In its essential practice, developing complex software applications quickly, is the method of bringing a digital idea from abstract to reality. You are building a real, albeit digital, representation of your idea. When building your vision, you need the right process to bring life to your idea. Below are five key areas for you to consider how to build your software quickly including resources, planning, complexity, product owner, and infrastructure.
Broadly – not just in software development – projects fail for lack of placing the right resources in the right places at the right time. A vision requires positioning resources strategically. In software development. resources are timeline, scope, and budget. This is what we call the triple constraint triangle.
The triple constraint triangle’s goal is quality. Not just in the sense of code that operates and does its work efficiently, but in the sense of considering if the software meets the goal for which it was envisioned. This is where you start. Determine what matters most to you. Next, develop a plan.
As a three-legged stool must balance, allocating the three resources in the right way requires a plan. As a fence, a plan broadly defines what’s in and what’s out. Create an initial, but flexible, the boundary for your project. When you have a mental boundary of your project, place resources inside it – people, money, time, product, scope, etc. You can draw it with a pencil on a napkin.
That’s your starting point. Think and mull over what belongs and what doesn’t. Send that to our team of solutions architects and we’ll put together an estimate. You can review the estimate and see if it fits your vision. Get it cleaned up. Remember – you haven’t written a line of code yet. Then overlay our plan on your vision. Assess what’s possible with the limited resources you have, set a timeline and budget, and see if our approach matches with what you envisioned.
Now, consider what you’ve envisioned and assessed about the complexity of the project with our team. The best way to assess the complexity is to talk to an experienced expert who isn’t afraid to ask hard questions. Based on our questions and your answers determine on a scale of 1 – 10 (low to high) how complex is my project? If it is a 7 or higher, it must be broken down into phases. As a software project becomes more complex, it breeds fragility. It is prone to scope creep and ultimately a runaway budget. The classic example of something antifragile is Hydra, the Greek mythological creature that has numerous heads. When one head is cut off, two grow back in their place. Complex software projects go wrong when the scope is not clearly visioned and ruthlessly maintained. Who keeps a project from being too complex? A product owner.
At Rubico, a client is the Product Owner. This is a single decision-maker by whom the project succeeds or fails. This individual must make constant decisions. It’s your money. When considering an element to add – think of the ripple effect on other features. Is it worth the time and money for the benefit returned? Consider the loss – what is the risk if we don’t build a feature, and likewise; what is the risk if we do? If we build it, can we maintain it? Being the Product Owner puts you in the driver’s seat for your project.
Finally, beware of infrastructure. The advent of scalable and dynamic infrastructure can create a hidden cost and complexity to a project you may not have anticipated. In many cases, simply keeping the lights on can run tens of thousands of dollars per month. If the application doesn’t require scaling – think Netflix on a Friday night – you don’t need to create a huge, scalable application unless the revenue benefits outweigh the costs. Our team will work with you to right-size your application for cost and long-term growth.
At Rubico – our team stands ready to bring your idea to life. With a focused, attainable plan, we can help you build the app of your dreams.