8 min read

Setting Software Development Standards

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Organizations have been burned before by a bad product, but that shouldn't be the expectation. With the right set of standards, software development can be outcomes focused and deliver the right results. Here's our approach.
Written by
Jonathan Mitchell
Published on
January 19, 2024

Ship software fast, always. Ship quality software, always. Seems simple, but my goodness, are there obstacles to overcome along the way. If it was easy, every software development firm would do it. Yet, it still takes forever to get a product to market. The software is oftentimes bug-filled and lacking functionality. And all of this costs an exorbitant amount of money. That’s custom software development in a nutshell. Right?

Wrong. Think bigger, move faster, go further.

What if each perceived shortcoming was flipped on its head? That's the question that must be asked. Saying “So what?” to any sort of idea shifts the focus onto the value of the outcome. We’re offering that context through the usage of Accelerated Software Development. There’s no need to reinvent the wheel; just improve it.

Think Bigger

The bloat within the software development space is a known quantity. Every day, a new tool, technology, or methodology is dropped. Everyone rushes to understand the usage and significance of these new finds, and then a swift implementation usually follows. Now, organizations have numerous vanity positions, dozens of frivolous tools providing marginal benefits, and terabytes of pointless deliverables that don’t actually contribute to the end goal. The creation of a functional, impactful software product.

Let’s trim some of the fat here and augment the team members actually driving progress. Stop annoying users, stop annoying clients, and please stop annoying the boots on the ground actually carrying things forward. Quality is not a choice, and yet when a product goes live as a buggy, draining mess, there’s a communal shrug of shoulders. That should not, and can not, be the response. It’s our responsibility to deliver outcomes. Trivializing the importance of such fundamental issues keeps us from taking the next step.

So, what does our approach look like? We focus on people + tech. There needs to be a fundamental change in how we analyze and attribute productivity. Clients are asking all the time how AI can serve as a replacement. If we reduce headcount, we reduce costs, oh and somehow, the project won’t take as long, thanks to these new AI technologies. We reject this idea. The point isn’t to replace but augment.

We get rid of the aforementioned bloat by increasing the capabilities of the team members we already rely on and appreciate. This means we invest resources accurately, eliminating the overflowing toolbox filled with products that are rarely used. We increase the efficiency and effectiveness of team members with internal accelerators, eliminating the need for vanity roles. Lastly, we focus on outcomes. Sure, there are plenty of deliverables that are expected to be included within any project’s roadmap. We focus on ones that actually matter, ones that contribute to the end goal. Which is? Yep, you guessed it, creating functional, impactful software.

Move Faster

Remember how we said a focus is augmentation, not replacement? That precise mindset is what enables us to move faster than out competition. We’ve created several unique internal accelerators that help team members focus on making a difference. Problem solvers shouldn’t be downtrodden and responsible for menial tasks with minimal returns. So, let’s just get rid of those tasks, or at least shorten the timeline. Through the intelligent usage of automation, we’ve been able to eliminate busy work. No more drudgery to trudge through.

think’ers aren’t brought in to be brick layers. Their purpose is to solve problems. Whether it be internal or external, the focus isn’t on appearing busy. If it takes less time to get something done than originally expected, great. Deadlines are easy to meet, and life/work balance is the norm. That’s why this philosophy of substituting human hands for AI “expertise” doesn’t work. Instead, collaboration is emphasized, and as such, the accelerators are used intelligently. Now, true pain points can be addressed, and all of the BS goes out the window.

So, if everything moves just 1% faster, those effects become exponential. Initial internal research indicates we can create a custom product 7X faster than traditional software development firms. Imagine going to a tailor and getting a custom piece of clothing back then and there, all for less money than you’d pay for a mass-produced product at a local store. That’s what ASD enables. Everyone moves fast, with quality control embedded in the process itself. No more nasty surprises. That’s differentiation, that’s speed, that’s ASD.

Go Further

All of this to say, we’re not huge fans of stagnation. Innovation and creativity are cornerstones that must be built upon. Foundational building blocks are hard to establish, so we’ve made sure to be comprehensive in our approach. There are norms in place for a reason. Past success looks to be replicated in modern contexts. That’s not a bad thing. The whole point of learning about history is so we don’t make the same mistakes. That frame of mind must be applied to software development as well. Still, there’s something to be said about branching out. Exploring the unknown. Finding new, maybe better, ways of doing things. That’s what keeps us motivated. That’s what enables us to continue pushing the envelope. You never know what can be accomplished until you try. Regarding software development, we’re rehabilitating a process that’s become monolithic and antiquated.

We are not alone in this endeavor. Organizations worldwide are ushering in new, exciting ideas that will shape our future. It’s an exciting time to be in this space. Innovation is occurring rapidly, investment is increasing, and attention from other areas is at an all-time high. The time is right to continue this push down the path less traveled. We’ve already made incredible progress and will continue to do so. So, let’s go on this journey together.

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