Tech Transfers

One of the hardest things that any engineering team can do is to inherit a software project from another team. And yet, my team at Red Hat has to hand off software all of the time. Because of that, we've had to get really good at setting up other engineering teams for success in these tech transfers.

The first question you may ask is “why does your team constantly hand off software projects”? Stephen Watt, Director of the Office of the CTO at Red Hat, addressed this question in his article, Creating an Innovation Engine. In the article, Steve lays out the justification for a given software company to fund small team that is dedicated to iterating quickly and taking risks in investigating new technologies.

The trick is that in order to manage the cost of a high-risk engineering team, you have to keep it small. A failed experiment that consumes one or two engineers' time is much cheaper than a failure that consumes ten engineers' time. But as a result of keeping the team small, it lacks the resources necessary to fully commercialize and support its own successful engineering efforts.

Consequently, that team has to have a repeatable tech transfer playbook that they can use with a wide variety of engineering partner teams. I've written that playbook for my team, and thanks to the cool folks at Pipline, you can read it, too! So, check out Turning Innovation Into Revenue, and let me know what you thought about it! Hopefully it is useful for any software team that needs to do a tech transfer; let me know if it helps you out.