Simple Project Strategy
As one of the UK’s leading Software Development Companies, we’re expected to deliver big results, often within tight project constraints. It comes with the territory; companies need software systems to be robust, and they need them in place yesterday. The margin for error in final builds is practically non-existent, especially given the size and scope of the operations of many of our clients.
In modern business, it’s become something of a cliché that software projects are often delivered late, run over budget or simply don’t deliver what they’re supposed to. Even though processes and Project Management in the industry have improved drastically in the past ten years, perceptions can be slow to shift.
That’s why a good strategy is the shiniest tool in the shed; it not only helps ensure you’re on form, but also reassures the client that the project will go the way they envisage. Our plan must also align with the client’s, who need to have their own roadmap in place as to how their business will use your software, as well as how their needs may develop in future.
By having a clear view of where the client wants to be, we can map our project against this and set actionable, measurable targets which meet the client’s needs. Ambition and realistic aims; these two things are the outcome of this process, and are at the heart of our projects.
Communication and effective, Agile project management
Naturally, this process relies on open communication and effective project management, both things we pride ourselves on. An Agile Methodology allows us to respond quickly to a client’s changing ambitions, whilst the realistic goals mentioned above help ‘pin’ key milestones for the project, so that a flexible approach is still a timely one.
Issue management is key here; if something goes wrong, it needs to be tackled with speed and precision. Our company structure reflects this; a separate team that operates as a ‘reservoir’ of available resources allows the company’s team structure to adapt with pressure, in much the same way that a stable bridge is flexible to accommodate heavy weather.
In addition, a ‘Lessons Learned’ process means that we grow and improve even if things don’t go to plan; successes and problems alike are opportunities to learn more and do better.
Pass it on – consultation helps clients benefit from our knowledge
It’s refining and honing across each project and each opportunity to learn that defines real experience. This experience allows us to offer our own guidance and advice to clients and operate as effective consultants; we’ve learnt what works and, just as crucially, what doesn’t.
Passing our knowledge on helps companies who hire us as consultants better understand their software requirements and how potential solutions ‘slot in’ to their existing business structure, or what might need to change to accommodate new technology.
Being able to offer useful, informed consultation both as part of the initial stages of project planning and as a separate service is the mark of a software development company that has gained experience and expertise through the desire and ability to learn from each project. By accepting that there’s always room to improve, we can help others do the same.
Overall, then, our effective strategy comes down to a few key points –
- Listening with clients and working with them to formulate a shared goal
- Realistic, achievable targets to ‘pin’ the project too
- The ability to be flexible around those targets
- Agile management to tackle issues while staying on track to deliver the stated benefits
- A willingness to learn from the project both during development and after completion
It seems like common sense for the most part, but it relies on accumulated experience within our team, and the ability to make decisions and react quickly that only comes with time and hard-won expertise.
A combination of sensible logic and tried-and-tested knowledge; what could be simpler?