Remember when you were a kid, maybe you had an obsession with space? You knew all about space, the planets, their names, and if you were bright enough, you even knew how far the earth was from the sun (93.981 million miles, just in case you were wondering). Let’s say your dad was a rocket scientist who worked for NASA. As you got a bit older, you learned all about his experience working with NASA. You learned how spaceships were assembled, how much fuel went into the rockets, and how expensive it was to fly to space. One morning you were deep into a book about the moon and decided you had enough, you wanted to check it out for yourself. You ran down the steps, charged into the kitchen with full confidence, and proudly asked your dad if he could build you a spaceship. Your dad then proceeded to laugh and spent the rest of the day, making you a cardboard space center in the backyard.
As product developers, we often feel like your dad in that moment. Obviously, building a spaceship is far more complicated than building banking software, but the principle is the same. We are continually having conversations with business owners and entrepreneurs about what they want to develop to help their businesses literally “take off.” They often know a tremendous amount about their activities or ideas and are happy to share their vision. They know what they want to build, but they don’t always know the best way to build it. Hence their conversation with our software development company.
The steps that are required to get to space.
In a perfect world, when you were that confident kid charging into the kitchen, you would have understood how complicated it was to build a spaceship. You would have understood that there are hundreds of other employees working for NASA, all responsible for executing specific steps in the process from ideation to creation. Perhaps you would have started the conversation with your dad a bit differently. As product developers, we get a lot of “dad just build me a spaceship” and “I told you about my business, my industry, and what I need, so can you just build it?” You get my point.
We call it the discovery process. This process is an extended interview designed to extract a high-level understanding of your business. What are your goals, pain points, and initiatives? What are the processes of every single step of your service or product? As product developers, the discovery process helps us understand the big picture and the nitty-gritty details of your business.
Simply put, software is thousands of human processes all organized and programmed line by line by a developer. To take your idea and build it, we need a team player that speaks both languages to bridge the gap. The product developer’s job is to translate your product concept into our software development process.
If you are building software, have some mercy on your bank account and on the team you hire. Don’t rush them into the building phase and give them the time to understand your business truly. They will have insights for you that will save you time and money. It is always hard to build the software our clients demand from us when we know there are cheaper and smarter alternatives.