You have a fantastic idea for a new software product, platform, or service that will help differentiate you from your competition. But for every seven product ideas, only one will yield a successful product, according to McKinsey Global Institute. How can you beat the odds?
The key reasons software development initiatives fail include unclear objectives, fuzzy requirements that have not been incorporated into the development methodology, the lack of skilled developers, ineffective project management processes, poor communication, and culture clashes between development staff and project management.
To increase your chance of success, assess your answers to the questions below. They will provide you with critical information you need to determine the best way to move forward with your software product development.
- What mix of technical skills will we need on the development team to be successful?
- Do we have enough developers with those skills to get a project of this magnitude done on time? Can they be freed up from their current tasks?
- Do we have other key roles in-house? Most products cannot be delivered without a Product Manager, Business Analyst, Technical Architect, Project/Team Manager, QA, and Deployment/DevOps specialists.
- How quickly can we hire missing links? How long will it take for them to prove they are the right people for the job? How long will it take for them to become a real team instead of a random conglomeration of professionals?
- If we hire new staff, will we have additional work for these employees when the product is completed?
- What core knowledge will we gain from developing the product in-house that we won’t be able to obtain from outsourcing to a partner organization?
- Do in-house developers have enough experience in the technology mix we want to use to build the new product successfully?
- Does my organization understand how to build-in performance and scalability into an application?
SPEED AND FLEXIBILITY
- What is the opportunity cost of every week/month that the product delivery is delayed?
- Are there other risks in delaying development?
- Do we have the budget to hire new people on staff with the right technical skills?
- What are the estimated costs associated with potential delays due to finding, hiring, and onboarding the right staff as opposed to hiring outside experts with added benefit of flexibility that this affords me?
One final question… Would my team benefit from staying focused on product vision, building an audience, and getting to market – while having software product development experts ensure successful and timely execution?
If questions above created some concern, you may want to consider outsourcing the product’s development. Working with a software product development expert allows you to side-step many of the pitfalls, get your product delivered quickly, and achieve a high level of functionality and reliability. But it isn’t the right choice for every project
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