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    Top Five Pitfalls of Developing Software

1) Field of Dreams
Now first is what we call the Field of Dreams i.e. if you build it they will come. So the number one pitfall developing software is not validating the need for the market. You know: trying to be a solution that’s actually looking for a problem. So whether it’s an internal application that you’re trying to use to add efficiency or something you’re trying to do that’s customer-facing, to improve the customer journey you really need to make sure that we are actually validating the need first.

2) Users Last
Next is Users Last. This is a common pitfall that people design around technology instead of user experience. So there’s actually three levels of design: cognitive, visual, and technical. Now technical refers to the platform that you choose whether that’s open source, Microsoft or the like. Visual would be the color palette that matches your branding. But truly the heart and soul of platform is cognitive. That user experience: how you interact with a platform. So we advocate starting with the cognitive side of the house, not the technical. Because if a platform isn’t usable, useful, and viable, you might as well invest your resources elsewhere.

3) Striving for Perfection
Next is a Striving for Perfection: so seeking perfection instead of looking for a bare bones, minimally-viable product. So as Voltaire said, “Don’t let perfect be the enemy of the good.” Realize that perfection in software is a process, not an end state. It’s okay to get a minimally-viable product out there, fail fast, and iterate from there.

4) Parenting is Temporary notion
Next this notion that Parenting is Temporary. What we mean there is thinking of creating software as birthing a technical child. It’s going to require constant care and feeding but can be incredibly rewarding in the long run. You’re going to have ideas along the way to change things — improve things — so as long as you have a business case in place with a return on investment or ROI defined, plan to invest. That’s a lot of the value going to get out of software is iterating on a go-forward basis.

5) Thinking You Don’t Need a CTO
Finally this notion that you don’t need a CTO. What we say here is software can be built cheap, fast, or right — and you can choose two out of three. For example if you want it fast and you want it right, it’s not going to be cheap. So make sure that the selection you make is aligned with your strategy. And if you don’t have technology leadership on staff, to act as your trusted advisor to figure out the right combination and how best to build it, you can get someone like People Driven Solutions to help you design and execute your project on a fractional or part-time basis.

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