Getting Mindshare for Reusable Assets

Success with systematic reuse is part-technology, part-process, and part-communication. In fact, a LOT of communication. A critical factor influencing reuse effectiveness is the mindshare that you enjoy with the developer community. That community might be your immediate team or a department, or even the organization. Regardless of the scope, the following are relevant issues to think and plan for:

Awareness: are developers aware what reusable assets can and cannot do?  Can they understand the overall strategy behind the reuse effort? are they aware of specific assets, role for reuse in the development process, and the benefits?

Client experiences: think about the good and bad experiences. Every interaction matters, so does every medium – whether through mailing lists, bug reports, or phone calls to the reuse team.

Asset Quality: is the asset behaving the way it is supposed to? is it robust? does it allow for variability? Is it architecturally consistent with other assets? How does the potential consumer know about the quality?

Reputation: how strong are reusable assets referred to during design and implementation tasks? can clients trust the reuse team’s deliverables?

Documentation: are assets well documented? Is the document written with the reader in mind? Does it make sense – e.g. is it logically organized for a developer to follow and leverage?

Team member Behaviors: do they care about client projects like their own? Are they approachable by developers from various external teams? Ensure there is genuine empathy for business aligned projects – just like in the outside world – if you care enough and deliver, more reusable assets will be utilized in the future.

Emotional Connection: do reusable assets enhance learning and provide a sense of accomplishment for the developer/tech lead? Co-create assets whenever feasible.

Ease of use: how are assets set up? are they easily configurable? are bootstrap code generated for developers? Take care to highlight ease of integration and the multiple variability mechanisms to your audience.

This isn’t an exhaustive list but the intent was to provide some pointers when thinking about the overall reuse strategy and how that strategy needs to translate in the day to day actions that you pursue.

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