Three Best Practices for Building your Software Product
“If you know how to make software, then you know how to create big things.”
Xavier Niel (Businessman, Billionaire Technology Entrepreneur)
Software development can be challenging. You have a great vision, but it turns out building it is hard, much harder than you thought. You need focus and there are many distractions to you achieving success. To help you remain focused we take a look at several best practices to consider before embarking on the journey for the product build. We have reviewed some industry best practices and narrowed down three crucial aspects to consider.
A lot of time is spent on people management, tooling and other tasks that don’t seem to involve getting your product to market. Building a team that is passionate and understands your business is a crucial step which often tends to be overlooked and underestimated. Talented software developers aren’t always readily available or affordable and not all software developers understand how to build just enough code for the initial product stage. You also tend to hire generalists, but you will occasionally need specialist skills to get the best out of your technology. It is, therefore, important to have the right team with a variety of skill sets that can get the product up and running quickly and in front of end users.
Best practice: Partner with software development experts, hire key roles
It’s crucial to consider the end-game when building a product, especially in the B2B space, to understand how it fits into your potential clients’ environment. How it will integrate, how long it will need to last, how you will manage security patches, product updates and the addition of new features. When you are just starting out, you often don’t think about these things until the first time you talk to your customer. You don’t need to have solved all of these concerns but you need to be aware of them and be able to address the perceived risks that your customers see in using your product.
Building a team that knows how to deal with these issues can be expensive and difficult. Industry knowledge and expertise enables you to understand and meet security standards, fit into the identity landscape, and integrate with key systems in the organisation and provide ongoing support across all stages of the product implementation lifecycle.
Best practice: Understand your purchaser’s environment and their perceived risk in using your product
For the founder and leaders of an organisation building a product, there are endless time-consuming tasks that will compete for your time. You need a passionate visionary working with clients, selling the product and clearly understanding what the market needs. Spending time running the development team, worrying about what technology to use, how to deploy the product and what the features are needed at a low level can be distracting and very time-consuming.
Hiring a dedicated team may seem expensive initially. However, as opposed to the cost of building your own development team, with all the difficulty of setting up human resources, ensuring everyone’s career goals are met, managing payroll, buying equipment and software licenses, paying for cloud service, and all the other tasks required to manage your own team. This has typically, in the long run, proven to have the opposite effect. A specialised and dedicated team can often bring in greater experience across technologies and business domains and hit the ground running faster with less management required from you. This, in turn, can allow the product manager and team to focus on crucial product decisions and set you up for success.
Best practice: Stay focused on the vision and use partners to get you to market faster
Bringing it all together
As outlined in this article, managing talent, purchasing environment and how you invest your time can greatly impact how soon you can launch your product to market. There is no denying that building a software product can come with its challenges. Based on our experience, building our own products, working with start-ups, implementing technology in enterprises and government agencies, we have found that there are many key components that with careful management will ensure the success of the project. It may prove to be beneficial to speak to firms that specialise in technology, understand how to build software, and can translate vision and help you save time and money.
If you have any questions or want to learn more, contact Object and speak to one of our consultants.