Posts Tagged Under: Customer Expectations

Avoiding Ambiguity

Last October, Prime Minister Theresa May caused quite a stir in Parliament when she bravely announced to the world that her Brexit deal was “95 percent complete.” The widespread confusion, however, was wholly understandable. After all, with two years of negotiations behind her, what exactly did that mean? To anyone but her cabinet ministers and EU negotiators, of course, it was simply impossible to know.

The same, however, could easily take place in software development. If we told you that your project was 99 percent complete, however would you know that that pesky last percentage point wouldn’t take twice as long to finalise as the other 99 together? Again, an impossibility. For this reason, in order to avoid all potential ambiguity, Software Planet Group will always steer clear of percentages. Instead, we make use of hours, velocity and complexity points.

For more information, please contact our support team.

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Prototypes, MVPs and POCs — Steps to Market Readiness

According to a recent study by CB Insights, the #1 reason why startups fail is a lack of market need. This was shown to be the case in approximately 42 percent of all surveyed businesses. The great lesson here, of course, is that as an aspiring entrepreneur, you must always be careful to not put out there something that consumers simply have no appetite for — but how can you be so sure?

Well, if you’re a regular blog reader, you probably know that an MVP, or minimum viable product, is an excellent way to gauge the market readiness of your product, but this is where things can get a little confusing. After all, how does this differ from a prototype, or even a proof of concept (POC)? These terms get thrown around by techy developers all the time, but deciphering what they mean can often be a challenge.

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What to Expect from Our Product Teams

As explained in a previous article, working on a product instead of a project demands a totally different mindset, which often makes it difficult to discern and form a winning team.

At Software Planet, however, we strive to equip our team members with the knowledge they need at all times — and of course, in product development, this is certainly not an exception.

With this in mind, we would like to spell out the various qualities our company look for when putting together our specialised teams, so you too can know exactly what to expect when entrusting us with your valued products.

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FAQ #1: Why Do You Require a 2-Month Termination Notice?

Today, we are starting a brand new series of articles on some of the questions Software Planet Group are asked the most. Our hope is that these will someday serve to help you quickly refer to them in the future, should any queries arise.

The first of these questions has to do with our 60-day termination clause — that is, if our customers no longer wish to work with us, then we ask that they provide us with no less than 2-months’ notice.

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Our Development Process

At Software Planet, we take great pride in our customer-centric development process. This is why from start to finish, a striking sense of partnership is present in all we do.

Still, we recognise that for those with limited exposure to Agile development, an inescapable learning curve may also be perceived; so for this article, we would like to walk you step-by-step through our tried-and-trusted methods.

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Five Ways to Help Your Teams Meet Deadlines

While they may well be a leading cause of stress in the workplace, deadlines are something of a necessary evil, as without them — let the anarchists amongst us disagree — human productivity would all but certainly tumble into oblivion.

Yet all too often, strict schedules also give us the impression that the people within our organisations behave much like tireless machines, mechanically churning out their finished products at the mere push of a button.

This, of course, couldn’t be further from reality, and the Agile manifesto makes perfectly clear: companies should prioritise “individuals and interactions over process and tools.”

So with this thought as our guiding compass, here are five simple ways to help your employees meet their deadlines:

 

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So Your Application Has Finally Been Delivered. What Comes Next?

For first-time entrepreneurs, the logistics of adequately maintaining applications can often be surprising and even a little confusing. After all, when a train set is first taken out of its box, it simply works. Shouldn’t software be the same?

Of course it should! And in fact it is. But whether you find yourself in Tier I, II or III support territory, even the most diehard of optimists would be forced to concede that there are other weighty factors to bear in mind.

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Staying on Course Through Continuous Feedback

What if on a casual sunny afternoon trip down the M25, the driver in a vehicle in front of you suddenly decided to hold his steering wheel tightly in place and ignore everything his eyes were telling him about the road ahead? If you were lucky enough to not be caught off guard, you would soon find yourself witnessing a senseless car crash. Albeit substantially less tragic, this is very similar to what happens when development teams go about their business without adequately paying heed to customer feedback. Eventually, they are bound to veer dramatically off course, and cause others to suffer the results of their recklessness.

Unfortunately, the same is often true even when software companies follow established development methods. The popular waterfall model, for example, scopes out requirements only at the start of a project. As a result, once initial feedback is received and a path has been determined, there is no turning back. Most software engineers will be either unable or unwilling to make any changes to a project.

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A Partnership Tailored to You

While the quest to secure investments is a scene all too familiar to startup founders everywhere, every year, millions of people tune into BBC’s Dragons’ Den to catch but a glimpse of the oft-uncertain and thrillingly risky entrepreneurial world. Admittedly, most businesspeople could only ever dream of facing the callously tight-lipped Dragons, yet it remains hugely attractive to seek what is known as “smart money” — funds by investors that also bring their knowledge, experience and enviable contacts to the table.

At Software Planet Group, we strive to give customers a similarly advantageous experience by offering a combination of expert knowledge and a genuinely close business relationship. In fact, SPG put customer success at the heart of everything we do. Over the years, we have had the privilege of partnering with many startups that went on to become hugely lucrative businesses, but this is only half the story.

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Why a Product-Based Mindset Works Best

Imagine that you are in South America celebrating your wedding anniversary. Because pottery is a great local tradition and you want your spouse to receive the best possible gift, you have asked two of the most accomplished potters in town to sculpt you a clay vase. The first one views the task at hand as a project. He promptly asks you what the vase should look like and when you need it to be finished, warning you that the more complex the vase, the more expensive it will be. After that, he simply tells you to return in a few hours and pick it up.

The second potter, on the other hand, has his eyes set on the final product. After hearing what you have in mind, he asks questions about your spouse to determine how they normally decorate the house, their favourite colours and even their general likes and dislikes. The potter then makes a few design suggestions of his own, and after you have both agreed on a final plan, lets you know when the vase should be ready before handing you his number in case the final product needs a repaint or mending.

In the end, you are a lot more likely to be happy with the second potter’s vase; and this is very similar to what happens with software engineering. While most companies view the development process as a project, that is, a piece of planned work with a particular start and end date, some like Software Planet Group believe a product-based approach is the best way to

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