Hello,

My name is Keith May. I am responsible for product development at FarPoint. I have been with FarPoint for a year now and am very excited about the people, products and projects that we have going on. This is my first blog entry so I thought I would share with you a little about myself and "what's on my mind".

I have been in the business of software development for over 18 years and have been fortunate to experience both large structured environments (at Kodak and IBM) as well as small "geter done" companies like Data Dynamics and FarPoint. I have been a data modeler, an application developer an architect and consultant... but find I am most happy when helping organize, coach and facilitate the success of a team of skilled technical folks.

In my role I have to answer the question: What is important for the software development group to be successful?

In our industry (commercial software tools creation) I have found that there are three major components that need to excel within the software development group if that group is to contribute to the success of the company.
1. Maintenance Updates
2. Major Releases of Existing Products
3. Innovation and Creation of New Products.

In this blog I will discuss the first item....
1. Maintenance Updates - it is critical to have a dependable maintenance process. A /dependable process/, to me, means one that achieves predictability in schedule, quality, content and results. If deficiencies are found in a software product the company must be able to reproduce the problem, prioritize the items, identify the adjustments needed, set about making those adjustments and finally making the revised code available for consumption. And this has to happen quickly. We must be able to answer our customer's question. When will my issue be fixed?

With that as a goal we have invested heavily in education, establishing commitment and making corrective organizational actions over the last year. Mission accomplished! We have a verifiable, dependable process to create and manage annual maintenance plans for all products. This schedule is used by all shareholders within FarPoint to manage their daily activities with regards to product support and maintenance.

The success shows... in 2007 we tracked well to our plans and released some 38 maintenance updates of our products. Over half have of those were "on time" and of the ones that "slipped", none were over three weeks late (most would agree that in the software construction industry this is still pretty much "on time"). We continue to improve and I am pleased with our results.

More Later....

Keith