18/12/2018

Perfection Is Not Possible

“In fact, in an agile project, technical excellence is measured by both capacity to deliver customer value today and create an adaptable product for tomorrow.” – Jim Highsmith 

Last month I started to detail the process of how we capture needs and deliver a system to our customers. You can read the first part here

This month I hope to finish the process by looking at the last two parts of the process: 

  • Definition of the MAD system

  • Agile delivery

Definition of the MAD System

The title of this article could be considered a shot in the foot for any form of promotion of Nitec as a company. But this would only be true if Nitec were not an honest company who believed in being upfront with our customers about how software works in the real world and how it can best serve our customers. For software to be perfect two things would need to hold true: 

  • Your business was not innovating at all  

  • You understand where your business will be after we introduce an outside influence (software) into it 

What we have discovered as we have worked through businesses in Northern Ireland is that these two things never hold. The business environment is competitive in NI, as it is in the rest of the world, and to survive customers are continually changing how they offer their service to their customer base. This doesn’t even bring into consideration outside influences like government regulation.  

Also, once we introduce new possibilities through the software we create the business now starts to think and operate with a new tool set which, in itself, brings change. In short if we said we could create the perfect software package for you we would be insulting your company. 

That’s why, in Nitec, we try to be as agile as possible in our software approach while giving the customer as much control over costs and outcomes as possible. To do this we start off with a definition for a minimal acceptable delivery (MAD) system. This system will be the smallest possible system to allow the customer to start using the software. It may not have all the dreams and aspirations of the customer at this point, but it allows them to get started.  

For a company with an existing system we will aim in this system to replicate current functionality with appropriate improvements. For a customer with no existing system we will look at the minimal system that gets them started.  

This MAD product will be defined as tightly as we can define it and with an estimated price attached to it. Then, when this plan is agreed, we start the agile delivery phase. 


Agile Delivery 

When work starts on a project we, in Nitec, get a base system setup and start at the beginning of data flow in the current design. However, we do not keep working to the end of the design document without interacting with you, the customer. We consider delivery of any project a joint process.  

In Nitec we know software and technology. We also know general business rules and normal ways that data flows through a business, but no one knows your business and its USPs as well as you do. So, we work in partnership with you to create the best possible system and this is done from the beginning.  

We plan to meet with our customers either in a virtual or face to face meeting on a regular basis. We show our work and plan ahead. If, when we are doing this, the plans deviate from what was agreed in the MAD plan then we change the MAD plan and indicate to you, the customer, any expected change in delivery time/cost.  

When we complete the MAD system and the customer is using it we then look to other dreams for the system in conjunction with the customer. These additions can be worked on at whatever rate works with you, the customer. 

If what has been described in these posts interests you then please don’t hesitate to get in contact and we can chat through how Nitec can help you use software to give your business the cutting edge. 

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence.” – Vince Lombardi 

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