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CIO Review >> Magazine >> October - 2015 issue

The Importance of an Agile and Small Team


Based in Canonsburg, PA, Ansys Inc. (NASDAQ:ANSS) focuses on Simulation Technology, Workflow Technology and Flagship Technology, serving a wide range of sectors including Healthcare, Consumer Goods, Construction, Energy, Hi-tech and others. Incepted in 1970s, Ansys has a market cap of $6.94 billion.

The need for designing and introducing most apt products in the market continues to bother me in my current role. The market expectations revolve around products that could forecast the future, and introducing them is a challenge. Yet another challenge emerges while managing the overall enterprise, in the form of products that are way ahead of their time. The Apple Newton Platform, introduced in the 80s, is a perfect example of such a product. Besides, the right product or feature has to be brought in at the right time in the market, which involves huge amounts of time. The third roadblock is maintaining your market leadership. The occupants of Numero Uno position constantly face the possibility of dropping to second or third position. I will have to overstay at the top spot and maintain and increase the distance between our contemporaries. In view of these challenges, I find it necessary to innovate, take initiative about products or features arriving in market.

For a significant portion of my career, I had to deal with the challenge of managing different teams. While this continues to be a huge concerns, I have also observed that people work together to tackle the concern, as it is all about organizational process.

In my opinion, it is important to have an agile and small team, and I need to bring in rapid development, control checking and high quality into the process. The process of managing teams, also involves tools, right people and the right planning. Planning is vital, at our firm, we bring all people into the planning process.

Software Is Just a Tool
Our approach to customer handling is defined by the fact that software is just a tool. We continue to remind all our customers that software is not what they work on, instead it is the tool used by them to sort their engineering expertise. This being our exclusive area of focus, we receive feedback from customers, and specify them. We analyze the feedback, to understand if it is regarding the engineering aspect of the product or they are focusing on the software component, or other aspects of the product.

Further, we have to be very careful, as well as contemplate and ask questions to customers and be there to get an essence of what they do. For example, customers would be in search of a new chip or a new design. We would bring in an understanding of Physics into the process, rather than solely focusing on the software aspect.