As a long-time Tasktopian I’ve seen the company grow rapidly and our branding evolve with that growth, but never really reflected back on our original logo and its message of “Less is More”. And what I’ve come to realize is that over the last ten or so years we’ve never veered far from our Lean mantra.
Our company has grown exponentially over the last decade as we continue to help our customers adapt to the increasingly complex world of enterprise software delivery. But while our workforce has gone from four minds to over 170 (and counting), and our sophisticated product offering has evolved dramatically to provide reliable support for all the leading specialized tools that plan, build and deliver software at scale, our mantra of “Less is More” continues to be our north star.
At the beginning…
At Tasktop’s inception, our “Less is More” journey started off by creating development tools that provided connections to external ALM systems and provided developers with a new view of their code.
With less things to look at (like emails and other interruptions such as notifications), and by removing the need for tool-switching as all the work was undertaken within the IDE, we made developers much more productive. On top of that, we offered a revolutionary way of focusing on the code that was relevant for a task, and hiding the complexity of the system in our open source product Mylyn, further expanding the “Less is More” mantra.
We continued this approach with scaling our software. Tasktop Sync grew out of the support that we had for developers to add the ability to synchronize items between specialized tools instead of just presenting them to developers.
Our work with Sync started our journey toward fully supporting Value Stream Management through enterprise-grade synchronization. As time went on, an SDK was developed to allow connectors to be created faster with less code and more efficiently while maintaining rigorous testing and consistent support. Along with the SDK came our internal Integration Factory – our propriety knowledge database that runs 500K API tests a day, supporting 50+ tools and 300+ versions of those tools – which validates connectors against each version of the repository we support to ensure the connectors have consistency and quality to be the basis of our products.
Continuing on our journey, we took all of the connectors we had developed and created Tasktop Data. This system utilized these connectors in a new way to provide reporting capabilities on the artifacts that customers were synchronizing. As a part of this, we started with the new approach to model-based integration to make this large-scale reporting easy. As time progressed, we added additional integration styles (e.g. synchronization and gateway) to allow everything in your value stream to be integrated into a single tool.
Along this journey, our products have transformed from more (mappings per project and type) to less configuration with models, collections and integrations being the basis for flowing information between systems, making integration faster and easier. With model-based integration, you can map your system once and integrate it via synchronizing to one system or four, easily adding in reporting capabilities without having to setup additional mappings. Model-based integration allows you to do more with less work.
So while we started with a tool to get ALM data into the hands of developers, we went on to use that SDK and connectors to continuously evolve our enterprise toolchain integration product to what Tasktop Integration Hub is today. In other words, by doing “less” – less rebuilding and less rework – we have produced more at Tasktop.
The evolution of Value Stream Management
Now, enter Value Stream Management. More data, more analytics, more artifacts. How can this be still connected to our original mantra?
In a world of Value Stream Management where more velocity, more visibility, and more metrics wins, Tasktop still stands by the Lean bible. Yes there’s thousands of projects, millions of artifacts, a high volume of synchronizations between systems to handle more work. But this is necessary to do less, less meetings, less waste and in the end, again, more productivity.
Long Live Less is More!