Psychology of Software Product Development
You know what would be boring…?
A lesson on psychology! So as to make the article interesting, let us progress with a story arc format consisting of the good, the bad and the funny side!
The Good Side of the Story!
We have known people and have worked for people who understand nothing about technology, but have a defined domain knowledge or expertise or clarity of purpose to pursue use of technology to expand their skills to a global arena through automation made feasible by technology.
By automation, we are specifically talking about delivering value through use of software, rather than manual tasking.
Say for instance, an auditor who does auditing of major hospitals, food & beverage industries have found that the process could be optimized by use of an iPad type device that will carry the standardized forms for compliance regulation and works, just works! On both offline and online mode.
This simplification is a welcomed simplification; business needs efficiency, less paper work, more quality coverage and accuracy.
This forms the clarity of purpose behind the development of software product.
There is a need for something that is to be able to take an idea or need in to a product component that automates or replicate human skills via the accuracy of computerization.
The need further evolves by the use of technology and the readiness of the market to accept such technology driven product.
Growth happens when the product is widely adopted and has started to replace the manual driven tasks by a greater degree.
It should be noted that the technology would not replace all manual functions; rather it would replace several time and effort consuming functions.
Here Comes the Bad Side to the story!
Businesses that are using technology are required to suddenly acquire knowledge and skills that were unnecessary till date.
Imagine a domain expert in auditing, trying to translate their audit process in to automation product that minimizes theirs and overall organizations workload to suddenly understand what is a database, what is client side scripting, server side scripting, hosting, cloud, software as a service, domain name servers and wide variety of technology jargons that were never required to be learnt.
As the envisioning entity and subject matter expert, the non-technical business guru now needs to understand and work with technology and people who are completely alien towards their domain areas and speak and or from regions that are not even their own.
Regardless of how the product gets built, locally or internationally (from top software development destinations such as India); the business simply does not translate itself.
Now the funny side!
The story gets funny right from the start. When the 20 years experienced auditor tries to engage on a meaningful conversation with someone who sells technology services.
The first part is all about finding someone who understands what needs to be done.
The second part translates in to making sense of the proposal that comes your way.
It usually contains information such as methodology of project management, people, teams skills, risk mitigation plans and finally the funniest part that often turns in to a very costly part.
The part of pricing.
Either they do not understand what is needed, if they do, they understand partially and if nothing else, if you are talking to three or four different companies, again we use the word ‘companies’ not freelancers, the cost quotation might make no sense whatsoever.
It gets real funny when dealing with the freelance markets, but we will refrain ourselves from discussing about that because of one simple reason.
We do not wish to add insult to injury!
(Just in case someone who is reading this has also gone through the pain areas addressed under the funny side of the story).
Post the trauma associated with finding the right company to produce your product and by way of luck, if you have managed to identify the right company, the business cost of developing a product will come for a realization.
The Cost of Building a Product!
One of common and recurring issues we have faced when engaging a non-technical business group that tries to enter a purely technology driven business arena is the lack of mental preparedness to understand and grasp the subject matter, going beyond that, the key issue is also a refusal to understand that by now, they have become a purely technology driven business and no longer in the space of non-IT driven business model.
The main problem this creates is that the expenditure spend towards maintaining and running a product and upgrading it to meet business driven architecture changes is not met.
Rather, if the products initial launch become successful, the range of business operations and governance imbibed by a technology is easily covered, on the other hand, if the product acceptance and growth rate is slow, the problems become increasingly difficult through lack of understanding and acceptance that the software team building and maintaining your product is a vital expense without which you cannot sustain.
All said and done, the product development initiative by any individual or enterprise with limited background in to how technology i.e. software driven business works usually have a very lean learning curve.
Finding good partners with years of experience in running and managing businesses will help manage the case easily.
We are one such organization with years of product development behind us. Our very own product lines are rated among the very best in the industry.
We sincerely hope that the article covers some key areas, though it would be impossible for us to deliver the wholesome coverage of all areas to factor unless we are working on a book of some kind for product development.
We do hope that this article has been helpful and that you will reach out to us; if at all you are looking to do some good Software product development.
Original Source – Psychology of Product Development