Agility In A Bulgarian Software Company

|Richard Ivey School of Business The University of Western Ontario | | 9B12M007 SCRUMS, SPRINTS, SPIKES AND POKER: AGILITY IN A BULGARIAN SOFTWARE COMPANY Lucia F. Miree and John E.
Galletly wrote this case solely to provide material for class discussion. The authors do not intend to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a managerial situation. The authors may have disguised certain names and other identifying information to protect confidentiality. Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation prohibits any form of reproduction, storage or transmission without its written permission. Reproduction of this material is not covered under authorization by any reproduction rights organization.
To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, contact Ivey Publishing, Richard Ivey School of Business Foundation, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 3K7; phone (519) 661-3208; fax (519) 661-3882; e-mail [email protected] uwo. ca. Copyright © 2012, Richard Ivey School of Business FoundationVersion: 2012-03-12 Svetozar Georgiev, co-chief executive officer (CEO) of software company Telerik, finished writing on his corporate blog for the morning; he was working on the viral marketing of Telerik’s new and upcoming products.

As Georgiev looked up, he noticed that the team with whom he shared an open work space was having its morning meeting, a so-called “scrum” to provide each other with updates on their work and to post items for discussion on the “scrum board. ” These brief daily meetings were part of life for project teams at Telerik at the company’s headquarters in Sofia, Bulgaria, as well as in its offices in the United Kingdom, Australia, Germany, the United States and Canada.
In 2011, Telerik was one of the world’s top providers of user interface (UI) controls for the Microsoft . NET Framework and was a leading vendor of ASP. NET AJAX, ASP. NET MVC, Silverlight, WinForms and WPF controls and components, as well as . NET Reporting, . NET ORM, . NET CMS, Code Analysis, TFS and software-testing tools. Telerik was a young, privately-held company that had won many awards for its products, services and organization, and had grown to be a major player in the global software market with over 400 employees in nine locations on three continents.
Telerik was known not only for its excellent products but also for its organizational design and management throughout Central and Eastern Europe. It also was considered an “employer of choice” in the software market in Bulgaria. Telerik’s products were developed with modern agile development and management techniques, and the organizational practices, including those related to human capital (the term used at Telerik) reflected the agile management philosophy of open communication, empowerment, delegation and teamwork.
The company prided itself on its cutting-edge, customer-focused products and on hiring only the best employees. The company’s founders were excited about the growth of Telerik and its positive reputation. They knew Telerik’s success was based upon its processes but wondered how they could remain successful and innovative as the company continued to expand. Page 29B12M007 SOFTWARE IN BULGARIA The software-engineering industry was a rapidly growing segment of the information technology (IT) industry and Bulgaria had become an active player in the worldwide competition.
The rapid development and dissemination of general and specific products and services in the software-engineering industry had been supported by the geographical flexibility of companies and employees, the relatively low barriers to entry for companies into the industry and the minimal regulatory controls over the industry. Companies in Bulgaria were gradually moving towards the relatively open management style found in most Western companies since the fall of communism in 1990 had introduced free-market capitalism to the country.
With its entry into the European Union in 2007 and the necessary regulatory and structural changes required for membership, Bulgaria had upgraded its educational programs in many fields and supported the development of private companies in the software field. The country had developed an infrastructure that included support for entrepreneurial endeavours and general business development and growth with direct government funding and the facilitation of foreign investment. 1
The effects of these changes were particularly evident in the software industry in Bulgaria and Telerik was one example of a successful and growing software company. Bulgaria had developed a strong and positive reputation in the software industry and many Bulgarian companies offered a wide range of IT services including information systems, network security services and solutions, e-business and wireless applications, geographic information systems (GIS), gaming solutions, web design, complete business-to- business solutions, embedded software, computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and multimedia products.
Some of the major software companies located in Bulgaria, in addition to Telerik, included CSC, SAP, Netage, Axway, WMWare, Software AG, and Nemetschek. The country had become home to a number of innovative and rapidly expanding software companies, and Telerik was considered to be one of its major success stories. THE HISTORY OF TELERIK The Telerik story started in 2002, when four recent university graduates — Svetozar Georgiev, Vassil Terziev, Boyko Iaramov and Hristo Kosev — established their own software development business in Sofia.
