Choosing the right features to embed in your product impacts development speed. The more features you pick, the slower your team will be. Also, in our industry, teams often end up shipping features that are not useful.
How can you ensure you pick useful features and just enough of them to satisfy your end users?
There were three reasons behind our success. First, we had no money. Second, we didn't understand technology. Third, we never planned. Whenever we spent money on anything, it might be our last chance.
Jack Ma, Founder of Alibaba
Day after day, we help our clients focus on what end users really need and come up with the simplest and most effective ways of delivering exactly that.
We start all projects by aligning the whole team with a clear, measurable and timed definition of what success means. From that, we derive the differentiating product characteristics. Each functionality that we develop has to be related to the definition of success.
We involve users from the beginning of the project to understand their use cases and test initial mockups. We deploy new features to production as often as possible to constantly measure their impact on actual users' lives.
Business decision makers, marketers, UX designers, developers, security experts, compliance departments, IT system administrators ... just some of the many stakeholders you need to involve to succeed in building your web product.
The time you spend waiting for crucial information or sign off from any of them can dramatically increase your Time To Market. How do you facilitate their synchronization to reduce this wait time to a minimum?
Not finance. Not strategy. Not technology. It is teamwork that remains the ultimate competitive advantage, both because it is so powerful and so rare
Patrick Lencioni, The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
We use Splane, our SaaS tool, to build a shared product roadmap with all stakeholders. The goal: make all milestones visible, identify and lift dependencies, capitalize on collective intelligence
Prior to developments, an Architect-Developer designs the technical architecture of the product and ships a first feature to production to ensure all blockers have been tackled. The team can then deliver value from day 1 of the development phase.
Smaller teams are faster, but only when they have all the skills needed to deliver. All our developers are full-stack: they can work autonomously on backend and frontend features. Theodo's ecosystem of sister companies offers a pool of experts in web, mobile, data science, machine learning and DevOps who share the same culture and methodology.
During the development phase, developers can spend days on technical issues that do not directly add value to the users: setting up production, staging and development environments, creating automated testing tools, refactoring non-business features, etc.
How do you minimize this time in order to spend more time developing useful features?
The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.
With our proprietary software, Forge, developers have a toolkit at their disposal that allows them to set up development, staging and production environments in record time.
They also leverage non-business specific functional blocks (like authentication of file-upload forms, etc.) and can spend more time on what really matters to our clients.
We split each feature into tasks that last less than a day. This allows us to react to delays & come up with improvements sooner.
It also ensures that features are delivered accurately, every
UX designers import their mockups into Overlay. This custom-made tool automatically outputs code that will facilitate and accelerate the integration of mockups by developers.