas besides their present specialties. Generalizing specialists are also referred to as cross-functional developers, multi-disciplinary developers, and versatilists.

While they can become more skilled with time, don’t mistake them to be super skilled in every discipline. However, their technical knowledge and general software development knowledge, as well as a good understanding of their relevant business domains, can be critical to getting things done in real-time. The person can easily be redeployed based on the changes in business strategy or other necessary requirements to remain competitive.

Benefits being a generalizing specialist

We live in a fast-changing industry, where being a specialist in just a single discipline alone may not cut it in the larger scheme of things. Since generalizing specialists have knowledge on a broad range of issues, they can see the bigger picture and help make better decisions for greater productivity. As such, the available job opportunities will likely be more compared to specialists. Better yet, you will be able to attract better job offers.

Importance of generalizing specialists

Generalizing specialists are essential to developing high-performing agile teams in companies, and here are some of the reasons they are considered the key to success.

• Better collaboration

While a company will have different departments, they will be connected with others and geared towards accomplishing the same end goal. Communication and collaboration within the teams involved are important elements to achieving that goal, and this is something most specialists aren’t good at. When you don’t have a good understanding of how everything fits together, it’s very easy to look down on what your teammates are doing. Working together effectively might prove a challenging task.

Generalizing specialists are more likely to appreciate the work of others simply because they have a good grasp of different technical and domain disciplines. Their background allows them to understand the issues teammates are trying to find solutions to.

• Improved flexibility

The IT industry, by its very nature, faces significant changes that serious businesses must comply with to remain relevant. With a generalizing specialist, dynamic transition and allocation of the new tasks wouldn’t be a huge problem. Things would look quite different if a team is built of specialists that are just accustomed to doing the same type of tasks over and over again. In fact, this is considered to be risky, as it can result in productivity loss.

• Increased efficiency

Generalizing specialists bring less dependency, which can go a long way in increasing efficiency and productivity. The problem when working with specialists is that they can easily become bottlenecks, especially when they have a lot on their plate. There’s a good chance that multiple development teams will be looking up to the specialist, and this can negatively affect the overall team efficiency.

Conclusion

Generalizing specialists are surely taking over. There’s room for some specialists within IT departments, but as things look at the moment, more departments are moving towards becoming more agile. It’s not unlikely to see only a few specialists survive in the information technology industry over time.

Quote – Doing The Work Yourself

Writing and The Written Word

The wise man will commit no business of importance to a proxy when he may do it himself.

— Roger L’Estrange

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What is Power?

Writing and The Written Word

First and foremost, power is personal. Our perception of a situation has much to do with our ability to affect a situation. Therefore, power is each person’s ability to influence a situation. When a person has no ability to influence their situation (even, if as a result of an inaccurate personal belief), they have no power.

Definition of Power

Power is each person’s ability and willingness to influence a situation.

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The Law of Power

Writing and The Written Word

The Law

The fundamental law of power is that it is situational, multifaceted, dynamic, and perishable.

Power is Situational

Power is without a doubt situational, a person who is very politically powerful, but having no wilderness knowledge or skills, find themselves alone in the middle will have less ability to save themselves, than an experienced woodsman.

Power is Multifaceted

Power has many attributes (social influence, mental reference, innate ability, and situation), which aggregate to provide the total of your power at in given time and in any given situation

Power isDynamic

As a person’s situation changes, their ability to influence the situation can be increased, decreased, and/or lost. Also, facets of power are not static but are morphed by change.

Power isPerishable

A person can, through inaction, lose the ability to influence a situation forever.

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Success – You must love your work?

Writing and The Written Word

Why you should love your work

Sooner or later you will wonder why you are not passionate and energized about your work. At the same time, an inner voice will tell you to suck it up because work is only a four-letter word and you are not supposed to enjoy it.

It is a misconception because loving your work can bring manage benefits. Work should enable and empower, not entrap. Here we have some of the reasons why you should love your work.

Helps with your success

When you love your career, no one can stop you from getting successful. You will do everything that it takes to assure that your customers love what you are offering, and your boss appreciates your every move. You would prefer to collect the appreciation because your every move will be well planned, and you will not be afraid…

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Quote – There are no secrets to success

Writing and The Written Word

There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure.

— Colin Powell

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Management Principles – You can’t Manage what you don’t Measure

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Management and Measurement

You can’t manage what you don’t measure is an old management adage that has been used for many years and while most attribute it to Peter Drucker, some claim that the quote was first used by Dr. W. Edwards Deming, although it is a bone of contention whether or not the quote is used in the correct context.

Irrespective of who said it first, I have always agreed with the principle. Coming from a corporate background where this is one of the management principles often used, I was surprised to learn that there are those that strongly disagree with the statement. This group argues that there are many things being managed at work that aren’t measurable, from the confidence we instill in a new, young manager, to the quality of new hires.

The argument is made that quantity is easy…

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