They decided that their business would be based on developing detailed, customizable UI components for the newly introduced Microsoft ASP. NET Framework. Such components were easily integrated into a client’s application, adding ease of use and sophistication without requiring the client to have any development expertise. The initial components were a success with clients and Telerik began to make a name for itself.
In 2005, the company received its first Microsoft Gold Partner certification and launched Sitefinity, its content- management system for websites. The first Telerik-sponsored international software development conference, DevReach, was held in 2006 in Sofia. In addition, Telerik opened its new corporate headquarters in Sofia in 2007 and introduced three new product lines (WPF, Silverlight, and . NET ORM) in 2008. Later in 2008, the company opened a new office in Munich, Germany, through its acquisition of the company Vanatec and its ORM products.
After receiving funds from the venture capital firm Summit Partners, Telerik also opened an office in Houston, Texas in 2008 in order to house its developer evangelist team and provide developer-level technical support for customers. In 2010, Telerik merged 1 www. investbulgaria. com/BulgarianEconomicGrowth. php, accessed February 8, 2012. Page 39B12M007 with the software company ArtOfTest Inc. , bringing a new product line of automated testing tools into the company portfolio of products and resulting in the establishment of a Telerik office in Austin, Texas.
It also opened its American headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts in the same year. The company went on to establish the team productivity product line and introduced its TeamPulse products through its newly established venture with Imaginet Resources in Winnipeg, Canada in 2010. In January 2011, Telerik announced its acquisition of Mallsoft, a leading developer of e-commerce shopping-card technologies located in San Diego, California; Mallsoft eventually became part of the Sitefinity CMS team.
Telerik also opened its own training facility, the Telerik Academy, where it offered a variety of software training for current and potential employees. Telerik’s workforce grew as quickly as its success. After starting in 2002 with five employees (four founders and one other employee), the company grew to 47 employees in 2005 and jumped to 76 in 2006, with the addition of its first employee outside of Bulgaria. By 2007, Telerik had 130 employees worldwide and by 2009, the company had 220 employees, with 200 in Bulgaria.
By mid-2011, the company had 360 employees in Bulgaria with an additional 70 employees in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany and Canada. The growth of Telerik and its high-quality products garnered numerous business and industry awards, furthering the company’s reputation. Telerik was also recognized as being a leading developer of Microsoft-based products, earning Microsoft’s gold certification. These awards were not solely for the company’s products.
Telerik had been given numerous accolades for its management practices by leading international consulting companies (see Exhibit 1). As the company’s reputation grew, Telerik displayed its leadership in the field by hosting its annual international conference, DevReach, for software developers. This conference had been promoted as the premier developer conference on Microsoft technologies in Central and Eastern Europe, and had been regularly attended by leaders in the industry from the region and from all over the world. Telerik continued to develop high-quality products and to manage its company in innovative ways.
In 2011, the four founders of Telerik comprised the company’s top management team. Georgiev and Terziev were co-CEOs; Iaramov was chief information officer (CIO) and Kosev was chief technology officer (CTO). Telerik had over 40 project teams in operation in June 2011. The home office of Telerik was in Sofia, where most of the company’s software developers were based. By 2012, Telerik was globally recognized as a leading vendor of a wide range of software products and applications (its controls portfolio alone, for example, numbered over 160 products).
Over 100,000 organizations in 94 countries used Telerik’s products, including companies such as Nokia, Toyota, Reuters and Boeing, as well as some of the world’s leading educational and non-profit organizations, including NASA, the World Bank and Harvard University. 2 THE TELERIK WORK ENVIRONMENT Telerik had developed a work environment that supported its management philosophy and software development processes. It was agile in technical, organizational and physical design, and was designed to encourage communication and facilitate teamwork.
The entry hallway to its modern, spacious and bright 2 www. telerik. com/company. aspx, accessed March 8, 2012. Page 49B12M007 corporate headquarters in Sofia was decorated with the corporate name and logo (“Deliver More Than Expected”) and the numerous awards that the company had won lined the corridors. Employees worked in open spaces with clustered workspaces and separate areas for teamwork and morning scrums. Since all work within Telerik was done in teams, including human capital3 and marketing, the space reflected the processes used within the company.
