Do you ever wonder whether you are paying too much or too little for the development of your online platform? How should you assess the financial value of your developer’s work? This topic is one that all entrepreneurs running online businesses will absolutely love! Read along as we tell you exactly how you can measure your developer’s productivity.
Do Not Measure Outputs: The Old Way of Doing Things
We cannot stress this enough, and by outputs, we mean those that are not very helpful:
- Number of tasks accomplished
- Number of lines of code written
- Number of Github Commits made per day
Let’s say you are a bodybuilder and seek to perfectionate your body. You cannot possibly convince yourself you are going to gain 5 pounds of muscle or increase your biceps by 1 inch in one month. Focusing on reaching this result in a specific period of time and failing to do so will get you frustrated. Instead, focus on your routines: Eat more, train better, sleep better, take multivitamins, etc. The results will show sooner or later.
A Healthier Way Of Measuring Productivity
Focus On Best practices, Not Output
Your goal in your business is to not write code. Your main goal is actually to solve business problems while the code simply helps you accomplish that. So, whenever you have a developer building your code, ask yourself:
- How much is this positively affecting your business?
- How much is it solving customer problems?
- How is it solving your problems?
These questions will help you perceive development in a different light. If your developer spends only 5 minutes on a task that will increase your revenue, you will consider it much better than him spending 40 hours on a complex task that doesn’t affect your business.
As an entrepreneur, you do not necessarily have to hustle or sacrifice your health, family and time in order to succeed. All you have to do is work smart. If your developer is struggling, working 40 or 50 hours per week and feels very stressed, then you should create better systems that work on their own, taking the load off everyone. If with that your developer still struggles, chances are that they are not very skilled.
Measuring business output is indeed important, but what is also essential is how this business output is being accomplished. By that, we mean code quality. It is hard to measure code quality if you are a non-technical entrepreneur. However, even if you are technical, you should be working on growing your business and creating impact instead of measuring code quality.
Therefore, we suggest the below options:
- Get some automated tools that help you check code quality. Those are helpful but do not provide the big picture.
- Hire a senior developer specifically knowledgeable in the programming language your platform is being written with. His role would be to review the code for 2 hours/week and guide your developer on what to do. It should be a senior developer who is not affiliated with the project at all because we do not want someone to get into office politics, as we do not want the other developer to take this as criticism. The senior developer would merely conduct code reviews to ensure that your code quality is great.
- Alternate between 2 developers, one of them would review the code each other week so that you have two different opinions regarding the code quality.
Important Developer Criteria
No Hand Holding Needed
Hire a developer you don’t need to handle, or else this will affect you in two ways:
- Business wise: If a developer needs to ask you about every small detail, then the business is going to be affected because you are spending your time managing someone who should be managing him/herself.
- Personal wise: This will even affect your mental health, especially if you are a non-technical businessperson who is being bombarded with technical questions. You hire developers to figure things out, understand the business, and take decisions themselves.
Understands Your Business
If you are selling ski equipment and your developer has never seen snow, they won’t be able to relate to your business. They don’t know anything about skis and will ask you very basic questions that you don’t want to be handling.
- Get someone who understands your business and has a good background in that field.
- Ideally, get someone who started a business in that niche and failed, because they tried to be their own boss, they love the safety of the job, and they understand the business and the industry. This criterion is a bit harder to find, but worth the effort if you are working on a long-term project.
Sticks to Processes
Does your developer follow the standard development processes?
Does your development team follow Scrum rules?
Does your project manager stick to Scrum or disregard deadlines?
Scrum rules help you put a process in place and accomplish specific goals within that one-month sprint. And whenever something does not get accomplished,
it gets dropped from one sprint and added to another. This is how developers should build a proper discipline, and routine.
In short, you want developers with the below criteria:
- People who are collaborative, follow the rules, go after your lead and make things happen.
- People who are excited to make the business succeed.
- People who believe in your cause. For example, if you’re building a business around blockchain, something that would defeat a theorem, or bitcoin, they should believe that what they are building will the future.
Although believing in your business is a basic motive, one can also have multiple motives. Your developer should at least have nothing against your business.
If they do not believe in your cause, at least understand:
- Why they are on your team?
- What motivates them? Reasons might be they’re getting well paid compared to previous projects, they feel comfortable with the flexible working hours, they feel trusted, or they’re taking on a new role.
- What will make them stick around for the long term?
- How will they help you succeed?
We personally do not work with clients whose causes we disagree with. For example, we have been approached several times by people who want to create malicious software and who are ready to pay a lot of money. We turned those projects down because we do not believe in making profit on the expense of ruining people’s lives and scamming them. As entrepreneurs and developers, our advice to you is to really stick to the things you excel at. Only then will you truly succeed.
For more interesting topics, visit our website www.staggeringroi.com, click on “our process” and see how we work. You will find the exact step-by-step process that will not only help you find productive developers, but also take your business to the next level while spending less time and money. So, check it out and feel free to implement it yourself, or contact us in case you need support, we are always ready to help!
Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel Staggering ROI and on LinkedIn as Samer Bechara.