SHOULD YOU INVEST TIME READING THIS ARTICLE?
Are you sick and tired of having to spend long hours with developers and explain to them things that are obvious?
Do you feel that you’re wasting way too much time and energy on stuff that your developers should be able to figure out by themselves, but never do?
Have you tried working with multiple developers and face the same problems all the time?
If you answered YES to one or more of the questions above, you will greatly benefit from this article
THE PROBLEM WITH EXPECTING DEVELOPERS TO JUST GET IT
Expecting your developers to simply get it is like expecting famous models to approach you just because you are cute. It might happen once, but it’s never a certainty. The same problem happens when you expect developers to understand your business.
Most developers are technical people, and have no business experience at all. The ones who know how to operate a business are running their own business and not looking for jobs. Simply put, you have to explain exact outputs to them, not user stories.
GOOD VS BAD FEATURE REQUEST
Good Feature Request
- Create a page where I could send invoices to my clients.
- Invoice contains client name, amount, and due date
- Allow me to Create/View/Update/Delete Clients
- Allow me to export invoices as PDF
Bad Feature Request
Add an invoicing feature
Manage our clients
Build something better than our competitors
Must work flawlessly
EXPECTING DEVELOPERS TO JUST GET IT CAN LEAD TO CATASTROPHIC RESULTS
CONSEQUENCES OF NOT HAVING A PROPER DEVELOPMENT PROCESS
YOUR TEAM IS VERY SLOW ON RELEASING NEW FEATURES
Even simple features like adding a form to a certain webpage, or changing the design of a page will take ages to implement. If you try and pressure your developers into working faster, they will most likely come up with a list of technical excuses that you have no technical background to assess.
If you try and pressure them more, they will start releasing faster, because they don’t wanna lose their jobs. However, you will quickly notice that new releases become very unstable, and bugs will be more common than ever.
Over the course of time, your software will have a reputation of being buggy. Even if you build the most stable system on earth, it’s very hard to undo a bad reputation. The faster you fix your process, the more customers you retain and acquire due to word of mouth.
COMPETITORS TAKE YOUR MARKET SHARE
More than a decade ago, Microsoft owned technology. Every human on earth operated a Windows machine, and used the MS office suite. Today, Google, Apple and Facebook dominate the web, and Microsoft is simply watching.
Sure, their inability to penetrate the mobile market was a main reason. But have you ever considered why their loyal customers even considered using competitor devices? Because their own devices sucked. Every microsoft release was full of bugs, until they released a service pack to fix them. Their development process lacked a proper quality assurance check. Hence, their clients became their beta testers, and the pain of using their software was huge.
Clients stuck because they had no other option, up until Apple came with neat software that just works. Guess who’s winning the technology game now? With that in mind, you want to become the next Apple, not Microsoft.
NO ONE TAKING RESPONSIBILITY OF PROBLEMS AND FIXING THEM
Real Life Scenario: Ted was running a very thriving business generating 7 figures per year. His developers were pretty good, and in particular he had one rare breed on his team whom he paid a small fortune. However, his site was unstable all the time. He wasn’t able to understand why, even though he had the best people.
When we came in, it was very easy to spot. Without a proper process in place, they were all overwhelmed. Here is what typically happened at one moment:
- Ted asked for an urgent feature request. The team dropped everything and started working on it
- Ted’s amazing marketing efforts paid off and he tripled his website traffic overnight
- Google introduced an algorithm update that required urgent attention.
At that point, the team was dealing with 3 critical issues they can’t ignore, but due to lack of process, no one knew how to handle all 3 at once, and the business lost lots of its customers as a result.
FREE UP YOUR TIME BY EMPOWERING YOUR DEVELOPERS
A project management process is basically a standardized way of doing things. Whether you realize it or not, how your developers are doing things now is your process, and since you’re reading this article, it’s suboptimal. Here’s an overview of the framework we use that will free up your time by empowering your developers
Step 1: Planning Meeting
1. Define Business Goal, e.g. reduce customer churn rate
2. Convert into Tech Requirements, e.g. implement automated recurring payments
3. Ask Developers To Estimate Time/Budget
4. Start Development
Step 2: Daily Meeting
Schedule A Daily Quick Call With Developers. Ask each these 3 question:
1. What have you built since our last meeting?
2. What will you work on till our next meeting?
3. Is there anything blocking you from doing your work?
Step 3: Demo Meeting
Once features are built, schedule a demo meeting with your developers.
1. Developers present what they have worked on since the planning meeting (see Step 1)
2. You provide feedback based on their demonstration
3. Improvements are carried over to the next planning meeting
Step 4: Rinse & Repeat Until You've Reached Your Final Product
IDENTIFYING YOUR TEAM GAPS & HIRING THE RIGHT PEOPLE AT THE RIGHT BUDGET
In the previous section, we helped you optimize your development process. In this section, we help you put the right people in the right seats.
THE PEOPLE THAT SHOULD BE PRESENT ON EVERY DEVELOPMENT TEAM
STEP BY STEP TASK OUTSOURCING
Step 1: Analyze Time Spent
1. Breakdown hours going towards development team
2. Determine which issues are draining most of your time
3. Pay attention to stuff that drains your energy
4. Pick one you want to outsource first
Step 2: Write Step-By-Step Process
For example, let’s say you waste lots of time guiding your developers when your site is full of bugs after a release. Here are some example steps:
1. Monitor customer support email for 3 hours after a release
2. Mark the support requests that are actually bugs
3. Post on Slack and ask developers to fix
4. Followup after 24 hours to ensure it is fixed
Step 3: Assign & Improve Process
1. Assign task to someone else
2. Improve Your Process Based On Their Questions
3. Have 3 People Go Through This Process To Ensure It’s Clear
4. Automate The Parts That Can Be Automated To Minimize Human Error
Step 4: Rinse & Repeat Until You’ve Outsourced All Of Your Tasks
RECAP & MOVING FORWARD
In this article, we discussed the importance of project management processes. We helped you understand the bulletproof system for your business, helped you assess your team gaps and taught you how to fill them. From there, we discussed how to make your team more productive by implementing OKRs. Finally, we taught you how to completely free yourself up from technical hassles by creating and managing processes.
In order to implement all of the above, it will take you anywhere from a few months to a couple of years, depending on your familiarity with the tools mentioned above, as well as your team’s ability to quickly adapt to new processes.
If you would like to accelerate this process, schedule a free call with us. We’ll give you some personalized advice based on your current situation. Fill the application form and we’ll hop on a call and give you a list of actionable items you can now implement for some quick wins. The call is totally free, and you’ll get a lot out of it.