In addition to open teamwork office areas, company meeting rooms and interview areas, Telerik provided an employee cafeteria and leisure room with a ping-pong table, exercise area and a quiet space. The atmosphere at Telerik was informal, flexible and open, and there were no set work hours at the company. Dress was informal and employees returning from company football team practice could be seen in their athletic attire, while others, such as the founders and senior managers, wore sandals, shorts and t-shirts. There were no senior management offices at Telerik.
Instead, senior managers worked within the open team areas. The two co-CEOs had workspaces within different team areas and rotated among teams every six to nine months; therefore, while not directly involved in the software development teams, the CEOs were present, available and fully informed about company projects through their frontline presence. PRODUCTS AND TECHNOLOGIES OF TELERIK Telerik initially built its expertise and outstanding reputation by developing graphical UI components for Microsoft . NET Framework applications. These UI components, such as customizable calendars, charts, gauges, etc. ere sophisticated screen artifacts that could be quickly and easily integrated into a client’s application, and allowed a richer user experience, whether the application was for a standalone personal computer (PC) or a web-based network. Telerik had developed a range of components that could be “plugged” into clients’ applications, thus increasing productivity for clients by saving them time and effort in developing the controls themselves. Telerik continued to expand its component portfolio to include the latest emerging technologies as introduced within the .
NET Framework, and to develop more complex and sophisticated applications and components for customers (see Exhibits 2 and 3). Briefly, the associated . NET technologies that Telerik had developed controls for were: ASP. NET AJAX: A group of interrelated web-development technologies (primarily based on JavaScript and XML) for web browsers that allowed asynchronous exchange of webpage content between web servers and browsers. Windows Forms: The original, graphical user interface for the Windows desktop. Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF): Technology used for the development f rich, next-generation graphical user interfaces for desktop PCs, supporting applications that required features such as two- dimensional and three-dimensional graphics, vector graphics, animation, audio and video. Silverlight: A web-based subset of WPF that consisted of a programmable web browser plug-in that allowed the development of so-called rich internet applications (RIAs); Silverlight also encompassed 3 Term used by Telerik for human resources. Page 59B12M007 Internet applications characterized by features such as speed and graphical interfaces normally associated with desktop applications.
Telerik has also started to diversify and expand its product range portfolio away from its “bread and butter” . NET UI components, but still based these parallel product suites in the . NET Framework. Some of these new products included: .NET Reporting: A lightweight reporting solution for . NET cloud, web and desktop platforms that allowed developers to easily embed and re-use interactive reports and provided business users with the ability to examine and probe data and export reports to Microsoft Office Word and Excel for further analysis.
Sitefinity: A web CMS that allowed customers to reduce the time required to produce and manage large websites, portals and intranets. .NET ORM: A software tool that allowed customers’ applications to map traditional relational database contents to the modern object-oriented form and vice versa. TeamPulse: A set of developer and team productivity tools. Test Studio: A package of automated testing tools. Telerik continued to develop new products through its innovative team process and intended to remain among the top providers of . NET products worldwide. AGILE SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
Agile software development was a relatively modern approach to software engineering and it was being used by an increasing number of software development companies. Telerik had realized that this approach could lead to benefits such as increased productivity, increased product quality, increased developer and customer satisfaction, increased responsiveness to change and frequent delivery of product functionality. An industry report produced by Gartner Research in 2010 predicted that by 2012, “agile development methods will be utilized in 80 per cent of all software development projects. ” 4
Prior to agile development, the traditional approaches that were used for software development could be classed as “heavyweight. ” That is to say, the entire development process was planned in detail before any development started; only a final product was delivered, with no incremental delivery. Development progressed successively through a number of phases that made customer requests for changes in software functionality difficult to accommodate. There was limited customer involvement in the development process and the whole process was “heavy” in terms of the amount of extensive documentation produced.
