Increasing the value of a project (’Why we get paid’-Series)

September 19, 2008

d: start making money early

The project can start making money even if not all the functionality is written. For that to be possible we need little pieces of independent functionality that can be built in isolation of each other. It sounds easy, but it’s not. Sometimes one feature seems to be dependent on another. Often it seems that the application doesn’t provide value if it isn’t completed as a whole. Finding valuable features that can be done in isolation is hard, but a great way to increase the value of the whole project.

e: increase market

Obviously the business idea is the main part of how much money the system is going to make/save. And the general understanding is that software developers can’t help much with that. But we can help by enabling business people to get their new ideas done quickly. If somebody has an idea to improve the application, can we get it done and go live in two weeks? The quicker we can react, the bigger the advantage over the competition.

When we release a feature quickly, we can also gain valuable feedback about what is the market REALLY wants. Maybe our first understanding wasn’t perfect - the sooner we know, the sooner we can get the right feature out there.

f: make money longer

What are the main reasons for a projects end of life? Technology that is no longer supported and inability to change the code quickly/reliably. At least the second reason is fully within our control. If the code becomes a nightmare to maintain, a rewrite is likely. The main indication that the code is a nightmare to maintain is  the inability to change things quickly and to be confident that everything still works.

Posted by Jerome Mueller

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