Custom-tailored SW is a waste of money!
YES! It is!
I mean, it can go wrong in so many ways, and it’s easy to end up with something that doesn’t pay off.
For example, you can end up with something that doesn’t solve the problem you wanted to solve. Then, of course, it’s a waste of money.
Or you can get stuck during the development process, and the damn thing never gets finished. Then, of course, it’s a waste of money.
Let’s list the worst possible outcomes when ordering a custom-tailored SW solution, shall we?
1.The developers get it wrong and build something completely different.
- How on Earth can this happen: not sufficient communication with the developers / not honest communication between the parties.
- How to prevent it: find somebody who won’t hesitate to ask you “WHY?” so many times, it gets you almost annoyed. It’s absolutely vital to identify the core of the problem before trying to solve it. If your only form of communication is handing a development company a nice-looking technical assignment without an opportunity to further discuss the project, it can only go well if you had a brilliant analyst working on it. And by brilliant, I mean EXTRAORDINARY brilliant. In any other case, talk. Talk a lot.
2.The solution gets finished, it does what it should but you still don’t benefit from it.
- How on Earth can this happen: the issue you decided to solve was probably not the most painful problem. There must be something else in your company that needs to be solved.
- How to prevent this: analyze. Analyze your workflow, don’t be afraid to ask difficult or even painful questions. You can do it yourself or you can use help from others. There are people and companies who can help you with that. There are even many experienced development companies who can help you during the discovery phase.
(If you want to read more about identifying processes to automate, here is an article from my colleague…)
3.The development gets stuck in the middle, you never get the thing you wanted, and you burn the whole budget before even seeing the first draft.
- How on Earth can this happen: one of the parties apparently got too deep into the details. Details are important but only to a certain level.
- How can you prevent this: don’t aim for perfection right away. You can always spend more time on the visual side, and you can always come up with more and more nice-to-have features once you’ve got the basics. As you addressed the core problem, you will start reaping the rewards immediately. As you start saving money, you can always go back and add something extra later.
4.The development takes so much time that the situation in the company changes completely before it’s delivered.
- How on Earth can this happen: all companies evolve in time, so it’s hard to foresee what you’re gonna need months from now. What if you have to adapt to a sudden change like an economic crisis or a global pandemic?
- How to prevent this: go for agile. Ask for delivery of the solution step by step so you can start using the first bit as soon as possible. If you’re a development company, ask for continuous feedback from the users. Keep regular calls with the client, so you always know what the situation looks like and what they currently prioritize. Prioritize wisely — both sides. And again, keep the communication honest and real.
Well, I think this is enough for now. Do you have your own horror-like custom-tailored development story? Leave it in the comments!
CEO of TIMEPRESS / Open for your feedback on Linkedin
- We believe that custom-tailored software, if well done, is an investment, not a cost.
- Our solutions shape the everyday reality of thousands of employees, to make their life easier.
- Our job is to figure out the most effective way to help you, and to come up with a solution. After all, we’re your automation specialists, just a call away.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us here.