The agile approach to software development evolved during the mid-to-late 1990s, principally due to the work of a number of software engineering pioneers such as Kent Beck, Ward Cunningham and Martin Fowler. 5 This approach was considered to be “lightweight,” focusing on developing software in an 4 Martin Proulx, “Gartner Predicts 2010: Agile and Cloud Impact Application Development Directions,” Analytical Mind, March 9, 2010, http://analytical-mind. com/2010/03/09/gartner-predicts-2010-agile-and-cloud-impact-application- development-directions, accessed June 29, 2011. “Manifesto for Agile Software Development,” http://agilemanifesto. org, accessed June 29, 2011. Page 69B12M007 incremental and iterative fashion. In this methodology, small working increments of software functionality were developed over short periods of time and given to the client to use and review until a final, fully functional product was delivered. Other features of the approach included the use of best software development practices that promoted the timely delivery of high-quality software, and the deployment of self-organizing development teams which were directly accountable for the products they developed.
The principles that formed the basis of agile software development were encapsulated in the so-called Agile Manifesto. 6 The roots of these principles can be traced to the concepts embodied in lean manufacturing, Six-Sigma and the Toyota Production System methods. Companies adopting the Agile Manifesto valued individuals and interactions over processes and tools, working software over comprehensive documentation, customer collaboration over contract negotiation and responding to change rather than following a plan.
The agile principles were as follows: •Satisfy customers through early and continuous delivery of working software features. •Accept customers’ changing software requirements, even if they arise late in the development. •Deliver software upgrades frequently to customers, preferably every two weeks or, at most, every two months. •Deploy a team of motivated developers to build the software. Give them the necessary support and an environment conducive to work and trust them to complete the work. Keep in touch and cooperate closely with customers on a daily basis. •Encourage communication between developers on a face-to-face basis. •Measure development progress primarily via correctly functioning software. •Pay continuous attention to technical excellence and good software design. •Observe Occam’s Razor — keep everything simple. •Allow the development team to self-organize in order to maximize performance. •Encourage the development team to self-reflect and change its working practices in order to become more effective.
Telerik employed a common approach for implementing the agile concept. The software developers at Telerik were organized into product teams, with each team charged with developing products for a particular Microsoft . NET technology: for example, one team was asked to develop controls for ASP. NET AJAX; another team assigned WPF controls, another assigned the CMS Sitefinity and so on. In this way, each team built expertise in developing products for one particular Microsoft technology.
The agile approach to software development encompassed a variety of processes and technologies that included concepts such as test-driven development, pair programming, refactoring, feature-driven development and scrums (see Exhibit 4). In practical terms, agile management meant that companies operated with openness and honesty, encouraged decision-making even at the lowest level, completed work primarily in teams, accepted but quickly corrected errors, re-designed office space into open team areas and accepted change as an on- going process for the organization.
For work processes, agile management involved breaking projects into smaller components, implementing short planning cycles, recording and sharing work statistics and progress updates and using simplified and public metrics. 6 Ibid. Page 79B12M007 Using agile methods, a company could pick and choose the processes and technologies it considered right for a particular project. The agile approach was still evolving and adapting to different types of applications, particularly in large-scale software development. There was no tandard or specified set of behaviors that had to be used; rather companies needed to be agile not only in their processes of development, but also in their design. Organizations using agile management claimed to have higher quality products and services, faster time to market (TTM), higher employee retention and more success with employee recruitment, more creative and flexible solutions than competitors and increased customer satisfaction. These companies found agile management to be a critical success factor for their organizations. Telerik was an example of a company with a full organizational commitment to the agile approach (see Exhibit 5). Because companies using the agile approach focused on action (“doing” over planning), and did not spend extensive effort or time on documentation, they were frequently criticized by more traditional software development companies for their failure to plan sufficiently. The lack of managerial control over processes and products under the agile method had also been noted as a problem.
Ultimately, being agile meant that a company could shift direction and products quickly and easily. Critics saw this type of environment as being chaotic, while proponents of agile management claimed that multiple products, service streams, teams, launches (including the “spikes” — i. e. , peaks of activity — immediately preceding launches) and customer-developer interactions were all necessary parts of the process, and were what made agile companies successful.
