Navigating the Challenges of Product Software Development — An Interview with Anton Zenkov, Vice President of Software Delivery at Kanda
Behind any successful project, there is a crew of dedicated individuals who work hard to deliver the best possible result. And without a strong leader, who provides guidance, direction, and support to the team, these wins are often doomed not to happen at all.
We spoke with Anton Zenkov, the Vice President of Software Delivery at Kanda Software. With over a decade of experience in software development and being a driving force for numerous successful projects at Kanda, Anton shared details on his daily routine, approach to product software development, and the challenges of development projects and opened up about the keys to success in this field.
What does an ordinary day of a Kanda’s Delivery Manager look like?
Anton’s day at Kanda typically starts with reviewing emails and prioritizing urgent tasks and messages. Then, there are stand-up meetings with diverse development team members to discuss projects’ progress, obstacles, and daily priorities.
After the stand-up, there are usually multiple meetings with customers to discuss project-specific requirements, tools, and milestones. The next part is typically internal meetings with Kanda’s stakeholders that may include discussions to ensure that projects’ timelines are being met and that resources are allocated appropriately.
Throughout the day, Anton is involved in problem-solving and decision-making, addressing any technical or logistical challenges during the projects and providing guidance and support to the development team. A significant amount of time is spent to help them resolve any issues. By juggling various tasks and responsibilities, he helps keep the project on track, and the team motivated.
What was one of the recent successful projects, and why was it remarkable?
According to Mr. Zenkov, the success of the latest project for one of our customers, the portal for young writers, was primarily due to the team’s ability to adapt and respond to changing requirements during the collaboration with the client.
The Kanda team improved the customer’s platform by:
- Building a solid back-end infrastructure to address scaling potential.
- Increasing moderation activities.
- Evolving educator-led instructional offerings.
The successful launch of the redesigned portal for young writers resulted from the development team’s ability to adapt and respond to changing requirements, close collaboration with the client, technical expertise, and effective communication and collaboration within the team. These factors, combined with the team’s dedication and hard work, made this project a success.
What was one of the recent challenging projects, and how did you overcome the obstacles?
One of the latest challenging projects for Anton involved overcoming several obstacles, including the gaps in communication and a comprehensive vision between the customer and the development team. Hence the project was subject to multiple layers of approval and review.
Despite these obstacles, the development team was able to find creative solutions to address the challenges. They established a clear and transparent communication process between the client and the development team, ensuring that everyone was on the same page and working towards the same goals.
As a delivery manager, Anton took a proactive approach to address the bureaucratic obstacles, working closely with the relevant stakeholders to streamline the approval and review process. This helped to reduce delays and keep the project on track.
What are the main keys to project success?
Despite any challenges that may appear during the project development, Anton Zenkov believes that success is always possible with the right approach. He shared five keys that can lead to seamless project development flow.
1. The right focus
Among the key aspects of project success, Mr. Zenkov mentions concentration on the customer objectives.
“Understanding the client’s main objective and focusing on it helps the development team create a successful user-friendly and intuitive product aligned with the customers’ needs and expectations that can reduce the users’ learning curve and increase the end product’s adoption rate.”
2. Clear communication
Regular meetings, status updates, and transparent reporting are crucial in ensuring everyone is informed about the project milestones.
“Clear communication channels between team members, stakeholders, and the client are crucial to ensure that all parties are aligned towards the same objectives.”
3. Talent and tools
Strong technical skills are crucial in development projects since they contribute to prompt problem-solving and innovation and play an essential role in ensuring that the projects are delivered on time, within budget, and to a high standard, as well as in creating a unique selling point for the product.
Talented developers with advanced tools in hand will leverage their potential to the maximum for the benefit of a project.
Lack of trust can lead to communication breakdowns, conflicts, missed deadlines, increased costs, and a defective end product. That is why stakeholders need to trust the development team’s competence, reliability, and professionalism to deliver the project successfully.
Trust enables effective teamwork and collaboration and ensures the high quality of a project.
“Change is inevitable in any development project, and a successful development team must be able to adapt to changes in requirements, technology, and other factors,” Anton says. “This requires a flexible approach and the ability to respond to challenges and obstacles in real-time.”
Software development is a challenging field, but with the right approach and attention to detail, success is more than real. By establishing clear communication, fostering collaboration, being adaptable, managing risks, and providing strong leadership, a development team can help ensure the success of any development project.
Anton Zenkov and the team at Kanda Software embody these qualities in their day-to-day collaboration with a wide range of clients, from large corporations to dynamic startups, from software vendors and SaaS companies to digital healthcare innovators, app vendors, marketing firms, financial services providers, publishers, and educational institutions.
To every project, we bring a combination of domain expertise, exceptional engineering talent, commitment to protecting clients’ data, and accountability of a US company with over two decades of impeccable reputation.
Talk to experts to learn how we can help your company.