Publishers: How To Protect Your User Experience From Software Development Snafus
As the pace of technology evolution accelerates and the complexity of software development increases, the value of “getting it right” for your firm goes up, too. Your team is probably capable of defining a digital marketing strategy, business objectives, and a brand voice for your firm or clients, but what happens when it’s time to execute that strategy? Often, when it’s time for implementation, you hand it over to an in-house IT team or a software development firm, and your genius design and marketing strategy get watered down in the process.
The end result, especially the user experience, is far from what was envisioned.
If this sounds familiar, you could be missing out on massive productivity gains and project scalability. For sophisticated brands, poor digital execution is no longer an option. You’re robbing your project of its quality potential every time you work with an in-house team without focusing on the user experience or having the proper software development capabilities.
But there’s a better way. And to maximize quality and efficiency, you must build a long-term partnership with a talented firm of digital experts.
Consistency Bolsters the Bottom Line
Working with the same developers on frequent projects will allow you to work more efficiently, saving time and money in the long run. Instead of learning about your company’s brand, management styles, and team personalities, your partner can spend time directly improving the product and process.
As a software development partner to leading creative agencies and corporations, I see the benefits of consistency through our customers and recurring projects. Rather than find a new team each year, our clients leverage their prior investment by maintaining as many key players as possible for new projects. This way, they can quickly move forward with what works and dismiss what doesn’t without needing ramp-up time.
Develop Long-Term Relationships From the Start
Although you understand the advantages of reusing a software development team, finding a trusted partner and establishing a solid relationship is a challenge. To create a successful long-term partnership, start by implementing the following strategies:
1. Look for partners, not vendors. Vendors are a dime a dozen and are focused on their profit margins. Look for partners that share your organization’s and your stakeholders’ values. These teams will go the extra mile for a project — even when your budget doesn’t support it.
2. Don’t let purchasing submit the RFPs. Purchasing departments have different agendas than the internal project stakeholders they represent. Marketing services, web development, and mobile development are far from commoditized services. Make sure the stakeholders who will be interacting with the development firm are the ones who interview, engage, and assess them.
3. Ask the right questions. Don’t be shy about interrogating potential partners. Ask questions about other long-term relationships, day-to-day processes, budget options, and technical support. For example, who will provide assistance if bugs arise? How will the system be supported post-launch?
Sweeping power outages and weather-related events are becoming increasingly common in the U.S. What happens to your site or project if the data center goes down? The deeper your discussion, the more closely aligned you’ll be from the start.
4. Seek out stable business partners with long track records. Fly-by-night firms are abundant in the technology space. Seek partners who have the organizational knowledge and expertise to go beyond your specific project. Ask for references at various stages of the software lifecycle to further vet their expertise.
5. Plan big, but start small. It’s ideal to ease into a relationship with a smaller project, but keep a bigger one on the horizon. This gives both teams an opportunity to work together to ensure the long-term goals of both organizations align. Also, engage your development partner at the start of the project before misguided technology decisions can be made.
Developing lasting relationships will help you focus your attention on anticipated results from your software development projects, not expensive turnover. And when you consistently invest in strategic long-term partnerships, you’ll embrace a new level of familiarity and productivity that directly affects your bottom line.
This article orginally appeared in Adotas.com.