The evident success of agile development and management quickly made it the standard for high- performance teams and organizations. Companies such as Toyota, Siemens, Lockheed Martin, Motorola, Microsoft, General Electric, Google, Dell and Cisco all used agile management techniques to remain responsive and competitive, and Telerik joined this group of prestigious companies in adopting these modern development and management methods. SOFTWARE AGILITY AT TELERIK Teamwork at Telerik typically involved seven to 10 employees per team and ach team was responsible for developing, shipping and supporting its own products, encouraging employees to feel a sense of ownership of their products. In order to support this approach, each team had a mixture of employees with different areas of expertise such as analysis, design and programming. Each team had a team leader (usually the most senior technical employee) and a separate unit manager who functioned as a project manager, ensuring that the product schedule was followed.
Unit managers were also responsible for cross- team communication with Telerik’s non-technical teams such as marketing, sales, etc. The team leader was ultimately responsible for the team’s performance and its representation to senior management, as well as team organization, work assignments, disciplinary or policy matters and the career growth of the team’s members. Team members worked together in an open-plan office, thus allowing quick verbal communication between employees and developing a feeling of camaraderie and team spirit.
Teams were also given high levels of autonomy and decision-making power. This work structure and physical design helped shape each team into one integrated and supportive unit. 7 “State of Agile Development Survey 2009,” VersionOne, 2010, http://pm. versionone. com/StateofAgileSurvey. html, accessed June 29, 2011. Page 89B12M007 The software development teams at Telerik used a selection of techniques derived specifically from agile software development methodologies, including:
Scrum Development: Every morning, developers in each team met for about 15 minutes in a daily “scrum” (a term borrowed from rugby, in which it referred to a group of players meeting in a tight huddle), during which team members reported to the group on the previous day’s product development, their current goals and any problems encountered so far. Pair Programming: Two developers worked at the same PC, with one typing in program code while the other commented and offered advice and suggestions. This method improved programmer productivity and decreased errors.
Refactoring: Team members continuously improved the design of code to aid readability, maintainability and extensibility. Design Patterns: Often the design of new software could be based on designs used in previously- developed software. Re-using these tried-and-tested designs in the new software meant a faster development, coupled with a robust, resilient design. Test-driven Development: Closely associated with the development of the software, every few lines of code were thoroughly tested to be functionally correct.
Feature-driven Development: Depending on its complexity, a new product might be developed by a single member or by a whole team. The product’s full functionality was developed in an incremental, iterative manner. Analysis of the product’s required functionality revealed a list of features that the product must have or support. Each software development stage for the product comprised one or more of these features, chosen so as to give the client extra functionality. The effort in terms of time to complete any given software stage was based on an estimation technique called “planning poker. After deciding on the required features for the next stage, each developer in the team was asked to estimate the time needed to develop this stage. This was accomplished with a set of special playing cards that had different numbers of days written on them. Developers each selected an appropriate card for their estimations and placed it face down on the table. When everyone had selected a card, all cards were turned face up and the developers discussed the various estimates and explained their own choices — especially those with low or high estimates.
The process was then repeated for a number of stages, after which the estimates had ideally converged. The philosophy behind this estimation technique was for the developers to arrive at a consensus in a reasonable manner. Sprints and Spikes: At Telerik, a project was typically developed over a one- to two-week period — the so-called “sprint. ” The software features selected for any sprint from the product backlog were called the sprint backlog.
An accompanying feature of sprints was the burn-down chart that depicted the work still to be completed for any given sprint. This chart was prominently displayed in the responsible team’s work area and was updated on a daily basis. This form of development continued in an iterative manner until the full functionality of the product was achieved. If the developers were not sure about a particular feature, they might implement a “spike” — a basic prototype that allowed them to learn more about the feature and how it might be correctly developed.
Customer-oriented Support: Product teams kept in very close contact with customers via phone, email, blogs, surveys, polls and/or support feedback. In this way, Telerik not only found out about problems Page 99B12M007 with its software but also, through this open dialogue, gained a better knowledge of what customers wanted in terms of improvements to existing products and requirements for new products. Short Time Frame: Development of a product could take three to nine months, according to its complexity.
As well as new product development, teams were responsible for fixing errors in existing products and extending them with new features, as well as customer support. Most product lines at Telerik had three release dates per year — one during each of the first three quarters of the year. The actual release dates were determined by senior management in conjunction with the team leaders, based on the teams’ work loads and other factors such as national holidays, staff holidays, etc. When a new product idea or area was identified, a new team might be created to develop it.
