A successful software project requires humble leadership.

The software project has been going on for six months. It has been established that the requirements are unclear and that some of the features cannot be achieved. The workers already know at this stage that the project will be long. Sound familiar?

This is a moment when a strong Finnish leader feels betrayed and makes different interpretations and demands about the agreement – just to prove that they are right. So, they hide their head in the sand.

What happens next?  There are two scenarios that are the most common: The first one: the team of creators and the supplier curl up in their shells to wait for a miracle that never comes. The second: the project leaders and owners bring up the difficult subject, but at that point the project has already passed the point of no return, and nothing will be done about it. Let’s wait for a happy outcome and just keep on waiting.

Managers that can show humility stand out from the crowd. They have both satisfied customers and suppliers.

The end result of both scenarios is common and similar. The product or software is adopted even though it is defective, poorly tested and seriously delayed. And the fault lies with a couple of managers that will hastily get the boot. The go-to sacrificial lamb is the project manager because people get tired of seeing his face as the project advances. That sod sometimes sides with the supplier!

There is a simple solution to the situation: bring up the difficult subject and examine, without emotions, how to get to the finish line. Managers are required to be humble and willing to succeed. And unfortunately, managers rarely possess these qualities.

Managers that can show humility stand out from the crowd. They have both satisfied customers and suppliers. They are known for their good track record and, often, also for better productivity.

If you want to succeed in a big project as a manager – be humble.

By Juha Heikkinen

the eNPS calculation is based on the Employee Net Promoter Score formula developed by Fred Reichheld, which was originally used to study the customer experience and customer satisfaction of companies. Lately, it has also been used to research employee satisfaction (e as in employee + NPS).

This is how the calculation is performed.

We ask our employees once a year, “How likely are you to recommend your workplace to friends or acquaintances on a scale of 0 to 10?” Then we ask for clarification with an open question: “Why did you submit this score?”.

Those who submit a score of 9 or 10 are called promoters. Those who submit a score from 0 to 6 are called detractors.

The eNPS result is calculated by subtracting the relative percentage of detractors from the relative percentage of promoters. Other answers are allocated a score of 0.

The calculation results can be anything from -100 to +100. Results between +10 and +30 are considered to be good, and results above +50 are considered to be excellent.