Because ClickPoint is a fairly small software company, we’re afforded a lot of luxuries that the big companies don’t have. For one, our developers and customer support personnel sit within 30 feet of each other, which opens up the company to a lot of communication. Developers can check in with support to see how well new features are being received, and support can also get in touch with our developers immediately if they have a pressing concern about our product. Complete transparency within the company has been one of our big goals and has fostered a team mentality within the company.
However, one of the problems that we ran into with our complete transparency policy was that we started to suffer from over-communication. When Developers are writing code nothing kills productivity more than a constant barrage of distractions from outside forces. Pounding away at a keyboard banging out code requires a great amount of concentration and diligence. A simple five-minute distraction for some can easily turn into a fifteen or thirty-minute distraction due to the loss of concentration and built up momentum.
The overflow of communication between Customer Support and Developers became a hot issue in the office. So, in November, team LeadExec, held a meeting about improving the process in which we tackle bug fixes and immediate customer issues. Developers felt that customer service should have very limited access to the developers while customer service felt the opposite was true. However, one thing ClickPoint has always focused on is that the customer experience should never suffer. Keeping that in mind, we weighed the pros and cons of each side of the argument and finally came up with a new system that gives our support team access to select developers a day, while also providing more time for developers to work on coding, uninterrupted.
By rotating which developers are accessible to the support team on different days, the new system has enabled developers to have a few days per week to work entirely uninterrupted.
So far our new system has been incredibly beneficial to all parties involved – developers, customer support, and customers. Within the first week of implementing the system, productivity within the development team was raised to levels we hadn’t seen in months. On top of that, our support ratings from customers also experienced a sizeable boost. Reducing stress on our development teams and support personnel has helped increase our company morale. We are really excited about how this is going to help us bring out even more amazing features to LeadExec in 2012.