At the end of 2011, Telerik had approximately 40 teams working on a variety of different projects, all using each other’s products as appropriate. Based upon past experience, the company’s CEOs estimated that it would take approximately six months to get a team to the productivity stage, 12 months to get a product to market and 18 months for a product to get traction. As part of its agile approach, Telerik focused exclusively on developing project plans as opposed to developing any longer-term business strategies. HUMAN CAPITAL MANAGEMENT AT TELERIK
At Telerik, human resource management, known as human capital (HC) management within the company, was fully integrated into the company, with the HC manager reporting directly to one of the two CEOs, Terziev. Like many companies involved in software development, Telerik faced challenges related to the recruitment, selection, retention, training and development of talented employees. Telerik only recruited individuals who had university degrees, were fluent in English and had applicable skills and knowledge, such as expertise in computers, software and/or marketing.
An advertisement for a senior . NET engineer expanded the requirements beyond the usual years working in software development and programming to include “Alpha Geek behavior” as one hiring criterion. This reflected the company’s commitment to hiring individuals who could work in an agile environment such as that found at Telerik, while also illustrating its light-hearted and casual office culture (see Exhibit 6). Telerik also considered entrepreneurial spirit to be an important requirement for employees.
It looked for individuals who demonstrated an avid interest in the company’s business and products and who would quickly assume responsibility on the job. Specifically, it wanted to hire people who had entrepreneurial skills — individuals who would care for the business like it was their own, who would be proactive and take initiative when it benefited the company. While Telerik did use traditional recruitment sources such as universities and professional associations, it focused more on recruitment resources that attracted younger, computer-literate individuals, such as Twitter,
Facebook, blogs and news groups. Candidates who accepted job offers were assigned a coach (a “domain specialist”), a mentor (a more senior, experienced employee) and a team leader, all of which facilitated the integration of the new employee into the company. From the moment of job acceptance, the new employee began an extensive orientation process that included regular communication and even invitations to company social events, such as karaoke nights and picnics.
Telerik offered its employees an innovative and supportive physical environment, a generous salary, a performance-related bonus system and a set of benefits that were comparable with those found in the world’s leading software companies. As was common in Eastern Europe, employees received a bonus Page 109B12M007 “13th month” salary supplement each year. Compensation was competitive with companies in Western Europe and employees were eligible for raises and bonuses with quarterly reviews. Fully integrated” longer-term employees were eligible for stock options. The benefits at Telerik were part of a rich package which included the usual time off, insurance, income plans and educational, fitness, social and health programs. The company sponsored sports teams, paid for memberships in health and recreation clubs and covered health services for employees at a private clinic. Through its free concierge services, representatives could complete errands that would normally take time away from the workplace for employees.
In addition, many employees considered Telerik’s flexible work schedules, relaxed dress code and clean, open and creative workspaces as benefits as well. Telerik knew that it needed to retain its workforce in order to foster a mature and capable organization. Therefore, the company had developed career paths to respond to the need for experienced leaders and to address individual desires for development. To further support this, leaders were required to spend time developing their team members’ goals and abilities.
In 2010, the company established its Telerik Academy to support its recruiting efforts and professional development needs. It offered training programs for potential employees and new skills development and refresher skills options for current company employees at no cost. This served as a pipeline of qualified job applicants for the company, while allowing current employees to pursue professional development. The company also offered payment for professional memberships and meetings, conferences and certification programs.
Telerik’s success depended heavily on its ability to have a talented and motivated workforce, and the company was fully committed to strategies that would help them keep their excellent hiring record and low employee turnover rate of five per cent in an industry where the employee turnover rate generally approached 75 per cent. As Telerik continued to win awards for being an employer of choice, the company hoped to attract and retain the type of employees necessary to remain a successful, competitive global company. 8 “COMMON SENSE” AT TELERIK
Georgiev and Terziev had been messaging each other about the new office in Australia. They were excited about the new venture, but also knew how critical the culture of Telerik was for its success. The co-CEOs wanted to see how to best integrate the new teams into their organization. Georgiev and Terziev knew that growth was important for the company but were concerned about how to accommodate the team processes that were critical to their success as they expanded geographically. They had always managed Telerik with a “common sense” philosophy and tried to make it a company where they would want to work at any level.
