The figures shown above only provide a small glimpse into the complexity of software projects and factors involved that ultimately determine success or failure. Additional studies demonstrate that software projects tend to run 66% over budget and 33% over time.
Most businesses are able to handle the additional costs in time and money; however, reports show that 17% of projects are so poorly executed that they threaten the very existence of the company.
BUILD THOUGHTFUL SOFTWARE
Prevent your projects from becoming part of these abysmal statistics.
Imagine and create thoughtful software.
Be committed to building, delivering, and maintaining software that is thoughtful, usable, and valuable.
Strive to build products that enhance user experience, provide value, and emphasize quality. But how do we define thoughtful software?
Thoughtful software is usable, unobtrusive, and is enjoyable to use.
It prioritizes the needs of users; rather than the needs of developers and designers. And for our clients, the creation of incredible, thoughtful software products leads to added value and tremendous opportunities for growth and sustainability.
Here we present how Skiplist builds software and what you should consider when building software and choosing a software development partner.
1. ASK WHY
“The art and science of asking questions is the source of all knowledge”
- Thomas Berger
Ask why and understand the journey that creates that pain point. Experts recognize always starting with WHY and completing a successful software project are inextricably linked.
This does not mean starting slow. However, an initial meeting or call should be to understand the problem we are trying to solve. Seems simple, right?
Often developers are so quick to take on a project, they forget to ask about business outcomes. These are important to establishing the engagement and vision of the project.
Is this feasible?
Why are we building something?
Who is the intended user?
Timing to complete the project?
What are the goals for you and your team?
Ultimately, these questions are not very helpful if not rooted by strong personal values of the people working together. After all it is people working together with people.
Alignment in values is important.
2. WE ARE DEFINED BY OUR CONVICTIONS
“A people that values its privileges above its principles, soon loses both.”
- Dwight D. Eisenhower
Skiplist is a collection of talented individuals who came together to build thoughtful software.
We wanted to create a different experience for ourselves and our clients.
The software industry is full of bloat. Starting a project can be painful. Getting a master services agreement (MSA) signed? Forget about it.
Many projects never take flight due to legal teams going back and forth for months. Your project may be outdated by the time the MSA is finally signed.
Clients and vendors labor over writing a detailed scope of work (SOW) when in reality building great software happens outside the SOW. Through good communication and flexibility to make changes.
Corralling the relevant resources and managing a team in a rigid environment can be painfully challenging.
Relationships are more important than ever. Software is an iterative process.
There is a better way.
For that better experience, we stick to our 10 core values. We believe these should help you as well.
Simple over complex
Caring over apathy
Long term over short term
Candor over cowardice
Change over stagnation
Team over individual
Transparency over obfuscation
Relationships over money
Iterate over perfect
Learning over ignorance
In the end, our journey and experiences together are what matters. Let’s make them good ones.
3. DOING GREAT WORK REQUIRES GREAT TEAMS AND ALIGNMENT
“Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organizational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results.”
- Andrew Carnegie
We are all one team. Let’s do this!
When you have a team that is founded on 10 core values and a mission to build thoughtful software, quite a bit of good can happen.
Combined with enterprises who hold similar values, the possibilities are limitless.
One core aspect of great teams is specialization. To achieve the best outcomes, bring in talented people who excel in certain areas. For example, a user experience (UX) designer can be the difference between a successful or failed product.
Don’t just build an app for the sake of it. Carefully plan it out with experienced architects and designers who can help support the vision. Five star ratings correlate to a better brand image and increased revenue.
Leveraging data can be a competitive advantage if implemented properly. Data science isn’t just a buzzword and data scientists are very expensive.
It is more impactful to start with a proof of concept (POC) to test the idea. Then develop a roadmap to increase the probability of success.
97% of employees and executives believe lack of alignment within a team impacts the outcome of a task or project.
86% of employees and executive cite lack of collaboration or ineffective communication for workplace failures.
About 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very important”.