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Case Study: Ultimate Software Reinvents Its Development Shop To Stay On Its Game

November 3, 2010

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Ultimate Software finds itself in a highly competitive market: It is a relatively small player compared with industry giants such as Oracle and SAP. Given Ultimate's smaller size, it can't simply throw more resources into projects; it needs to work smarter. Six years ago, Ultimate Software Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Adam Rogers decided to transform his software development organization into a Partner Player shop: one focused on creating high-performance software teams that create a competitive advantage for the company. Ultimate started with Lean Software processes and then retooled its talent acquisition and retention processes to attract and keep creative, intrinsically motivated development professionals. Six years later, Ultimate's bets have paid off: It has filled its shop with highly creative, autonomous, Agile feature teams and runs it using a very flat management structure. Ultimate's employees regard Ultimate as a great place to work — and its customers see the results of Ultimate Software's focus on quality.

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