The founders had met their goal of building a company that delivered more than expected, fulfilling Telerik’s corporate logo. The company stood out as particularly unique in Eastern Europe, where many of its modern designs, strategies, procedures, development techniques and management approaches were unusual in software development companies. Telerik’s products were innovative and globally competitive and its excellent customer service was internationally recognized. The company was considered an “employer of choice” and continued to expand in size, products, and prestige. 8 For further details on Telerik’s human resources see Lucia F.
Miree and John E. Galletly, “The case of Telerik: Agile Software Engineering in Southeastern Europe,” The Global Human Resource Management Casebook, James Hayton, Michal Biron, Liza Castro Christiansen, Bard Kuvaas (eds. ), Routledge, London, England, 2011, pp. 127-140. Page 119B12M007 Exhibit 1 EXAMPLES OF AWARDS AND RECOGNITION RECEIVED BY TELERIK YearExamples of Awards and Recognition 2004Won three industry journals’ readers awards for UI Controls 2005Became Microsoft Gold Certified Partner 2007Named #1 Best Employer in Bulgaria for Small- and Medium-sized Companies by Hewitt Associates 007Ranked #3 in “Rising Star” Technology Fast 50 Program (50 fastest growing technology companies in Central and Eastern Europe) by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu 2008Named #3 Best Employer in Central and Eastern Europe for Small- and Medium-sized Companies by Hewitt Associates 2009Selected as Finalist for Red Herring’s Global 100 Award (“Most Promising Private Technology Global Ventures”) 2010Won Microsoft’s Partner of the Year Award for Central and Eastern Europe 2010Received Ruban d’Honneur Award in the European Business Award competition 2010Named “Best” by Visual Studio Magazine Readers 010Twice named #1 Best Employer in Bulgaria for Small- and Medium-sized Companies by AON Hewitt. Source: www. Telerik. com, accessed June 29, 2011. Exhibit 2 EXECUTIVE DASHBOARD USING ASP. NET SILVERLIGHT COMPONENTS Source: Telerik Executive Dashboard, http://demos. telerik. com/silverlight/executivedashboard, accessed June 29, 2011. Page 129B12M007 Exhibit 3 HOLIDAY PLANNER USING ASP. NET SILVERLIGHT COMPONENTS Source: Telerik Executive Dashboard, http://demos. telerik. com/silverlight/planner/, accessed June 29, 2011. Page 139B12M007 Exhibit 4
TAG CLOUD EXHIBITING POPULAR AGILE CONCEPTS Source: Agile Software Development, http://agilesoftwaredevelopment. com/, accessed June 29, 2011. Page 149B12M007 Exhibit 5 TELERIK VALUES The Telerik Difference With so many great choices out there, you inevitably ask yourself – “Why should I choose Telerik? What makes them different? What makes them better? ” It’s a difficult question and it is hard to be impartial when you have to present yourself. Yet, we have listed 11 characteristics that form our corporate DNA and set us apart from others: Respect We listen to our customers.
We take into account your needs and work on things that deliver value for you. We consider our customers as friends and we treat them like friends – with respect, honesty, understanding and genuine desire to help. Dedication We don’t let customers down and you can rely on us. We understand that by selecting third-party development tools for your projects, you are taking a risk as you are using someone else’s code. We hope that serious issues will never arise, but should they arise, we will be there for you and make sure you succeed in your project, whatever it takes. Precision Ultimate customer service” is our Holy Grail. We offer developer tools and we know how important it is to get top-quality responses from knowledgeable people. Support inquiries at Telerik are handled by experienced developers, including all of the people that built the products you are using, and they can answer your questions with precision and help you overcome the issues you face. Care We keep customers happy even if we have to go the extra mile. If you are not sure about this, you can see what people are saying – on our site and on external community sites.
Good words are the biggest stimulus for everyone at Telerik, so if you have had a pleasant experience with our tools or service, share it with your friends and colleagues. We will then make sure that they are even happier than you. Innovation We innovate and don’t imitate. By selecting Telerik, you select a company with a proven track record of innovation and you will always be ready for the next technology wave. Regardless of whether it is one of our leading UI component packages (WPF, WinForms, Silverlight, ASP.
