One of the questions we get asked is, why does a majority of our costs get sunk back into engineering? The answer is simple, our customers. At a rate significantly faster than before, customer expectations are changing, and changing fast. The ways of old were not supportive of this acceleration across expectations, so we have had to change.
How it used to work
I recall about 10 years ago, the project lifecycle was a little different. First we would develop requirements, then define a solution, then set out to build it. By the time the project was delivered (sometimes up to a year + later), it was somehow, not as relevant as it was when conceived. Customers and our business had changed.
As most of you know or have heard, AGILE (aka “an interactive approach”) changed things and continues to do so across all disciplines. Within our world (software), it simply means:
- Taking a problem
- Solving it
- Trying it
- Revising it
It’s about gathering insights quickly and bringing new perspectives forward that shape the solution. These insights can be industry changes, customer trends / feedback or technology advancements, all of which are used to develop a solution that will deliver your evolving business objectives.
This process of discovery, iteration, testing and deployment, requires resources to think, compile and develop, and in most cases, once deployed, is not still exactly what was required and will need some adjusting. This is the process of continuous iteration and improvement. Without this, we would struggle to remain relevant to our customers.
So, what should I take away from this?
If anything, there is significant value in trying things, testing, learning and moving towards deeper understandings. Gone are the days where we need to consider the solution and every permutation before embarking on a journey. Our recommendation, is to start (with the right partner), and work the details as you go. You’ll find yourself in front of your customers faster, with quick learnings and reduced re-work and waste.