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Why Some Software Projects Go Unfinished

Sometimes our eyes are bigger than our stomach. Sometimes our ideas, as brilliant as they may be, are bigger than our execution. This can be applied to many software project attempts as well. At Green Mango Systems, we’ve said this before and we’ll say it again:

Ideas without great execution have no value.

We recently ran a poll on Twitter asking users in the US about why their software projects went unfinished.

 

 Based on our results, it looks like some people learned the hard way about the real costs involved when it comes to software development. 48% of users were unable to finish their software product due to running out of money. There is a reason why companies spend so much on software development. While Facebook spent $1.06 billion in 2015 on their research and development, according the Inc, smaller companies spend a lot as well — industry wide between $3 and $5 billion on their research and development. So where the hell does all this money go?

Innovators with bold ideas for the next best mobile app or software product can shop around for the cheapest developers they can find or they can find the best developers for their project. The problem is, the developer or consultant who promises you the lowest rates in your area could be underestimating the scope of your needs. Low rates, quick turn-around; it sounds like a dream come true. However, fixed price bids often do not leave you with a completed project.

It’s impractical to say for certain what product you need to build exactly. You won’t know for sure until you put it in front of users. Considering the market is always changing, it’s very possible you will need something else by the time the original idea is finally built. The reality is, well thought-out software products take a lot of time and effort in order to become successful. They often even require several iterations after user feedback.

How long will it take to build?

The journey of building a software product is not an overnight endeavor. It greatly varies based on what you want to build. If you want a decent comparison for software development try thinking about it this way: Have you ever talked to someone about the cost of building a custom home? You think you have the price until you realize that price included the baseline tile in the bathroom and no window coverings.

The developer with the low rates and pie-in-the-sky promises is most likely either overly optimistic and inexperienced, or underbidding with the intention of upselling later when you realize you need more features than what you mentioned when soliciting the original bid. That developer may slowly draw out your project until you either run out of time or money. Sometimes both!

Putting Together a Team

13% in our poll were unable to finish their software projects because they did not feel they had a team to help them. It can be challenging to find the best development team for your company’s needs. At Green Mango we believe this is our playground. We can provide the team you need.

Other

Lastly, 23% of users were unable to finish their software projects due to other reasons. Some of those reasons may include a vague goal, an unclear plan, and maybe just a general lack of commitment. It’s difficult to invest all your time and resources and not get the results you wanted. Consider consulting Green Mango Systems for an honest and realistic perspective.

 

August 12, 2017
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Working with an Offshore Development Team

The results are in! How do decision makers really feel after hiring an offshore development team? Is working with an offshore development team reliable? Do I have to wake up in the middle of the night to work with them? What about language barriers? We recently conducted a poll on Twitter and asked people about their experience using an offshore development team. The results were interesting to say the least.

The following options were given:

  •      Exceeded our expectations
  •      Met our expectations
  •      Did not go well.

 

The Results

THE MAJORITY of people felt offshore development did not go well for them. So why did most people feel let down? In my experience there are two sides to the coin. Managing an offshore development team is a skill and if it’s not something you’re experienced in, how can you expect good results? A company could hire one of the best offshore teams available, but without the proper guidance that a company like Green Mango provides, those teams can easily produce “bad” results.

Do I just need a developer?

Commonly when someone contacts us, they think they are looking for a developer when what they really need is much more. They need a complete development consulting experience that an offshore developer is unlikely to provide. The most common reason a software product fails is that they never find a market for their product. That means the first person you need is a product manager, but after that, you need a UI and UX designer. You need a few hours a week from a project manager, you need a software architect, CTO, and developers.  You probably need some QA, you need a launch marketing plan, etc.

If you read any of those things and said to yourself, “I don’t do that well,”, or “I don’t know what that is,” then you’re going to need a team that can handle it for you, or you’re going to need to learn quickly and be very optimistic. Working with a development company like ours allows you to gain access to someone who has skills in each of these areas that can help guide your project to success.

Green Mango and Offshore Developers

In Green Mango’s 10 years of existence, we’ve had numerous opportunities to work with development teams from around the globe. During this time, we were able to build a network of reliable teams that have worked well for us in the past and we also developed a model that honed in on two goals:

Allowing our customers to capture some discount from offshore development, and secondly, ensuring a much higher product success rate than is traditionally seen with offshore development. We do this by being the gatekeeper between the two parties. On the client-side, we make sure the product plan makes sense and is properly communicated to the offshore team. We also explain details of tech that may get lost in translation or may be in general not palatable for a client who is less than a tech expert.

On the offshore side, we provide technical guidance, oversight, and auditing of the offshore work being done. We tend to make the big decisions and hire the right developers to fill very specific project roles. We also add roles such as designers and marketing experts from separate teams as needed. Soliciting feedback from the client is how we make sure they are happy with the results as we go.

 

Challenges that come up working with Offshore Development teams

One of the benefits of working with an offshore development team is having someone working while you sleep. While this coverage does seem great, it comes with a great challenge. If you don’t know how to communicate the proper details to the offshore team, they may spend a whole day going in the wrong direction while you’re sleeping.

While their hourly rate is lower, so is the value of the work since they were building the wrong thing. This is an example of where people often complain that the offshore team was not competent when really what is happening is that communication from the client to the development team was lacking or poor quality.

None of this information is meant to disparage the hard working developers across the globe. We strongly believe in what we call the “hybrid” development model. This is where offshore development is used when and where it is appropriate. It is not used when it seems risky or dangerous. We believe this is the most efficient development approach, but it requires the right checks and balances in place to make it work. Our specialty is helping companies here in the US achieve that efficiency while keeping their risk low.

August 7, 2017
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