NET MVC, AJAX), or one of our other developer, team productivity or automated testing tools, we will be ready with the products that make your team increasingly productive. And we will have unique capabilities that will set us, and your applications, apart from others. Leadership The pursuit of excellence has always been our strongest motivator. We will never be content if we can’t offer you the absolutely best products on the market – products with unmatched performance, features, customizability, and reliability – products that will make you a hero in your daily job.
That is our “best of breed” strategy – we work hard to deliver market leading software, not quantity. Utility All of our products were born from an actual need and not because of the existence of a market that seemed lucrative. Most of the Telerik products have their roots in an unanswered internal need. Everything that we ship to customers is heavily used inside Telerik. Even before customers touch it, we know that a new Telerik product or version provides utility and solves a challenge that other tools on the market don’t. Page 159B12M007 Exhibit 5 (continued)
Speed We offer the most aggressive product development cycle. With every Telerik release you will see new products, new features, new demos, improved documentation and resources. And you will see this constant improvement across all product lines. If you want to be on the top of the wave we have weekly internal builds that feature the freshest bits. We follow Microsoft releases aggressively and roll out support for new platforms or tools days after their official introduction. Quality To make a great developer product takes not just features but stability.
We have great developers who can do miracles and deliver great software, but we have an equally committed QA team as well. We are relentless about quality as we want you to enjoy a peace of mind when using any Telerik product. Involvement Our products are used by tens of thousands of customers worldwide. By choosing Telerik, you will join a strong community of more than 350,000 members that can help you just as well as the Telerik team. Vibrant resources like forums, blogs, videos, webinars, code library, and so on are there for you and your peers to use and further develop to the benefit of everyone.
NO nonsense We offer hassle-free licensing so that you don’t lose valuable time battling with obscure activations and fearing that your product might blow up because of ingenious licensing. We are believers in keeping things simple and putting the focus on delivering solid software rather than solid licensing. Source: “The Telerik Difference,” www. telerik. com/company/about/difference. aspx, accessed June 29, 2011. Exhibit 6 RECRUITMENT DESCRIPTION OF WORKING AT TELERIK The Opportunity You are ambitious. You are motivated. You have ideals. You want to work on cutting edge projects.
You prefer the we to the I. You are not afraid of change. You are not afraid of challenges. You have a true passion for what you do. You have dreams and you want to make them a reality. You hate mediocrity. You love Dilbert, but you hate working in Dilbert’s company. You have always wanted to work in a great company. A company without politics. A company with a streamlined process. A place where people are just as smart as you. A place where everyone is relaxed. A place without a strict dress code. A place with nice people. A place where people care about their work and about customers.
A company where you can give life to your ideas and make an impact. A place where you are happy to spend a great deal of your day. A place where you are happy to learn and to teach. A company where you are valued. A company where you feel you belong. Source: “Careers,” Telerik, www. telerik. com/company/careers. aspx, accessed June 29, 2011. ———————– Ivey [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] [pic] The Opportunity: Description of Working at Telerik OBJECTIVE: 1. To highlight the linkage between theory and the practicality of HRM. 2.
To highlight the roles of human resource manager in practising human resource practices at work place. 3. To highlight the importance of human resource department in managing human capital. INSTRUCTIONS: Read the case “SCRUMS, SPRINTS, SPIKES AND POKER: AGILITY IN A BULGARIAN SOFTWARE COMPANY” and ANSWER the four questions. Assignment Format: a. Use double space and 12-point of Times New Roman font. b. This assignment should contain about 3000-5000 words (at 15-20 pages). c. Provide references. References should use the American Psychological Association (APA) format d. References should be latest (year 2005 and onwards)
Notes: •Assignments should be submitted according to the fixed date. •Plagiarism is not acceptable. If you are not sure what is meant by plagiarism, refer to the various websites which discuss this matter, e. g. owl. english. purdue. edu/handouts. Question 1 (25%) How does Telerik attract high quality talent in a competitive market? Question 2 (25%) What is Telerik’s overall strategy for the development of talent? Question 3 (25%) How does the Telerik reward system reflect the culture of Telerik? Question 4 (25%)What human resource challenges will Telerik face in the future?

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