Building custom software is easy - if you know what the right things to develop are, have skilled resources and you are willing to invest the time and dollars. The hardest part is knowing what to build first and translating that into tasks that a developer can accomplish. Augusto Digital specializes in coaching clients through the custom software development process; building teams, and managing work to ensure overarching business goals are met on budget.
As we chat with clients, we’ve encountered several mindsets that hinder the success of software development projects. We have found that if our clients can break through just a couple of these challenges, the light bulb will go off, and their business model will change drastically for the better.
The five conversations outlined below are the most common that we have with clients.
1. Adapt a product mindset, rather than a project mindset.
Projects have their time and place but when you start thinking about a software system as a product you start adding value right away in small increments. A product mindset starts with mapping where to start and where you want to go focusing on the long term investment, balancing priorities and mitigating risk. We’ll dive deeper into how a product mindset radically changes your approach in next month’s blog.
2. Take a reality check when it comes to your budget, timeframe, & scope.
When developing a custom system it is better to focus on managing the outcome that a team can accomplish with a fixed amount of time and budget than being focused completely on the outcome you envision. Many clients get fixed on the outcome they envision and try to determine how much it is going to cost to build it. If you take the approach that you are willing to invest in fixed time and budget projects with an MVP mindset you will get value from your investments earlier and be able to make better decisions with each subsequent investment.
3. Use six-week work cycles to link sprints to quarters and years
As developers, we love the two-week sprint format because it hones the team in on specific, nitty-gritty, manageable deliverables. It is where the development work actually happens. However, it’s easy to focus only on the sprints and lose sight of the long-term goal. Using six-week cycles brings together three sprints, grouped by a theme and set of goals. There are two cycles in a quarter. When you start to focus your goals and themes into years, quarters, cycles and springs it become easier to manage expectations and outcomes because they align to the rhythm of business and provide the granularity of information needed for all levels of an organization.
4. Always remember to measure your business outcomes.
When you invest time and money into a software system, you simply can’t neglect to put tracking tools in place. Long before we launch your new software system, we’re going to sit down with you to make sure we have the necessary tools in place to measure your results. We’ll dive into details in the fourth blog of this series.
5. Get in the flow.
When a team has adopted a product mindset, adjusted their budget, timeframe, and scope, settled into six-week cycles, and prepared tools to measure results, a highly-productive pattern emerges. We like to call it “the flow.” It’s a rhythmic zone with transparency and results.
Over the next several blogs, we’ll dive deeper into each of these all-important business philosophies - offering an exclusive glimpse into the Augusto Digital process. We hope you’ll begin to see your company in some of these mentalities and envision the ways in which your business outcomes could improve by adopting them.
If you’d like to talk through your specific scenario, give us a call! We consult with clients to help them build software development teams that deliver on their business outcomes.
You can always reach me at 616-427-1914 or firstname.lastname@example.org.