Starting With a
Minimum Viable Product
Shipping software on time relies on
clarity of purpose and simplicity
Understand Your Users
Their goals, needs, daily habits - create a real “flesh and bones” persona. Bring them to life and help them navigate their journey right to your doorstep. Develop a shared under- standing your markets, competition, your defensible niche with you.
Mission Team Right
The biggest variable in shipping software is the quality of the team entrusted to ship it. Build a team with people you can trust. Process makes a poor substitute for people who are energized by mission and purpose. Treat everyone as a product manager and demand empathy for the end user.
Goldilocks Zone For Great Software
There is statistical proof that open offices and face-to-face meetings create a 'Goldilocks Zone' for software development. This "just right" atmosphere fosters the delivery of great software. You can even throw in some high-fives and mood lighting for good measure.
Getting Into A
Your shipping trajectory is determined by direction and speed.
Create a Build/Test/Optimize culture by con- stantly engaging the end users. Embrace the concept of "Throwaway Code" to stay nimble.
Here are some methodologies we find particularly useful to shift into 5th gear :
- Agile Scrum
- Test Automation
- Continuous Integration
by Asking Questions
Often, the software development process experiences some degree of CATO - Catastrophe At Take Off. However, you can avoid CATO by getting user feedback and choosing an effective platform.
Getting User Feedback
Choosing Your Platform
Highly complex shipping cyles are difficult to stabilize. Your users can help you to cut through the fog if you are tracking adoption and usage. Ask these three questions after every ship cycle:
- Is the feature working ?
- Are my users using it ?
- Are they going to pay for it ?
Your choice of platform will often determine your terminal velocity and maximum altitude. So before you begin, deliberate over your Platform and Technology choices by asking two questions:
Am I choosing a platform for scale or for speed ? (Cloud/ PaaS provides both, so it's usually a good option.)
- Am I aggressively using APIs as a digital glue ?