Happy Makers Make Happy Customers

GR DevDay 2011
November 5, 2011


Carl Erickson


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Whether your software development customers are internal or external, their happiness matters. Customer happiness is an aggregate metric for the quality you produce, your predictability in time and budget, your efficiency and creativity at problem solving, and your ability to address their legitimate emotional needs. Whether you like it or not, your makers (designers, developers, testers, etc) will ultimately determine the happiness of your customers. All the account management, political schmoozing, and customer relationship work in the world can’t make up for a poor project experience.

The path then to happy customers is through your makers. If they’re happy, they’ll do their best work. They’ll care about customers and do the right things. If you have happy makers, you’ll have a desirable team or company and will attract the best people. Who will do their best work, leading to happy customers, etc. A virtuous cycle.

How do you organize your team or company for happy makers? Does “happy” mean getting everything they want? What role does compensation play? What about governance and job responsibilities? I’ll share lessons learned from ten years of building and running Atomic Object. I hope to give makers, team leads, and company managers concrete ideas they can apply to increase their customer’s happiness through happy makers.

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